Fifth Estate # 77, April 17-30, 1969

Brothers and Sisters,

I’ve been watching all the shit going down around Detroit and our revolution either means we’re fighting for communism or black supremacy. I am not prejudiced, but want equality for all; not white or black supremacy.

And I’ll be damned if I’m in this revolution if it’s for communism. I wanna change the government, but not have the government change me.

What little freedom is left in America is slowly deteriorating between those who want dictatorship and/or supremacy ( power) and those who want real freedom.


Editors’ note: All of the people we struggle with are engaged in trying to bring about a revolution based on “real” freedom, so it seems we are in agreement on that.

However, what disturbs us is your talk about black supremacy and communism. Your mention of them sounds like they came out of a Detroit News editorial.

Do you know of any black organization, liberal or revolutionary, that is asking for black supremacy? We don’t. The only black groups we know of are trying to achieve the liberation of their people and we support that struggle. So should you.

Communism as it is practiced in the Eastern European countries is certainly a far cry from the system proposed by Karl Marx, a profound humanist.

Our ultimate goal, as was Marx’s is a cooperative society based on love and human needs where all governments have been abolished. Only then can Man achieve a state of total liberation.

Dear Fifth Estate,

I would like to commend you on the great paper you put out.

My present residence is the State owned and operated Maximum Security Unit for boys at Whitmore Lake.

After some scrounging around here I came up with your paper. I’ve read it about 35 times over. Believe me it’s the best “tipper” I ever ran into. It makes me feel closer to the outside and where I am that’s the best thing that can happen.

Removing a person’s freedom is the worst thing that can happen to him; worse than death.

I’m sorry to say that I must smuggle this letter out as your paper was smuggled in. Rex Dew, the director of this unit, does not want us getting “revolutionary” ideas.

Goodbye until 1970.

Name withheld

Dear Sir:

Today I happen to get hold of your way out paper. I can only say it is the most. I know your news is not water stuff and gets to the point.

Please send me the Fifth Estate so I may share it with the other GIs here. After seeing the paper one time, I hope you will keep up the good work. P.S. I am from Wayne, Michigan.

Ssgt. Kenneth Stilson
Nhatrang Air Base, Vietnam

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

I think it’s time for those of us imprisoned heads to speak up.

I’m talking about those of us in Ypsi State Hospital. Many of us have been committed by sick relatives for rebellion and doing our own thing when they are sick with the sickness of middle class values.

We are forgotten people and want to make it known that we want to help. We have made donations to Open City but we want to do more.

What can we do? We wish to take an active part in the Renaissance.

Diane Heim, Theresa Phillips
3501 Willis
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

To the Editors:

The Broadway musical “Hair” won’t be coming to Detroit unless we all get petitions to the Fisher Theatre office, Fisher Building, Detroit, 48202.

Those of us who are willing to pay and really want to see and hear the fabulous “Hair” should make our demand known. If the theatre realizes that it can make money off of “Hair” it’ll try to bring it here.


To the Editor:

Would consider it an honor if you would publish the following letter of mine:

“Many thanks to Ford, Allied Chemicals, Aurora, Great Lakes Steel, Wyandotte Chemicals, and our dear friends on Zug Island, for their generous contribution to air pollution. The view from the I-75 bridge is especially nice this season thanks to these wonderful companies.

It’s so comforting to know they care about us. Keep up the good work fellas and we’ll show how much we appreciate it by laying down our very lives in support.

A hearty cough for the good guys. May you all choke to death.

Dianne Mazurkiewicz
Wyandotte, Michigan

To the Editors:

All power to the people! I’m sick and tired of being pushed around by Big Brother. Right now Uncle Sam is presently using me as one of his pawns in the Vietnam game.

The last time I was home to Detroit the fuckin’ racist, power-drunk Detroit Police (Pigs) put the screws to me for doing nothing at all. Shit, I leave the Military State and when I go home it’s to a goddamn Police State.

To all you hip people, to all you unsatisfied freaks, say today is the day to start the revolution, not tomorrow! Get off your ass and help or prepare to live a life controlled by Big Brother and his brain police.

A change is coming—ya gotta help or you’re not for real, you’re not really what’s happening.

You freaks are lucky to be able to take an active part in the revolution. Some of us have to wait.

Come on brothers and sisters, White Panthers, Black Panthers, all of us gotta get together and show these jive-ass Big Brother pricks what’s really happening.

We got to organize or we won’t get shit. We got to get together to bring the power to the people.

Pvt. Michael Wacker

To the Editor:

I would like to make a small comment/ correction on the book review by John Sinclair of John Bain’s Informed Sources (FE #76, April 3-16, 1969).

As Sinclair emphasized the importance of revolutionary media information, it should be necessary to note, post haste, revolutionary media MIS-information.

It is possible that John Coltrane spoke of “the cleansed purpose,” but as far as I have knowledge of, the original source of the “cleansed purpose” reference comes from LeRoi Jones and a poem he wrote called “Black Dada Nihilismus” from The Dead Lecturer, Grove Press.

Black dada nihilismus, against what light/is false what breath/sucked for deadness/Murder the cleansed purpose/frail, against god, if they bring him, bleeding I would not forgive or even call him, black dada nihilismus.

If the context of Sinclair’s reference of “cleansed purpose” is compared with the context of which Jones creates, one finds a difference which is fundamental, to say the least.

Quote Sinclair, (“cleansed purpose”) the cosmic connection with the universal energy force that flows through us as we cleanse ourselves. The easy universality of “cosmic connection” versus a nightmarish and painful cry from the depths of BLACK desire.

John Sinclair, we must not just say we are “had” but must be, if this mess is to be believable.

All Power to the People!

H.W. Peters

To the Editors:

I’m a political prisoner, victimized for organizing and participating in effective human rights activities. I am now in jail having been unjustly convicted of an alleged “sale of marijuana.” I was sentenced to 30 years in the State Penitentiary.

The conviction and sentence are pending upon my appeal to the State Court of Appeals at Austin, and I’m advised it will take “one or two years” before the court can render a decision in my case.

In the meantime, I remain in jail. The courts have failed to set bail, which would allow me to remain at liberty while my appeal is pending.

The action we propose to alleviate these injustices will not only immediately benefit my crisis, but may also result in establishing legal precedents to prevent future injustices similar to mine.

Presently I am trying to arrange an all-out concerted effort to require the courts to set an appeal bond, but as matters now stand I am without funds to finance such an effort, which will involve exhausting all remedies of relief in the state courts, and proceeding to litigate through federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme if necessary.

All funds and money available to me have been exhausted in the defense of this case and the numerous other charges that were filed against me.

Any funds that you may wish to contribute should be mailed and made payable to: Mrs. Helen Johnson, P.O. Box 88012, Houston, Texas 77004.

Brother Lee Otis Johnson 3-D-2 No. 3
2310 Atascocita Road Humble,
Texas 77338