Fall Offensive: Detroit

by

Fifth Estate # 90, October 16-29, 1969

The Fall Offensive has now been launched on a scale more massive than anyone anticipated with the strikes, rallies, marches, and other activities that swept Detroit and the entire country on Oct. 15. These are however, only a prelude to the November phase of the offensive.

Organization is now under way for the International Student Strike called for Nov. 14th, where the goal is the shutdown of every high school and college in the nation, with similar strikes throughout the world.

October 15th proved that no one has been duped by Nixon’s desperate “withdrawal” and draft moratorium jive. In the midst of the torrent of bullshit from the White House, the largest demonstration in history will hit Washington D.C. on Nov. 15th.

The Student Mobilization Committee, which has initiated the strike call for Nov. 14th and was the spearhead for most of the actions on Oct. 15th has chapters in many of the high schools and colleges in the Detroit area with new ones being formed every day.

Regional meetings of the Student Mobe are held at 1:30 every Saturday at 5705 Woodward, in the old Newman Hall.

One of the purposes of the meetings is to help those who do not have an antiwar organization in their school or on their campus to establish a recognized Student Mobilization Committee. The collective experience of those who have a committee already going is applied to find ways of overcoming the many obstacles that are thrown up by reactionary school administrations, especially when a strike is being organized.

Different kinds of preliminary activities that can serve as effective preparation for the strike will be run down. Basic propaganda techniques necessary for successful organizing will be discussed, such as how to build for a mass meeting, what constitutes effective leaflet, poster and banner formats, use of the school newspapers and underground papers, etc.

One of the perpetual difficulties every group will face is getting money. Joint fund raising ventures, as well as methods appropriate to the individual SMC’s, will be worked out for the coming months.

A good example of what the SMC can do is what has happened at Wayne State.

Pessimism has long been characteristic of many of Wayne’s radicals regarding the possibility of providing effective organizational expression for the anti-war sentiment on campus. That has been plowed under by the tremendous success of the SMC in organizing the October 15 strike, which involved thousands of students and faculty that had never done anything before.

Weekly SMC meetings attract an average of 200 students, and they don’t come simply to hear a Vietnam rap. They are serious about getting down to the business of mobilizing the entire student body for the Fall Offensive. The Wayne SMC now has an office in Room 350 of the New Student Center where everyone from Wayne who wants to help with the work should go.

Not only are students and faculty in motion on an unprecedented scale, but campus workers are as well. At a recent convention of Council No. 7 of the A.F.S.C.M.E. they passed a resolution for immediate withdrawal of all troops and material from Vietnam. The resolution was introduced by the Wayne Local No. 52.

The Detroit Coalition To End The War Now, which was formed in response to the Fall Offensive, involves more than 30 affiliated organizations with an office and staff at 5705 Woodward. They will be making arrangements for bus transportation to Washington, which will cost about $15 for high school students and $21 for everyone else.

They are attempting to get over 80 busses, have already chartered a plane, and are checking into getting a train.

The Coalition will also be putting out a lot of publicity on the strike and the Washington march and will be organizing mass rallies in the coming month. They will be concentrating their efforts on broadening participation to organized labor and other sectors of the population and on raising funds to subsidize high school students. Their phone is 873-4322.

The Vietnamese revolution and the antiwar movement ground Johnson into the dust. The movement not only prevented Washington’s warmongers from further escalating American aggression, but forced them to reckon with it and its potential for growth as a major political threat.

It is Nixon’s turn, and the fool is fast painting himself into a corner as each tidbit of tokenism backfires in his face and generates more opposition to the Wall Street hustlers’ war.

The Fall Offensive will be digging his political grave. The mass actions in the streets this fall will lead up to the point where with the mass participation of GI’s and organized labor, it will be impossible to rule this country unless all the troops are brought home immediately!

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