Letters

by

Fifth Estate # 74, March 5-19, 1969

 

Dear friends,

Just wanted to let you know how much I, and many of my friends who read the paper, dig the poems you’ve been printing lately, especially Diane DiPrima’s.

I always say that a good anarchistic poem is worth a thousand MC-5 jams since very few of the 5’s songs have any revolutionary message to them while the poems have a lot. I can now see William Leach’s point that music isn’t revolution.

What I’m trying to figure out now is what John Sinclair means when he says that the MC-5 is the revolution! I don’t see much revolting happening when J.C. Crawford comes out on stage and says that he wants “…to hear a little revolution out there…” or by a lot of people raising their hands and hooting.

If the 5 and their associates had any of the guts they’re always urging other people to get down and use, they’d get down themselves and use the guts Dave Valler used, or was said to have conspired to use, not just talk about using them.

As Claude McKay said in his poem, “If We Must Die,” written in 1922, and I quote:

“Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack

“Pushed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!”

Fighting back, MC-5, not just kicking out the jams.

Robert Ihleifeldt
Detroit

Sirs:

Terrorism, sabotage, etc. will not, at least at this time, advance the fight for peace and social justice.

The only reasonable strategy is issue-oriented organizing consistent with both democratic and socialist ideals.

Joe Kott
Sterling Heights

Friends,

I received your “flyer” the other day, and let me say many thanks. It was very refreshing and provided a release from the propaganda we are bombarded with by the “Stars and Stripes.”

Note: I don’t say a pleasant relief. After reading the entire paper I detect a very strong militancy, and a seeming subtle expression of desire for open warfare against the “man.”

It is my opinion that any institution that is or can be conceived by man begins to deteriorate from its “birth,” so to speak.

Using this theory as a basis, I believe that any nation, government, or reform won by violence can only be bad and lacking in tolerance and human understanding as our nation and government are today. A nation born in violence will generate violence and will decay because of oppression which is a by-product of violence.

I can condone retaliation if the man is trying to mash you at a rally, demonstration or whatever. I have a fairly good idea of what self-preservation is having spent six months in the field in Vietnam.

Advocating armed confrontation with the minions of the establishment will only hurt many people needlessly and serve as the weapon to kill tolerance as each side hardens in the righteousness of its goals.

At present I’m supporting the local underground press in my home area. It’s called “Love” in Reno, Nevada. The heat is really on them.

Reluctant Warrior

Billy T. Britton
Vietnam

To the Editors:

Where, oh where, could 600 1959 Graduates of Mumford High School have gone???

Please help us find them!!

They can reach the Reunion Committee simply by writing:

Mumford Class of 1959
P.O. Box 314
College Park Station
Detroit, Michigan 48221

Larry Benjamin
Research Committee

Good People,

We read in your Feb. 6-19 issue about the different underground publications [“Read All About It!,” FE #72, February 6 – 19, 1969].

We at Counterpoint have put together an Underground Press Directory which lists 352 publications. We sell it for a buck. The profits (small as they are) help support the struggling underground press of northern Wisconsin.

Just thought you and your readers would like to know about the Directory.

Peace,

Counterpoint
P.O. Box 396
Stevens Point, Wis. 54481

Dear Friends,

I am a young Czech poet. Together with some of young Czech literary critics, poets, painters and film-makers I am publishing an avantgarde magazine called SESITY.

Our situation here in Czechoslovakia is at present, during the Soviet occupation quite difficult—it’s very hard for us to obtain information on what’s going on in contemporary world’s literary, film, music underground movement.

That’s why I’d like to ask you to send us your magazine. Unfortunately Czech currency is not convertible in the West so the only thing I can offer you for exchange is sending you similar Czech avantgarde materials. English summary included where necessary.

Miloslav Topinka
Prague 7, Havanska 14

To the Editors:

Just thought I’d drop a line to you people to let you know that your rag is read in Vietnam, too. I can remember when it was only six or eight pages long back during the good ole Belle Isle love-in and before when I was still free.

Thought you might be interested in hearing about the one good thing the war in ‘Nam is doing, and that’s turning thousands of squares into hard-core heads.

It’s really great to turn people on to something so nice for the first time.

I’ve been here over a year now and I feel I’m qualified to make a fairly accurate appraisal of how extensive the smoking of grass really is and believe me, it’s plenty extensive! The brass are plenty uptight about it but there’s not too much they can do ’cause so many NCO’s and officers smoke too.

The really good thing about all these people turning on is that it won’t be too damn long and there’ll be plenty of public pressure for the legalization of grass which is what we all want. (Except for the pushers!)

I’m sure you know about our underground paper, the Vietnam GI, which is printed out of Chi-town. It really tells it like it is and how it is to be in this fucked-up Army.

A lot of the lifers over here are really down on anyone suspected of being a head so we always have to expect constant harassment. If a lifer finds an underground paper, they immediately tear it up or just keep it and your name mysteriously appears on a duty roster.

Believe me, the brain police really make life in the Army a bad trip. Staying stoned is the only way to keep your mind together.

While I was home on leave I learned that my old Alma Mater, Clarenceville High, out in Livonia, has banned the Fifth Estate in school. They always were behind the times, but I ask you, how can people receive a liberal education, a good education, when Big Brother will only let the kids see what Big Brother wants the kids to see.

How long can this go on? Here I am, ten thousand miles from home, fighting to prevent one country from forcing their ideology on another (at least that’s what Big Brother wants us to believe) and at home the neighborhood kids can’t even read Detroit’s only honest newspaper.

One of these days people are going to tire of the brain police and the lies and the suppression and the whole rotten apple and Big Brother is going to have some explaining to do.

Peace and Love to all my brothers & sisters in Detroit.

Pvt. Michael Wacker

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