Back in School


Fifth Estate # 89, October 2-15, 1969

A coordinated black student walkout occurred on Friday, Sept. 19, in support of Ahmed Evans, a black nationalist sentenced to die in connection with a shoot-out in which 3 Cleveland pigs were iced.

Four inner-city schools were shut-down by the walkout—Murray Wright, Malcolm X (Northwestern), Northern, and Mac-Michael. Minor walkouts came off at other schools as well—Cass, Mumford, and Highland Park.

Cooley was shut down when violence erupted against black students who did not participate in the walkout. The mass of Cooley students had left for Malcolm X high where a city-wide Free Ahmed Evans rally was taking place.

Organized rightists were seen on the Cooley grounds both Friday and Monday distinguishable by their age, dress, and equipment (chains, tire irons, trucks, etc.) Many black students said that right-wingers had attempted to prevent them from walking out and that they had seen them preparing to vamp.

Once it was generated, the struggle was clearly split down racial lines. The police, community right-wingers and white students against the blacks (about 50% of the school). Most white students I talked to knew nothing of Ahmed Evans or the reasons for the walkout, nor were they aware of right-wingers on Friday.

They had reacted to the situation on simply a black vs. white level.

The heaviest fighting went down at Northern, though, where 300 to 500 blacks fought police for several hours. Accurate statistics were unavailable, but about a dozen black students were busted on very heavy charges (inciting to riot, riot, etc.) at Cooley and at least that number at Northern.

Although several white students were arrested at Cooley, none were up against heavy riot felonies. No right wingers were busted.

Some of the pig’s tactics are interesting to note here. The following Monday, parents and church people were patrolling the area to prevent further outbreaks. Several students recognized police dressed in clergy gowns and mailmen in uniforms and trucks.

The situation is still simmering and the only way that blacks will see that there are whites opposed to those right-wingers and pigs is when they help fight them. White students may have the same color skin as a racist pig or right-wing militant, but that’s a drag and it should be clear that they are victims of the same oppressive educational system and inhuman social order.

One pig said “We know you should have done this a long time ago, but take it easy for now” to a group of 50 to 75 whites massed on the white “side” on Monday. In Cooley it’s also clear that many white students are victims of the same crippling racism that has duped Americans for centuries.

Black Nationalism, Ahmed Evans and Huey Newton are examples, is cool; it’s a realistic reaction to the fact of white Amerika. When Nationalism reaches a revolutionary stage, it has defined the enemy as being the corporate rulers who call the shots. It’s their “state”, that is based upon the violence of the pigs and military.

Until then, it’s obvious why it’s an anti-white thing. There just aren’t too many whites doing anything to build a movement which can bring down this oppressive social order. In fact, most whites can be easily rallied to support the government when it comes to action against blacks. Until that situation improves, revolutionary change will be postponed.

Pride for the achievements of the white race is a sick joke. The “side” we’re on isn’t with fat white controllers who hate everything in sight. The controllers, the rulers, the “faceless administrators”, these are our enemies and their skin is white. The same thing goes for our confused brothers in Vietnam. Their enemies aren’t yellow skinned “gooks”, but the U. S. government that put them there.

Some shit came down at East Detroit High again where some vigilant “teachers” put down a protest over dress codes on Sept. 17. High School Liberation Union organizers are in touch with the scene there (Box 3782, Kercheval Station, Det.). In Dearborn a sister was suspended for not wearing a bra.

Several weeks ago, a massive bust hit Wyandotte at Roosevelt High. 112 students were busted for their hair and clothes. Now, almost all are back in, having been forced to appear Amerikan by the reactionary parent-teacher-pig network.

Dress code struggles also came down in Grosse Pointe and about 500 Birmingham Groves and Seaholm students walked out in support of teacher contract demands and student power. Students at Bentley High were suspended for handing out leaflets in a typical “Kill it! Quick” move by the board.

Motor City SDS has probably been to your school if you’re near or in Detroit. They’ve been to a lot of high schools lately and made contact with many isolated brothers and sisters. Maybe you’ve heard of some of their more notorious visits.

That thing at Osborne where the helpless teachers were “beaten-up” by “invaders.” Raps with eye-witnesses tell another story. The woman teacher who was “beaten up” was slapped in the face with a leaflet publicizing the SDS National Action in Chicago, Oct. 8-11. The other teacher tried to grab onto one of those evasive chaps and was sorely disappointed at the response.

On the whole SDS leafleting has been enthusiastically received around the city. For more info, contact SDS, 4324 Trumbull, 923-5812.

Write or call the Fifth Estate and give us the story of what has come down in your school. Leave messages care of me at our office and help us get a clear picture of what your school is about.