More Bombs in Ann Arbor


Fifth Estate # 81, June 12-25, 1969

ANN ARBOR—Bombs are exploding in Michigan again.

On June 1 unknown persons destroyed an Army officer’s car, blew a hole in the University of Michigan ROTC building and shattered 40 windows in the structure. No one was injured.

This was the third bombing in Ann Arbor since last fall. The local CIA headquarters was bombed in September and a research institute that helped develop the tracking device that pinpointed Che Guevara in Bolivia was hit in October.

All of the Ann Arbor bombings have gone unsolved.

Seven Detroit people including Dave Valler charged with conspiracy to blow up several Detroit area sites have had their trial postponed until September.

There is no longer any need to explain that SDS stands for Students for a Democratic Society.

In the minds of police, college administrators, and government officials these initials spell anarchy and lawlessness.

In recent weeks the general public has been treated in the media to the latest SDS plot. Fresh from creating chaos on the nation’s campuses these young revolutionaries are now about to bring their mischief-making into the factories of America.

The Fifth Estate talked to organizers of the SDS Summer Project to find out what their plans are. For political reasons we were asked not to use the names of the persons we spoke to.

According to SDS people their efforts in Detroit will be aimed at laying the groundwork for a city-wide youth movement that reaches throughout schools, community and work places of young people.

The group emphasizes that its intention is not to attempt to organize workers. Instead of getting factory jobs to reach industrial workers, SDS sees young people as the most potentially organizeable group among the working class and plans to get jobs that will put their organizers in touch with them.

According to one project worker, “There should be no illusions about the importance of a job. The summer project is not a work-in: our goal is neither to ‘organize in the shops’ nor primarily to ‘study the oppressive conditions of the workers.’ We’re a political project involved in building a fighting movement among working class youth.”

They plan on building this movement through six organizing collectives. The collectives are divided into high schools, colleges, streets, labor, women, and GI’s.

The high school and colleges collective will follow up contacts, start SDS chapters, develop literature and work out programs so by Fall every school in Detroit will have a functioning SDS chapter.

The “streets” organizing will be centered around reaching young guys, in bars, gangs, drive-ins, and pool halls.

The labor collective will deal with ways in which SDS can reach young workers and how SDS, as a youth movement, can relate to the struggles of industrial workers.

In Detroit this has special significance because of the spectacular growth of radical black caucuses in the shops.

The link between the San Francisco State strike and the Richmond oil workers as well as the Sterling-Garwood wildcats in Michigan have shown the possibility of concrete links between youth and industrial workers.

As both the citywide youth movement grows in power, and more wildcats and strikes occur, this will be an especially important part of a developing city movement.

The GI group will be involved in leafleting bases, airports, the induction centers, and armories. It will develop literature and ways of talking to soldiers about not only the conditions inside the army, but about capitalism and imperialism.

A collective of women organizing around the special oppression of women will also be put together. In capitalism women face both special oppression as women, and class exploitation.