Detroit Seen

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Fifth Estate # 302, June 1, 1980

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Last issue we reported that the local Freezer Theater had been torched and that the people who performed there were looking for a new place. Well, all you ardent Freezer fans will be glad to know that they’ve opened up shop in a storefront on Cass, between Selden & Alexandrine in the Cass Corridor. They’re back to performing the “beyond the fridge” plays that only they can do, and have started poetry readings on Sundays. It’s well worth checking out…

Less and less the relationship between the Detroit police and big business is being concealed as local officials push ahead with their plans to make Detroit look “nice” during the upcoming Republican Convention. Sealing their connection as the watch-dogs of private property and capital, the pigs have recently taken to driving around in their “mobile mini-station” that was purchased for them by the National Bank of Detroit (it carries an ad for the bank on its side) and have been given the use of a large field within the Burroughs World Headquarters complex to carry out the training of the DPD’s K9 Corps and the teaching of “crowd control” (anti-riot) tactics to this “new breed of cops.” Well, at least we’ll know how these cops are going to function and how we should react to it if the shit does hit the fan…

While on the subject of big business and city governments, it seems that their dream of a Detroit Renaissance is over(of course, for the majority of us it never even started). After finally completing that fine example of Mussolini architecture, the RenCen, the city government went all out on its plan for the building of RenCen II—an office complex that involved Ford Motor Co. and the Rockefeller Center, Inc. Now it seems that Ford has decided to drop out of the venture and give up the office space in the planned two 21-story towers and that turns out to be approximately two-thirds of the buildings. What with some of the floors of RenCen I still sitting empty and these latest developments with RenCen II, it looks as if Ford and the city government are going the same way as Chrysler—great…

A few more elections like the Mich. Presidential primary held May 20 and the myth of “democratic participation” will be exposed to all. Only 12% of the registered voters bothered to go to the polls to take part in this farce, but the media trumpeted the results like it was an event of major importance. If they positioned the squalid results consistent with everyone’s obvious lack of interest, rather than front-page headlines that a CIA operative had won the Republican race, it would find its fate as filler in the classified section…

For most people Easter either came and went with all its religious fervor or simply provided relief from having to go to work for that one day; but for about 300 or so people it was a weekend of atheistic anarchy! For all the sane non-believers, some members of the Grinning Duck Club performed their version of “Rock Against Religion.” For two nights, the “Duckers” put on a show that, from beginning to end, assured them all high ratings in the list of suspects when the next Inquisition makes the rounds.

The show, which consisted of a film from New York, “God’s Police;” a soap opera entitled “As the Pulpit Turns”; the skit “The Garage Sale of Consciousness”; music and madness by Mike the Kike & the Jumping Gentiles for Jesus (with special guests Mother Mary Nicotine & the Holy Smokes and singer Johnny B. God) culminated in a “Midnite MASSacre” (in which Jesus was stapled to the cross while the audience and performers sang), and was a resounding success to say the least.

The “Duckers” are threatening to do more shows, with one planned for June that will be about the media; a set of plays for when the Republican Convention comes to town (tentatively entitled: “The Famous Assassination Plays”), and a show for Labor Day called: “Why Work?”…

The seemingly endless saga of the State Police surveillance files may soon be drawing to a conclusion. In the next two months, over 38,000 past and present Michigan residents who were spied on by the “red squad” will be notified by mail (it’s nice the cops still have tabs on you, isn’t it?) and instructed on how to receive their file. A separate suit against the Detroit police red squad is still several steps behind and the disclosure of the city files is still a time off in the future. Persons who do not receive a notice by mid-Summer and think they should have or who wish information, may contact the Political Surveillance Project, National Lawyers Guild, 1035 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226 or call (313) 963-0843. The Guild is presently planning a conference of the spied upon for the Fall…

Onetime Communist Party (USA) sympathizer and now big-time city mayor, Detroit’s Coleman Young has recently been getting some extra press coverage with his views on unemployment and the federal government’s attempts at war in Iran. Sitting in his newly refurbished city office (it cost $900,000 to fix up, with carpet priced at $360 per yard) the Mayor told Detroiters that times are hard and if they can’t afford meat then they’re “just going to have to eat more beans.” But that’s not the best of Young’s most recent and more brilliant ideas. Knowing that his renaissance has hit the skids and that unemployment for young blacks in the city is somewhere around 60% (and going up), Young has come up with a not-so-unique idea to stifle potential trouble this summer—WAR!

Only hours after the news broke about Carter’s “Keystone Cops” and their aborted “rescue attempt” in Iran last April 25, Young came out in support of the President’s war act and said, “We have gone to the point of no return, and we’ll have a lot more action and less conversation… I wouldn’t see any need for lying around. I hope there is a back up plan.”

But he didn’t leave it there. Young went on to say, “Now that the die is cast, I think we ought to get it on,” and when asked by a reporter if he thought Carter should go “flat out” militarily, Young gleefully answered: “Yessir!” And the weasely CP continues to support him…

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