Len Schafer

Open letter to the people

      Open Letter

The Detroit community is getting together. Although militant demonstrations and spreading the movements’ rap are important functions, community people have initiated a number of programs needed to deal with the different levels of the People’s oppression.

To strengthen these programs, community organizations have gotten together to form the SERVE THE PEOPLE COALITION. STP was born out of an awareness of these groups that the common denominator of serving the People takes priority over minor political disagreements.

We have finally seen that we are brothers and sisters in spite of ideological differences. We finally sense that we hold much in common.

When established last year, STP had a weak, undefined structure. As issues affecting the whole community arose, it became apparent that STP would have to tighten up to deal effectively with these problems. Many cultural and political groups have attended the last two STP meetings in an effort to accomplish this.

At the meetings were representatives from Open City, Fifth Estate, Creem magazine, WABX, South End, White Panthers, Women’s News, Coop, Women’s Liberation, Gay Liberation, People Concerned About Urban Renewal, People Against Racism, Boone’s Farm Commune, Keep On Truckin’ Co-op, Mother Waddles, Universal Angels, Young Prides, United Tenants Union, SRC and UP.

The community issues that STP will be acting on include a program to deal with the Detroit ballroom music rip-offs. STP has demanded that the promo men begin to contribute to the community people by lowering their outrageous admission prices and by establishing monthly community benefits with the proceeds going to community programs. The Universal Angels, with the support of STP, have already initiated a boycott of the Eastown Ballroom to enforce these demands. Subsequently, the Eastown has lost thousands of dollars within the last couple of weeks. Eastown man Bob Begaras will come to the next STP meeting for negotiations.

At the May 5th meeting, STP mobilized to support the recent national student strike. When the Fifth Estate put together a special strike wall poster edition and the South End published daily Strike News editions, STP set up a city-wide distribution center with STP people volunteering for deliveries.

STP serves as an open forum where organizations can improve their particular community programs by offering or soliciting each others’ services.

STP will meet next on Tuesday, May 19 7:30 PM at the Unitarian Church, 4605 Cass at Forrest. The meeting will work out a clear-cut definition of the STP coalition. It’s open to all groups or individuals that are interested in getting together to Serve The People.

Open Letter

Brothers and Sisters of the Community:

We all know that there is a great need for change in the “Establishment.” That is why our culture exists and that is why it is constantly growing to encompass a larger cross-section of the People young and old.

It was inevitable right from the start that there would be those that would capitalize on our culture and since our music is a very important part in our lives, it is not surprising that our beloved rock and roll has become one of the movement institutions of the moment.

Every time we pay the exorbitant prices that the rock imperialist see fit to charge so we can hear OUR music we are helping to perpetuate that exploitation.....

Our boycott of the Eastown Ballroom is only the beginning but we need everyone’s support if we are to succeed.

The way the people can help is to simply refuse to pay the high admission prices.

If the people do this, the ballroom will have to lower their prices. This is the only way they can survive. If on the other hand the people don’t give their support we may soon be paying even higher prices to enjoy the music.

Not all the blame for the insane admissions can be laid on the ballroom owners and we realize this. The bands are as much to blame if not more, so we have to come down on them too. There is no reason why any band should charge $10,000 for two nights! If enough people let it be known that they will not stand for such ridiculous prices, perhaps we can force these capitalists, who are raping our culture, into lowering their status...

It’s not too late! We can make something out of our ballroom! Community consciousness is the key...This starts with each of us individuals and after that.. Come Together.


Fifth Estate #105, May 14–27, 1970