Spitball of Buddha leaflet
“The destruction of a troop transport truck or the public execution of a police torturer is more effective propaganda for the local population than a hundred speeches. Such conduct convinces them of the essential: that the Revolution is on the march, that the enemy is no longer invulnerable.”
—Regis Debray, Revolution in the Revolution
People, it seems, are taking Debray seriously. All over America, bombs have exploded at draft boards, power lines, and police stations. In several cities, blacks have set ambushes for police in the ghetto. In Cleveland three cops were snuffed in a shoot-out with black urban guerrillas.
In Detroit, a rash of bombings has occurred in the last month; two at the Woodward police station that patrols the Warren-Forest area, a Roseville draft board, an army recruiter’s car, and a St. Clair Shores school. The cops have apparently decided that the mad bomber is Dave Valler, a Fifth Estate writer and candidate for President (see Fifth Estate, May 1-15, 1968).
A front page feature story on Dave and the bombings appeared in the September 20 issue of the Detroit News.
Reporter Steve Cain visited the Fifth Estate office before doing his story and told people here that the police are anxious to pin the bombings on “hippies and the new left.” According to Cain, the police believe that the dynamitings are the work of Valler and several friends, but have no hard evidence to connect him with them. Their information came from “tips.”
Cain asked Dave whether he had any part in the bombings. Valler answered, “I could justify doing them, but I couldn’t say I did them.”
Opinion in the Warren-Forest area varied on the propriety of the acts.
Many Warren-Forest residents are apparently sympathetic to the Debray quote at the beginning of the article and have either actively participated in the bombings or have been distributing leaflets on how to do it.
“Man, people got to know that the revolution is here and now. The shit is starting to come down and our acts will spark a revolutionary consciousness among young people,” a local freak told this paper.
A leaflet passed out by the “Spitball of Buddha” in the Warren-Forest area last week gave detailed instructions on where to buy dynamite and how to rig it into a bomb. The flyer gives the mad bomber’s identity as Joshua Newton, “an acid making revolutionary from California.” It also lists the license numbers of unmarked police cars patrolling the area and advised people not to cooperate with the pigs.
Others disagree. Rick London, active in the Eldridge Cleaver for President Campaign and Students for a Democratic Society, says both groups oppose the bombings.
“While we consider the recent incidents to be a healthy development in consciousness,” he told the Fifth Estate, “and certainly directed at oppressive institutions, we don’t support any kind of individual political actions—terrorist or passive, violent or non-violent.”
“We want to see the end of oppression and the beginning of a revolutionary social movement, but we want that to come about through mass democratic action. What we encourage is positive, organized revolutionary action that has well-defined political positions and progressive goals.”
As the Fifth Estate goes to press, reports of more bombings have reached our office.
In Ann Arbor, our sister city to the West, a blast shattered the offices of the Central Intelligence Agency September 29 and blew out windows in five other offices. Firemen say that dynamite was used.
The FBI is investigating the case, but the CIA officials were unavailable for comment (which makes sense, since what is an agency chartered to operate outside of the U.S. doing with an office in ANN ARBOR?)
Other saboteurs attacked a Navy and Marine Training center September 29 in Eugene, Oregon, destroying a crane and six military vehicles. Damage was estimated at $106,000.
Related: see Editors’ Notes in this issue.