Detroit Seen

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Fifth Estate # 271, April, 1976

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As promised in our March issue, the FE will be throwing another rip-roaring benefit, to raise money for the paper’s maintenance and provide a great time for all. To be held on Saturday, April 10 (9 until ?) at Formerly Alvin’s Delicatessen (on Cass between Antoinette and Palmer near the WSU campus), the $2.50 admission charge will include dancing to a great blues band headed by Detroit’s own BoBo Jenkins and lots of free beer. As before, all money goes toward the continued appearance of this paper and we are looking forward to your support and participation.

May 1st has traditionally been celebrated as an international workers’ holiday. In keeping with this tradition, the FE, plus all interested friends and comrades will be getting together for the third year at a potluck dinner celebration on Saturday, May 1, from 6 until 10 p.m. We will be gathering at Formerly Alvin’s Delicatessen (see above address) again, and will be showing the film “Red Squad” made by the Pacific Street Film collective of Brooklyn, New York. Interestingly relevant to the current Red Squad lawsuits in our own city, this film was made by an anarchist film group with cameras and tape recorders (sometimes hidden, sometimes not) who followed and recorded the illegal activities of the New York police. Following the film, local attorney George Corsetti will give us the latest information concerning the Detroit-based Red Squad lawsuit. So bring some food to share and a $1.00 donation (to pay for the film) and help us celebrate May Day…

Capitalism’s ability to recuperate rebellion back into commodity sales sometimes seems endless. Two years ago, several women, angered by a sexist billboard erected by the bowling proprietors association stating “Beat Your Wife Tonight” (they meant on their alleys), braved a 60-foot climb to paint out the word “wife” and substitute “husband.” At first the bowlers screamed “vandals,” but suddenly saw its possibilities. They have launched an ad campaign which duplicates the altered signboard so it appears as though an angry woman changed each sign…

The oddly-named “Slaughter Meditation Room” at Wayne State University recently was closed permanently because students began to use the room for less than religious purposes. The student center administration said it became a haven for marijuana smoking and sex–sounds like a better use of space than praying, but apparently WSU didn’t see it that way…

Lovers of Latin American literature will be happy to know that the world-acclaimed Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges will be in Detroit in April. He will be speaking on “The Writer and His Destiny” in the Community Arts Auditorium on the campus of Wayne State University on Tuesday, April 13 at 8:00 p.m. This lecture is free and open to all…

“Compared to What,” a venture which grew out of the collective efforts of a group of friends interested in hearing good, inexpensive entertainment, is a non-profit project. They will be presenting musical evenings at Trinity Methodist Church (13100 Woodward, south of Davison) and all money will go toward paying the performers and maintaining the activity. Already scheduled is: April 9–original jazz by Sam Sanders and Visions; April 16–Sippy Wallace plus Michael and Barbara Smith. Admission is $2.00….

Also free on the entertainment scene are films shown at the Detroit Institute of Arts (Recital Lecture Hall) at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesdays through Sundays. April 7-11 they’ll be showing “Blonde Venus” (1931) starring Marlene Dietrich, and on April 14-18, “Our Daily Bread” (1934) directed by King Vidor, about the Depression (which one???). A complete schedule is available at the Art Institute…

Attention all you comic-book fans! The 11th Annual Detroit Triple Fan Fair will take place May 28 through 31 at the “beautiful downtown Sheraton-Cadillac Hotel.” Besides their usual astounding array of comic books to sell and trade, there will be “movies (from dawn til dusk), masque and much more” (as promised in their recent brochure). For continuing comic book fans, the Fair is recommended for its enormous assortment of crazies, on foot as well as on exhibit. For further information, contact DTFF, 13970 Lamphere, Detroit 48223. Wonder Woman lives!…

The presentation of “Welfare Blues,” announced in our last issue to be performed by Somebody Else (the same folks who brought you “Miss Virgin Mother”) provided for an interesting and enjoyable evening of satirical attack on the welfare bureaucracy. The players are now checking out the possibilities of renting a storefront to use as a center for their future activities…

Surrealism is alive and riding the night winds on invisible wings and if you don’t believe it, check out the World Surrealist Exhibition in Chicago beginning May 1. Starting May Day, and lasting for six weeks, the exhibition will feature over 500 works by over one hundred active Surrealists from thirty different countries. Surrealist cinema and live performances by some blues artists. Surely the exhibition will be a wildly interesting and bizarre affair, as evidenced by previous exhibitions which featured such things as the doorbell which chops off fingers (to show the artist’s disdain for civilization), mysterious creatures and indescribable paintings and collage. This event is essential for all homo sapiens who are concerned with the negative effects reality has been having on consciousness lately. It will be held at the Gallery Black Swan, 500 N. LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois. This should satisfy some of the longing we have for exciting disturbances that can hardly be fulfilled by rock concerts and the bar scene anymore and you can certainly find out more about this and other Surrealist projects by writing to Franklin Rosemont, 2257 N. Jansen Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614…

Be sure to catch the Community Music presentations at the First Unitarian Church, Cass & Forest (use Forest Parking Lot Entrance), on Tuesday nights, 7:30 til ? admission is 75 cents. Some of us cannot understand why their turnout is so meager as we caught the performance of Satori on March 23rd and they were a knockout! The price is right and the music is outasight.

* * *

“It’s an outrage,” was the only way attorney Ken Mogill could describe the decision by the Wayne County Persecutor to re-prosecute the Fifth Estate newspaper for publishing information on a telephone device that could be used to cheat Michigan Bell.

Ken called to tell us he had received notice that we would be tried again on Monday, April 26 in Detroit’s Recorder’s Court even though he had filed a motion over seven months ago asking for a speedy trial under the provisions of the U.S. Constitution. In a brilliantly defended first trial last August, Mogill got a jury to vote 10–2 for acquittal–usually a vote that would cause a misdemeanor case to be dropped.

But the outrage of course is that the persecutor’s office is acting as a legal stooge for profit-swollen Bell’s efforts to quiet opposition to its anti-public policies.

The original article, detailing how to build a blue box which would circumvent long-distance charges, appeared in the August 24, 1974 Fifth Estate and was essentially a reprint of a June 1972 Ramparts Magazine article.

The last trial was a real panic, but maybe we crowed about it too much in our paper (see Fifth Estate, September 1975) because they seem to be willing to go another round.

Attorney Mogill plans to file several motions to stop this legal harassment, so if you want to get in on the festivities, give us a call and we’ll tell you if the circus is going to come off as planned.

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