Fifth Estate # 69, December 26, 1968-January 8, 1969


Dear Fifth Estate,

Due to a surprising thing to come, I wish to cancel my subscription.

I’m on a heavy cruiser off the DMZ (Vietnam) coast. On 18 Jan. 1969 the ship returns to the United States and I am to be released from active duty.

Upon my return home to Detroit I will again be in the groove. This will enable me to buy the Fifth Estate at my local hangouts. Thus, I won’t need your subscription at my current address.

Your paper was worth every cent and thanks and a great future to a great paper! I’m coming home!

USS Canberra

Editors’ Note: Thanks for the nice words and congratulations on your return. We wish all of our servicemen readers a Season’s greetings, peace, and a speedy return home.

To whom it may concern:

In response to Richard Trombley’s letter [FE #67, November 28-December 11, 1968] I would like to say that essentially your message has not changed.

As paradoxical as it may appear, peace and love and violent revolution are not so far removed from one another as Trombley would have us believe. As Che Guevara said, “…the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.”

As for peace, it cannot be obtained either inwardly or outwardly until conditions exist, social, economic and political, that are conducive to the free development of peoples. Few people can now “do their thing” because of the uptight position the establishment has put them in.

So when you say violent revolution now, it is with the understanding that peace and love will follow.

In the spirit of Che
Marc Standish

P.S. Could you please tell me where I can get in touch with the White Panthers?

Editors’ Note: All inquiries about the White Panther Party should be sent to 1510 Hill St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Phone: (313) 769-2017.

To the Editor:

The Fifth Estate has had several articles giving advice on survival during prolonged guerrilla war and its aftermath. I just stumbled on a book in the Detroit Hubbard branch library that gives additional advice.

No time to write a full review, so a few words: it’s The Book of Survival by Anthony Greenbank, $5.95 from Harper & Row, 49 East 33rd St., N.Y. 10016, if your library fails you.

Greenbank calls it a “textbook for non-heroes” and he did not have in mind guerrilla war; much of the book deals with survival in traditional emergencies, like plane and car crashes, cave-ins and capsized boats.

But it also contains tightly written facts on distinguishing edible plants, trapping animals, building shelter, warding off attacks by packs of abandoned dogs, etc. For example, one test for edible plants is “1) Plant must not irritate skin/smell/have milky juice; 2) Bite off small piece; 3) Hold piece inside lower lip for five minutes; 4) Eat this if no soapy/bitter/ burning taste; 5) If no ill effects within ten hours, plant is safe.”

Immediately helpful are such tips as how to fall (say if the pigs are shoving you off a porch), how to keep yourself on top of a panicked crushing mob by bouncing like a buoy on top, and how to ward off an attacking honkie, say at Cobo Hall.

Skip the sections on nuclear war, which seem ironically naive if you’ve seen The War Game or any realistic account of your actual chances of survival. However, the book can be helpful in living through the more difficult phases of even the complete overhaul of the system for which we’re fighting.

Carol Schmidt

Dear Sir:

I have received your paper THE FIFTH ESTATE since you began as a protest against the war. You did an excellent job. I have continued to enjoy your coverage of social problems that exist and the few editorials that you have.

But this is not enough. I get the feeling of being in a quagmire. I sincerely believe that if the MOVEMENT is to accomplish what it started out to do we are going to have to stay on the revolutionary (or if you wish, evolutionary) path.

I think that over-emphasis on sex and sex deviates only preoccupies and deters the oppressed of us who want to work for a change in the economic and social structure. This over-emphasis acts to divert the efforts of the MOVEMENT.

I’m not for stopping sex, don’t misunderstand, but I do believe you are wasting your daylight hours! Isn’t that what the perpetrators of CAPITALISM want you to do?

Religion in this generation has lost its effect as an opiate, so what does the ESTABLISHMENT do, but legalize smut! They don’t care what the opiate is, as long as it works. You can’t dispute that.

Mrs. Evelyn Chaffee
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

To the Editors:

Except for your sudden affinity to Scope Magazine, the weirdest thing to appear in the Fifth Estate in some time was John Watson’s defense of the unions at the Detroit News [“The News Gets Ready,” FE #68, December 12-25, 1968].

I can’t imagine a Black man, like Watson, or your paper, coming to the aid of the Teamsters and the other fat-cat “workers” at the News. If nothing else, I’m certain that the high-paid union people at the News can take care of themselves.

However, Watson should be reminded that it is the unions (such as one finds at the News) that have done the most damage to Black workers.

These are the same cats who won’t print the Inner City Voice; who won’t let Blacks in the union; who won’t put up with anything “un-American;” and who probably voted, almost to a man, for George Wallace.

If Watson and the Fifth Estate want to bleed for the “poor workers,” I suggest you get up some morning about 5 am and watch the “slave market” that takes place on Eight Mile Road. It is there that you will see the real workers of this town begging for a chance to dig a ditch.

In short, Watson’s PR work for the unions is the most mindless thing I have ever read.

Thomas Haroldson
Lafayette Plaisance