East Side Violence


Fifth Estate # 9, June, 1966

On Tuesday, May 3, 1966. Thomas L. Baker, a 16 year old black youth was shot and wounded while entering the office of the Afro-American Youth Movement (A.A.Y.M.), formerly known as the Adult Community Movement for Equality, at 9211 Kercheval on Detroit’s East Side.

This incident is only one of a long series of violent acts directed at the A.A.Y.M., as well as A.C.M.E. The A.A.Y.M. has been in existence for approximately three months. In that time, burning rags have been thrown through the rear office window, a bomb has been tossed through the front window, and a shotgun blast at the office in the middle of the night.

All of the incidents have been reported to the police. To date, no one has been apprehended. A spokesman for the A.A.Y.M., Alvin Harrison said, “The fact that none of the nightriders has been apprehended points out clearly what has been historically true: The police department is not in the black community to protect the lives and property of black people, but rather to harass, insult, beat and even murder blacks at will to protect the lives and property of whites who steal the black community blind and get out before nightfall. Both the nightriders and the police appear to have one aim: kill anything that represents a threat to the system.

Asked what the group planned to do to forestall any further incidents, Mr. Harrison said, “We intend to take any steps necessary to protect the members of this organization, as well as the black community.”