Cass Technical High

Sat Feb 23 22:44:23 MST 2002

> I worked at Wayne State University from 1972 to 1974, then hung around Detroit
> for the next ten years.  I got to know some of the folks who were out of Cass
> Tech, People Against Racism, League of Revolutionary Black Workers,
> etc.  Collectively they were an impressive lot, so much so that I returned in
> the early 90s to track them down and interview them for a book which became
> "Detroit Lives" (Temple University Press, 1994).
> Among the interviewees was Mike Hamlin:
>       "But then I met John Watson, and through him I began to feel that maybe a
> terrorist act, no matter how large, would not accomplish that much.  And maybe
> there could be a greater impact by organizing people and focusing on the
> working class.  It was through him that I began to understand classes and class
> society.  Watson was, is, a super intellectual, a genius." (pg 85)
> John Watson was institutionalized at the time, so I never met him.  But he,
> like so many others in Detroit who I spent time with, who gravitated around
> Wayne State, represented some of the very best of the left.  They were solid
> and honest, and  changed my life.
> Bob Mast

(This is the first version of the article that I tought was lost and hit the wrong button and it reappeared)

I am going to look up your book. The most serious error the various groups of people in Detroit committed, was no summing up our history. Frank Joyce was the center of People Against Racism and remains a wonderful man. Mike Hamilin was extrmely angry and had come out of the armed forces prepared to use his newly acquired skills. I was a kid and loved Mike as a mentor - without the skills he acquired of which I was shielded from. Local 600 of the UAW (autoworkers union) held a retirement benefit for Mike back in November 2000 - and Detroit is strange, because the labor aristocracy shows up (which I was part of) along with every element of society. General Baker made a presentation.

Mike Hamilin has the unique quality of a personality that allows him to unite any sections of the population around a cause. You interviewed him and could not have escaped this incredible capacity of which I lack sorely. I was trained in the propaganda apparatus to explain whatever you say clearer. 

The was of course Ken Cockrel who left the armed forces with a security clearence for nuclear weapons or something and a brilliant attorney. Ron Glotta - another attorney, whose contributions were boundless, managed to establish a reputation for doing the impossible. Ron is getting old and has made a committment to himself and loved one to cut back on work dramatically and do no more than 60 hours a week. 

Currently someone us are in contact with Edna Watson - John Watson first wife, and made a committement to pour through Wayne States Labor Archives and pull together a piece of the history by labor day this year and reproduce much of this in the form of the old "Inner City Voice." In maybe 90 days we will offer for sell the book "Detroit I Do Mind Dying" - which is the "standard" text for this period of history The book sells for $18  and we are looking at offering it by mail for $20 (postage included)and using the money from the discount to produce something that will make everyone feel younger. 

Writing or fighting is not a contradiction but it kills your time. 

Thanks for the wonderful comments and yea we crazy in Detroit - 100% proletariat, and love us some intellectual on the side of the proletariat. We like smart people who can look at things from various sides. 

Joe F


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