Black Power at The South End
“Art just pushed the shit through.”
It was with that calmly uttered statement that John Watson summed up how it was that he came to be elected the editor-in chief of the Wayne State University student newspaper, The South End.
He was referring to Art Johnston, the out-going editor, who maneuvered Watson’s election to the post. The two of them talked of their plans for the paper in a conversation with the Fifth Estate.
Dec 9, 2017
Poor People in D.C.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — It is almost like any other American city.
Resurrection City has its problems too. Mayor Ralph Abernathy and City Manager Jesse Jackson face: inadequate city funds; housing shortages; water pollution; and, a generation gap that has led to troubles with the city “police.”
But then it isn’t any other city. Resurrection City exists because the King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference decided that the survival of one-fifth of American citizens was so In peril, it had to be dramatized by bringing thousands of poor to camp on the doorstep of Congress.
Mar 26, 2018
Detroit Cops Respond to Poor: Crunch!
The King described the Poor People’s Campaign as being the last, great nonviolent movement. If tactical nonviolence met with failure in this movement, he felt, then nonviolence as a means to ends” was done for.
The Detroit Police Department seemingly tried their best, for reasons known only to them, to make nonviolence appear a rather poor tactic on Monday, May 13, when more than 6,000 persons marched to Detroit’s Cobo Hall in support of the Poor People’s Campaign The King inspired.
Mar 26, 2018
Black Day in July—one Year later
Who are the long list of names in the oceans
Who are the figures standing in the cabin doors
as the train highballs North
Who are the wailing children,
bodies ripped into bits of flesh?
I catch aspects of their profiles,
am wound around them like a serpent
grasping for life.
whose eyes are these, gouged out
mucus smeared in the red earth,
figure hanging tarred above the lynch fire?
what bodies are these crushed and maimed,
or brains kicked out on the piss pavements
of the cities?
How many aspects of truth do you need Negro leaders?
How many angles are there to any story?
Whose church was that now charred smoldering in time?
Whose mamma getting laid in the cotton patch:
Whose orishas call blood-warnings?
Whose shall die, and die, and die, and die?
Whose soul fucked on the assembly floor?
whose mind picked clean in air-conditioned offices?
whose children shot to pieces in Newark tenements?
whose blood is that efficient lackey-tom motherfuckers?
Oct 29, 2018
Visit Romantic Sweden
Marilyn Olson is a pretty, blue-eyed blonde from Stockholm, Sweden. She and her husband, Bertil, operate the Cafe Marx in Stockholm.
She is a warm and friendly woman who talks easily. And she tells stories. She speaks of “a lot of CIA agents around” her and her co-workers. She tells the story of “one fellow who was hiding in a closet for three months” in Japan.
Dec 12, 2019
The grapes of wrath
“A serious error is being made in Latin America: Where the inhabitants depend almost exclusively on the products of the soil for their livelihood, the educational stress, contradictorily, is on urban rather than farm life; and the happiest people are the ones whose children are well-educated and instructed in philosophy; whose sentiments are directed into noble channels.”
Apr 28, 2021
Strike at S.F. State
“There has had to be an escalation on this campus.”
—S.I. Hayakawa, President, San Francisco State College
We live in a MacLuhanesque age. The world is our village, its inhabitants are all as close as the nearest TV screen.
California, and most especially, switched on San Francisco, are where it’s all at—right?
Jul 25, 2021
“I Was Just Doing My Job”
One of the hazards of youthful ferment seems to be paranoia. Second is pessimism. “Everybody’s against us, and things are going to just get worse.”
This is a story that won’t relieve those feelings.
A military court, on January 12, in Munich, Germany, has acquitted an Army sergeant of the charge of mistreating stockade prisoners. Sgt. Wesley A. Williams a 24-year-old Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, man was exonerated after his lawyer pleaded that he only carried out lawful orders.
Jul 27, 2021
The Chicago Conspiracy
CHICAGO—The repression that many have forecast may have come.
On September 9, 1968, Judge William J. Campbell charged a 23-man grand jury with the job of investigating the violence in the streets of Chicago that occurred during the week of the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Last week the grand jury, in a remarkable political balancing act, returned indictments against 17 persons: eight Chicago police; eight persons allied with the movement; and, one member of the fourth estate, a suspended NBC News executive.
May 6, 2022
The New Bethel Incident
Members of the Black United Front mass on the steps of the Old County Building on April 3 in one of the many demonstrations of support for Judge George W. Crockett. During the day over 3,000 persons took part in pro-Crockett picket lines at Recorder’s Court, Police Headquarters, and the City-County Building. White organizations such as the Ad Hoc Group and People Against Racism gave inter-racial support to the embattled judge. Photo by Gerald Simmons.
Jun 3, 2022
Controversy Continues in New Bethel
The central argument in the New Bethel Incident is over the administration of law in Detroit’s Recorder’s Court. [See The New Bethel Incident, FE #77, April 17–30, 1969.]
This was underscored by what transpired during the pre-trial examinations of two suspects in the shooting of Patrolman Richard E. Worobec outside the New Bethel Baptist Church on March 29.
Jun 15, 2022
Justice in Detroit
A second man has been ordered to stand trial in the March 29 wounding of Patrolman Richard E. Worobec outside the New Bethel Baptist Church on Linwood.
Clarence J. Fuller, of Detroit, was bound over for trial on a charge of assault with intent to commit murder by Recorder’s Court Judge Joseph A. Gillis. Fuller and the first man due to stand trial in the New Bethel Incident, Alfred Hibbitt, also of Detroit, have been both accused of wounding Worobec.
Jun 23, 2022
Algiers Murder Trial
While the rest of the “Motor city was Burning,” to paraphrase the MC5, ironically to the tune of “Light My Fire,” the annex of the former Algiers Motel was quiet. Guests were sleeping, “eating hot dogs” and “listening to music.”
It was quiet until the authorities arrived.
When the authorities left, there remained behind the bodies of three black youths—all of them shot to death. All of the other guests had been beaten—two white girls, “caught” in the company of black men, had been stripped naked and severely beaten.
Feb 7, 2019
City Unit Blasts Police
The Establishment press and the Detroit Police Department have been blasted in a report on the New Bethel Incident done by the Detroit Commission on Community Relations (CCR).
The eight-page staff report is sharply critical of the manner in which the news media reported on the actions of Recorder’s Court Judge George W. Crockett Jr. The CCR also blasted the response of police both during and after the March 29 shootings of two policemen outside the New Bethel Baptist Church.
Feb 7, 2019
A rose, is a rose, is a rose, is a rose.
And a racist judge is, in fact, a racist judge.
This is how attorneys for Kenneth Cockrel developed their case that the young black attorney should not be cited for contempt of Detroit Recorder’s Court.
Cockrel was ordered to show cause why he should not be cited for contempt after he accused Recorder’s Court Judge Joseph E. Maher of being “a criminal judge violating the law.” The remarks came following the April 19 pre-trial examination for Alfred Hibbitt, accused of assault with intent to murder in the shooting of Patrolman Richard E. Worobec outside the New Bethel Baptist Church March 29.
Mar 20, 2019
Trial Ends in Algiers Motel Case
Suspended Detroit Patrolman Ronald August took the witness stand and told the jury at his trial that he killed 19-year old Auburey Pollard in self-defense.
August, who is white, admitted killing the black youth with a single blast from a shotgun on July 26, 1967 in the Algiers Motel.
Under examination by his Detroit Police Officers Association (DPOA) supplied defense attorney, Norman Lippitt, August carefully told his version of the killing that occurred during the height of the rebellion that began on July 23.
Apr 2, 2019
New Bethel Eye Witness
Exclusive to the Fifth Estate
An eye-witness to the New Bethel Incident has given the Fifth Estate an account of the shootings that contradicts both official police versions, and testimony of prosecution witnesses in two court cases.
Max Hardeman, a legal researcher on the staff of Neighborhood Legal Services (NLS), told this newspaper that he and his wife, Cynthia, saw the fatal shooting of Patrolman Michael J. Czapski on the night of March 29, outside the New Bethel Baptist Church.
Apr 3, 2019
Justice—The people must take it
“In areas where our people are the constant victims of brutality, and the government seems unable or unwilling to protect them, we should form rifle clubs that can be used to defend our lives and our property in times of emergency...When our people are bitten by dogs, they are within their rights to kill those dogs.”
Apr 13, 2019