Underground Incorporated


Fifth Estate # 53, May 1-15, 1968

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 10 (Liberation News Service) — Two editors of LNS were busted on narcotics charges yesterday in the culmination of a series of arrests of Area radicals on petty charges during the worst days of the urban insurrection here.

Martin A. Jezer and Ray Mungo were charged with possession of marijuana after a small packet of the stuff was allegedly found under the back seat of the 1953 Cadillac hearse in which they were riding. Marshall Bloom, Craig Spratt, Bill Robinson, Jezer, Mungo, and Larry Dean, Peter Novick, and Austin Pyne of the Washington Free Press have all been arrested once or more for violation of curfew charges, despite their press credentials.

“I’m a political activist, not a dope fiend. You won’t find me near that awful, addicting weed. I know the demonic powers it holds,” Mungo was heard to observe upon being released in $500 bond. “What do you expect from a hearse?” Jezer chimed in.

Civil liberties lawyers in the area are considering lodging official protests over repeated arrests of accredited journalists during the curfew hours.

NEW ORLEANS, La., (LNS) — H. Rap Brown, chairman of SNCC, was taken from Orleans Parish Prison, where he has been held prisoner for more than a month, to Richmond, Va. March 27 for a hearing.

Brown is under $100,000 bond on a string of charges, for allegedly inciting to riot and on several occasions traveling without police/ court authorization. His removal to New Orleans followed a Feb. 18 trip to his lawyer, William Kunstler, in San Francisco. Brown was accused of violating bond conditions through the trip.

He is also under indictment for allegedly intimidating a black FBI agent Feb. 21 at a hearing in New Orleans.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., (Liberation News Service) — Both editors of the Florida Free Press were arrested in their homes today by Palm Beach County Vice Squad police for publishing an allegedly obscene cartoon. Romeo Rivard, 26, and Ron Simpson, 24, haven’t been able to leave county jail all day as their bond is $2,000 each and local supporters are just beginning to raise the money.

The arrests came at 5 p.m. today, but by midnight all of the other staff members were in hiding as police had surrounded the home of the Free Press business manager, and speculation was that every member of the editorial board was scheduled for arrest.

This witch-hunt began with a comic strip which had “a few four-letter words and a woman’s buttock,” according to Tom Wykoss of the Free Press staff. The cartoon in question appeared in issue number three, March 14.

Late tonight, the Palm Beach chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union had expressed “interest” in the case of the underground editors, but would not commit itself to their defense, Wykoss said.

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 29 (Liberation News Service) — The U.S. has dropped more than 100,000 tons of napalm on Vietnam, since 1963, figures here revealed last week. 55,000 tons were dropped in 1966 alone, the Defense Dept. reported March 18. This compares with 32,000 tons in the three years of Korean fighting.

Last year, the U.S. spent just under $3 million a month in napalm orders. Tons dropped per year: 1963, 2,181; 1964, 1,777; 1965, 17,659; 1966, 54,620.

Baltimore, Md., April 16 (LNS) — Rev. Philip Berrigan, Rev. James Mengel, Thomas Lewis and David Eberhardt, the four anti-war protesters who poured blood on the selective service files in the U.S. Customs House in Baltimore October 27, were today found guilty of mutilating government property.

A federal jury deliberated for two hours before handing down guilty verdicts on three counts against each of the defendants. Prosecuting attorney, Stephen H. Sachs, had argued that crimes may not be committed because they are “morally or religiously motivated.” The defendants admitted on the witness stand that they did pour blood on the draft files. But they contended that their action was “absolutely proper in the American way.”