Detroit Seen

by

Fifth Estate # 275, August, 1976

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If you are reading this newspaper and are not a subscriber, please be advised that you are able to do so only through the support and generosity of those who are. On about July 18 we realized that we had no money for our August print bill, the July rent and a multitude of other smaller obligations. We sent out a special mailing to our subscribers asking for $1.00 donations per person and the response was overwhelming, with some contributions as high as $25.00! The total was $500 and is enough to allow us to hang on another month. We were all really pleased with the tremendous response from our readers; we thank you all greatly for your support, and hope for your continued interest in our future…

If you purchased this paper at a newsstand and want to join the list of FE supporters, please feel free to send in a donation at this time. Starting in September we will begin another series of rock/theatre/beer-fest benefits, but until then, we hope you will take time to celebrate with us the ONE YEAR anniversary of the Ammunition Bookstore at the FE office. In the midst of every leninist sect in the country, the Bookstore has pumped out hundreds of volumes of libertarian communist and anarchist literature into the Detroit area. The Open House celebration will be on Saturday, August 21, from 2 ’til 6 p.m. All of the books will be marked down from 10 to 45% (double coupon day!), and there will be refreshments and hopefully some entertainment. Many of us on the staff have become increasingly aware of what a small community the libertarian left makes up, so we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible…

One problem that is not solvable by contributions is FE staff hassles with personal incomes. Most of us have been cruising on unemployment benefits for the last year, but that has run out for all of us, and steel mills, hospitals, taxi cabs, nursery schools, offices and the like have been taking a toll on our full-time staff. If any Detroit people have extra time on their hands or our friends in other cities have ideas for articles, please get a hold of us…

We’re glad to see the vast majority of Michigan voters ignored the political carnival on August 3 called the primary election. One of the bigger frauds seeking office, Michigan Secretary of State Richard Austin (who presided over a $1,000,000 kickback slush-fund until recently exposed), seeking to be the first black ever elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat also designed the horrendous American flag Michigan license plates for 1976. What nobody realized at the time is that Austin secretly planned to use a facsimile of the garish plates with his name on them (a la the personalized plates) as his election symbol. Now every car in Michigan carries his campaign emblem. Of course, the irony that Austin’s ancestors were chattel slaves when the first U.S. flag was designed is completely lost on him…

For the first time since it occurred in 1967, the Fifth Estate failed to commemorate the great Detroit Uprising of that year. All events eventually slide from memory, so we guess it’s time to begin some new history…

Detroit slips a little more into darkness each day and its description along with its cause all appear in one issue of the Detroit Free Press, but few people link the items together. Atop page one on July 29 the banner headline announces “GM Posts Biggest Profits Ever,” while scattered through the rest of the paper are stories about teen gangs pulling a continuing series of daylight robberies of jewelry stores; the police having to close off Kercheval Street after a “truce” rally between the Black Killers and Errol Flynn gangs turned into a brawl; a crowd attacks the cops trying to arrest a man picked randomly out of a crowd looting an abandoned grocery store; murders, rapes, etc. Suburbanites shake their heads and give their opinions to the media that Detroit is becoming a “jungle,” never putting together GM’s record profits and the fact that none of it filters down past the hands of Grosse Pointe and Birmingham stockholders. And still fewer see the main question facing the city as whether it will be ruled by the criminal gangs of the BKs and the Errol Flynns or the lay-off-depleted ranks of the brutal and corrupt Detroit Police. Whew! What a choice…

Hey, if any of us were registered to vote, maybe we actually found a candidate we could back for the Recorder’s Court vacancy in the person of candidate George Crocket III, not, as the media is quick to alert us, to be confused with his father who currently sits on the bench. The III’s main qualification, as far as we are concerned, is exactly what has led the Detroit Bar Association to rate him “unqualified” for the post—that he has been placed in mental institutions three times in the last ten years. The possibilities are unlimited for such a man—directed acquittals of the defendants, while simultaneously finding the jury, cops, prosecutors and himself guilty, plus a hundred other zany stunts that could unmask bourgeois justice…

Community Music continues at the First Unitarian Church, Cass & Forest, now on Sunday nights at 8:00 for $1.50 admission (red door entrance). Featuring on August 8: Abdul Jaliel Bay Quintet, with Shoo Bee Doo on base, Abdul Jaliel on sax, Patrice Williams on harp and flute, Tariq on drums, Abdur-Rauf on piano; August 15: Motor City Free Arts Group (multi-media avant-garde presentation); August 22: AUM Jazz ensemble.

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