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January 27, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-01-27

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sI1L £imigan Daitj
Seventy-nne years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

Will repression dominate our society?

'0 Mcynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of stoff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

JDAY, JANUARY 25, 1970


NiX on toxins

[EDITOR'S NOTE: The author is a student
involved in organizing a conference on re-
pression which will take place this week-
ON DEC. 4, 1969, police staged an early
morning raid on t h e apartment of
Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois
chapter of the Black Panther Party. The
resulting deaths of Fred Hamptoti a n d
Mark Clark dramatically raised for many
people the growing specter of repression.
Today, repression is taking its most ac-
tive forms against liberal dissent, the black
community, a n d radical activity. Of
course, it is not surprising that repression
appears in societies. We know that there
is a broad range of unacceptable behavior
which any society will not tolerate. What
needs to be seen, therefore, is the nature
of the repression taking place - who is
doing what to whom, and for what reas-
ons - and the meaning that repression
has for the country and for us.
Within the United States, no organiza-
tion has been the victim of repression as
consistently or intensely as the Black Pan-
ther Party, The liberties which American
citizens can ordinarily rely on for protec-
tion -police regulations of due proceEs,
restrictions on courts concerning no "ex-
cessive or unusual" punishment - have-
been stripped from the members of the
Black Panther Party.

CHILE THE nation looks on with some-
thing less than awe for the wonders
science, President Nixon is pondering
s foreign policy thumper: Are bac-
iological toxins biological or chem-
And not surprisingly as U.S. foreign
icy decisions go, the question-and the
imate answer-are magnificently ir-
Even for scientists the problem is noth-
' more than a question of nomencla-
'e, the rhetoric of the test tube twirl-
set.. Toxins, the non-reproducing
isons created by bacteria, are biological
origin and chemical in their non-con-
gious behavior.
So what? For one thing, Nixon agreed
ban biological weapons last year, and
toxins fall into this category they
ould go, too. But, if they are simply
asidered chemicals which, like their
eterial parents, happen to be poison-
s, then perhaps toxins should continue
be stockpiled.
OMPLICATING the bio-chemical ques-
tion is the proposed Senate ratifica-
n of the Geneva Protocol of 1925 which
ris initiation of gas or germ warfare.
The problem is that the President has
ade it clear. that teargas and herbi-

cides-mainstays of the U.S. material in
Vietnam-will not be affected by rati-
fication of the protocol.
To make matters worse, Nixon has at
the same time agreed to support a British
treaty banning use, production and stock-
piling of bacteriological weapons. And
the British have interpreted the treaty to
include toxins as bacteriological weapons.
None of this, of course, fits together
very neatly. But as some see it, continued
stockpiling of toxins would offset to dip-
lomatic g a i n s of ratifying the two
APPARENTY as bewildered as anyone,
Nixon ran the toxin question through
the bureaucracy and back came these
conclusive recommendations:
-Maintain the option of toxin produc-
tion; or,
-Eliminate current production, which
is possible only with live bacteria, but
keep open the possibility of synthetic
production should it become possible; or
-Eliminate toxin production entirely.
Given these options, Nixon can hardly
make the wrong choice. In the end, the
world will be ,safe from all harm-with
the possible exceptions of teargas, herbi-
cides, U.S. troops and Nixonian diplomacy.


There is an undeclared war against the
party which reinforces their conception of
the black community as a colony within
America in which any insurgent declara-
tions of independence from American po-
litical and economic control will be crush-
ed by any means necessary.
A YEAR AGO, the FBI announced that
the Panthers were the greatest threat to
the internal security of the United States.
Since then, the party has been repeatedly
harassed by 1 a w enforcement agencies.
Many "raids" have been staged on Pan-
ther offices throughout the nation - the
Los Angeles and Chicago incidents being
the most recent. A female Panther being
held in a Conneticut maxium security pris-
on had to be guarded while she gave birth
to her child.
Over half of the 22 p a r t y members
charged with conspiracy in New York had
no previous criminal record, yet bail was
posted at $100,000 each. While waiting in
jail in San Francisco Bobby Seale w a s
placed in solitary confinement for posses-
sing "contraband papers," which turned
out to be Black Panther documents given
him by his attorney, Charles Gary.
Presently, one half of the Justice De-
partment budget goes to the FBI. The
conflict over priorities within the Justice
Department was made evident in early No-
vember when there were numerous resig-
nations in the Civil Rights division. At-

Pentagon, arms manufacturers of all
kind, and universities.
Another major aspect of the plan, which
will be designed to garner electoral sup-
port from the divergent Republican con-
stituencies, concentrates on the open re-
pression of "disruptive members of the so-
ciety," and the continued stagnation and
frustration of social programs.
Both black and white left-radical poli-
tical activities, outside of electoral politics.
will be repressed with force on many levels.
An increasingly authoritarian govern-
ment will blame political organizers for
the disruption of society, instead of recog-
nizing those features of the social struc-
ture, including racism, poverty, and sex-
ism, which are responsible for social ten-
Furthermore, no great efforts will be
made by executive officials either to impli-
ment integration, or to bring real relief to
the poor.
THE PLAN RELIES heavily on the back-
lash of white sentiment against blacks,
activists, and corporate liberals - or "lib-
eral communists" as Mrs. Mitchell calls
them. The politics of scapegoating breed
political actions and policies within gov-
ernment which will aggravate social prob-
The trend of the "Southern Strategy"-
which Julian Bond correctly calls a "strat-
egy for the nation as a whole" - is to
maintain a highly integrated repressive
system, along w i t h existing corporation
priorities, while relying on further manip-
ulation of public opinion, surveillance and
coercion at many levels.
The economy, and ,the society as a"
whole, are in a time of crisis. The status
quo is becoming more difficult to maintain
in the face of an ecological breakdown, ur-
ban decay and growing social inequities.
Radical social protest will continue to de-
velop out of those social problems. Into
the context of rising demands for social
change, the Nixon government, along with
other policing and social institutions, will
continue to use radicals and 'liberals as
scapegoats for deepening social problems.
THIS BRINGS US back to the issue of
repression. For the time being, in Ameri-
can society, the current repression will
serve to stave off social changes and will
enable a more authoritarian political sys-
tem to develop.
For those who are concerned about re-
pression, there are a number of tasks at
hand. We must stress the fact that the 1-
legal and violent repression of the Black
Panther Party not only smashes a legiti-
mate political organization, but sets into
motion a very dangerous, and anti-human
police apparatus. Next, we must reaffirm
the fact that the problems of the social
system, the contradictions within it, are
the source for our present instability -
not those who are being repressed.

The first circle

'HE DEPRESSING monotony w i t h
which the course of human events
odded on yesterday could only arouse
e observer to sigh and wish for the re-
f of no news at all.4
From Saigon to Cincinnati the n e w s
as uniformly miserable.
In South Vietnam, President Thieu ex-
led the merits -of his regime two days
ter a military ,court sentenced a stu-
nt to five years at hard labor for com-
sing anti-war songs.
The student,-Phan Van Thang was ac-
sed of :"acts which weaken the anti-
mmunist spirit of the army and the
public of Vietnam."
Explained Thieu in his address, "We
nnot let the Communists take advan-
ge of our freedoms in our institutions
create disturbances, to cause confus-
n and to jeopardize our security.
"Life in democracy and freedom has
st begun to develop here, and therefore
nnot be compared with 100-year-old
iropean and American democracy. Do
t expect babies who just learn to walk #
run with adults."
But it is painfully obvious that Thieu's
fant democracy has not yet begun to
awl. It might be possible to sympathize
th the president's plea for law and or-
r amidst the choas of Vietnam except
at a nation which brutally purges a
'aceful protester can hardly be expected
earn the respect of its people or de-
lop a national democratic will.
And Thieu's action is only a bitter re-
inder of this country's association with
i undemocratic and immoral war.
Business Staff

MEANWHILE, the United States is de-
generating in more visible ways. The
Ohio River thickens daily with over 60
million gallons of raw sewage which are
pouring into the river without being neu-
tralized in the Cincinnati treatment
plant. Striking employes have been off
the job for four weeks in that city and
there is not enough manpower to make
needed repairs in the plant.
In the future, it is hoped that labor
disputes involving vital facilities might
be resolved quickly without danger to the
public interest.
But protection of the public interest by
the government cannot be 'expected. In a
rather undramatic decision, the Supreme
Court ruled that a public park which had
been donated to the white citizens of Ma-
con, Georgia, should be returned to the
donor rather than opened to all people.
In a 5-2 ruling (with only Justices Wil-
liam O. Douglas and William J. Bren-
nan Jr., dissenting), the court upheld a
Georgia decision which returned the pub-
lic park to the benefactor in deference to
his wishes rather than integrate the fa-
Certainly, a piece of land donated to
the state should have been used by the
public rather than the exclusive enjoy-
ment of "white women, white boys, white
girls and white children."
In defending the property right as sov-
ereign over political and human rights,
the Burger court is fulfilling the predic-
tions of the doomsayers.
IF YESTERDAY was a day like all days,
it did have a few glimmers of hope.
The repugnantly wholesome image of the
President's son-in-law David Eisenhower
may be removed from the public view -
for three years anyway. The rumor leak-
ed out that David may join the navy. At
least, he is not yet going into politics.

torney General Mitchell, who was Nixon's
law partner and managed his campaign,
has Ken Phillips, the theoritician of the
"Southern Strategy" working in his of-
plan by which Nixon and the Republican
Party hope to put together a majority na-
tional Republican party. The plan holds
the possibility of success. It rests on Nix-
on's ability to please Southerners, lower
class urban whites, confused and reaction-

ary middle class whites, and assorted mil-
Socially, it includes violent contradic-
tions, and sows within itself the necessity
of authoritarian and repressive "law and
order" to hold the many interests together.
The thrust of this political plan involves
strengthening the existing repressive cor-
porate a n d governmental structures
through emphasis on increased weapon
spending, augmentation of present policing
agencies, and greater ties between t h e


Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:
DESPITE THE defeat of the
Haber Commission's proposal for
a presidential primary, the forc-
es for social change and political
reform clearlyhad the upper hand
at the Democratic State Conven-
tion this past week-end. E v e r y
reform proposal on which these
forces were united was passed
overwhelmingly. The party adopt-
ed proposals which will go f a r
toward "letting the people on the
outside in," as Miss Abramson
phrased it in her editorial of Jan-
uary 20.
Reforms of major significance
were adopted, notwithstanding the
press releases of a couple of tal-
ented politicians who, unfortun-
ately have tried their political
ambitions to the existence of a
shrinking following of disillus-
ioned gloom-and-doomers. F o r
these politicians to admit that pro
gress has been made is for them
to lose their biggest issue.
What about the presidential
primary proposal? Who proposed
it? Why did it fail? Who is do-
ing something about it now? And
what is its importance relative to
the other reforms adopted? Let's
look at the facts.
The Haber Political Reform

Commission, created by the
Democratic Party in the fall of.
1968, brought the proposal for a
presidential primary into the Con-
vention as its own majority report.
Both William Haber, the chair-
man, and Senator Sander Levin,
the associate chairman, openly
and strongly backed the propos-
were about 1200 to 1000. But the
opposition came from a variety
of sources.
Of course, some of the opposi-
tion came from that wing of the
party which could see n o t h i n g
wrong in our last National Con-
vention in Chicago. I debated with
some of these individuals myself
during the convention last week-
But some opposition also came
from honest liberals who, I be-
lieve mistakenly, felt that a pre-
sidential primary would create a
new kind of "insider" group in
the national conventions. T h e
primary, they believe, would tend
to exclude from the national con-
ventions those who had not had
the opportunity to jump aboard a
presidential bandwagon, but who
still have an interest in the de-
cisions of the national conven-

RGE BRISTOL.............. Business.
1E ELMAN ...... Executive Advertising;
LERNER ................Senior Sales
Y PAP ..................Senior Sales,
G DRUTCHAS ...........Senior Sales;
O'C ASIN...........Senior Circulation
CE HAYDON ............Finance.
LA KROGULSKI.......Associate Finance
BARA SCHULZ.........,..... Personnel;


Most prominent in this group
were a large number of black dele-
gates who, I believe mistakenly,
saw the prospect that blacks would
be less represented in a delegation
to the national convention chosen
in a primary in which the dele-
gates were the followers of mostly
white presidential contenders.
THERE WAS an honest debate
within the liberal constituency
over these issues. A compromise
authored by a group including Le-
vin, Roger Craig, and Richard
Austin, but opposed by Zolton
Ferency, sought to meet some of
these legitimate objections, a n d
was nearly adopted.
Presently a number of us froze
the majority on the Haber Coim
mission are preparing a petition
drive to place a primary proposal
on the ballot. While others are is-
suing press releases, we are seek-
ing to bring together those who
supported the original plan w i t h
those who worked out the com-
promisebprimary, and others (pri-
marily black delegates who are
still skeptical about either) in
the hope that a primary proposal
can be put before the voters which
is the best in the nation, a n d
which can get unified liberal sup-
It is a great mistake to judge
the results of the Reform Con-
vention merely in terms of the
Presidential Primary.
Many items overwhelmingly
adopted will do more than t h e
primary to open the political pro-
cess to young people and to those
who now feel on the outside. These
- major reapportionment of
party bodies which will give ur-
ban Democrats representation for
the first time in proportion to
their numbers;
- requirement of proportianal
voting in party bodies, which will,
for example, make it impossible
for a majority in the County's
Democratic Convention to take
all the positions on executive com-
mittees, State Convention dele-
gations, etc., and will instead in-
sure that each minority gets a
proportionate share of such posi-
- reapportionment of the Na-
tional Democratic Committee
which would give Michigan for the
first time greater represetation

And then you realize you can't
your leg gets confused. So there
you sit with energy whizzing
through your body and nothing to
"I know," your mind exclaims.
"I'll tap my hands on the table,
tap my feet on the floor and look
at the wall and it will all go *away."
Doesn't work. After 23 measures
of tapping you realize you're not
in rhythm, have knocked over the
Seven Up and spilled ashes on the;
table cloth already dotted w i t h
chip dip.
"I'll go buy some cigarettes," you
decide with relief and then realize
yob don't smoke, don't have any
change, and can't get through the
crush of moving bodies to the bar
and the man with change, anyway,
builds. Energy zooms. And t h e
music pushes on and on.
"Two more verses and the whizz-
bang ending," you note from past
listenings. "What in God's name
can I do?"
"I'll go, I'll go, I won't stay and
why did I come?" you mumble
in near panic. "Commendable
thoughts," you add, however. Set
in your new strategy you plan for
the exit with half the verse and1

because it doesn't work because

the nightlifejitter
ANXIETY ARRIVES when you least expect it. That's a fact.
Music and the atmosphere it's in can do it, you know. Sitting
alone at a table where bunches of people gyrate near you and
lots of sound bombards the air destroys an entire myth-that of
being at ease.
"Certainly is good, good, good music," you think to yourself.
"Makes me want to dance and play and enjoy myself like those
other people out on the floor."



UJ5 Ot4J rcfa
Vs oer UI)T


rTStPO~ h


CT OYf{t f P$
1 1MJ C.

- -S.- C

the ending to go.

This demands protocol, you admit. First you must clear it with
people who were once at your table but have since joined the
gyrating mass. How to find them? How to explain? Then there are
elbows, feet, arms and an errant hip to dodge before you reach the
"I can do it," you tell yourself, already relaxed because a solu-
tion exists. "No I can't," you sigh in the next breath. "Not polite,
tactically very difficult. I'm chicken."
ANOTHER SONG has begun for bodies to gyrate and excitement
to grow. There they all are enjoying, enjoying and here you are
o.nv ifi.ht rrnfi crl A 1 nc, a f 4t,hecloth

~arUO -nJ

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