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January 31, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-01-31

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~1~t 3c1itn a h
Seventy-nine years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

Repression comes to

Ann Arbor...

Moyndrd St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

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



SDS up against the wall:
The tactics must change

confirm in the minds of a lot of
ple, the utter futility of continuing
'uiter attacks and lock-ins. What
'ted out last week to be a new round
hostilities has fizzled out into a wet
is obvious that most members of
3, and supporters of the actions, are
ply not prepared to risk any form
reprisal. Exposing themselves to jail
the sake of causing momentary in-
venlence to a low level corporation
cutive, would be naive.
he scene in the W e s t Engineering
:ement office was almost comical. The
ectives stood around fondling cam-
s, and the Air Force, Bell System and
Pont interviewed without harrassment.'
IE ADMINISTRATION showed its de-
termination to prevent SDS f r o m
cing recruiters off campus, by i t s
er weight of arms. In effect they call-
a bluff, and now they are certainly
ghing about it.
'he fishbowl was billed as revolution-
headquarters. It was a sorry sight. A
.ful number of people were involved
activities. The revolution, was ignored
the masses.
very hour, on the hour the Guerilla
eater activated itself, but the spectat-
seemed more amused than stimulated.
N stopped to watch the films t h a t
re shown, more people were interested
signing up for the Free University
sses than purifying the placement of-
he "attack" on North Hall was tragi-
rlcal, the stink-bomb in the placement
ice was childish. The revolution died.

THlE LEFT wing of this campus is going
to have to face up to certain reali-
ties or it will perish.
Most students don't care about monp-
poly capitalism, and those who do are
unable to support tactics that consist of
cub-scout type raids on the West En-
gineering Bldg.
Also, the vast and overwhelming major-
ity of students is totally alienated by
the elitist tactics of SDS. This alienation
of students is becoming increasingly ob-
vious. It was tragically illustrated yester-
day when a large group of black students
ignored appeals by SDS to see a film
about Bobby Seale. This indicated that
the gap between black students and the
"rich white kids" of SDS is extraordinar-
ily large.
On another level there is an alienation
between SDS and it's main constituency,
the white middle class.
HIS IS DUE in part to the reputation,
an unfair reputation, that SDS has
as a strong arm gang of crazies. The im-
perfect understanding of SDS by stu-
dents is in a large part responsible for
the difficulties that SDS has in recruit-
ing members, and for the adverse reac-
tion to SDS activities by many people.
Finally, the left must understand that
politically thiey will continue to ,be in-
effectual until they can relate to stu-
dents in a more meaningful way. What
this means is that the left, and SDS
in particular, must stop living in an un-
real, romantic world, land understand that
when Mao Tse Tung said that dialectics
is more relevant than metaphysics, he
was 100 per cent correct.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: One of the
authors of this article, Bill Dinner,
was one of the 07 peope arrested
in the LSA sit-in. He is still await-
ing his trial).
"At the Halls of Justice the only
Justice is in the Halls."
Lennie Bruce
THE LSA BUST of 107 Univer-
sity students was somewhat of a
throw back-to the days of the civil
rights and early anti-war move-
ment. The arrests were voluntary,
taken for political and or moral
reasons. In this they differ from
most of the recent political busts.
The eight on trial for conspir-
acy in Chicago did not choose to
get arrested, nor have the Black
Panthers accepted arrest to "prove
a point."
But the two types of cases are
not totally dissimilar. The w a y
both types of cases have been
handled by the courts and t h e
bills that have poured out of the
federal and state legislatures
which deprive "disruptive" s t u -
dents of financial aid force the
conclusion that there is a con-
scious effort to fail and destroy
political people. This type of ef-
fort is called repression.
The fact is that very few people
regard going to jail as an act
which in itself wil accomplish
anything; in fact, ail should be
avoided at all costs.
ORIGINALLY, the people ar-
rested at the LSA sit-in thought
they would be charged with tres-
passing - a charge it would be
difficult to contest.
But the defendents soon learned
that instead of the expected
charge, Assistant City Prosecutor
Thomas Shea has reached into his
bag of tricks and found a 1948
statue commonly labeled conten-
In the face of this unexpected
charge, those arrested felt it ne-
cessary to fight the case and try
to make the trials political instead
of Criminal.
THIE QUESTION is why were the
protesters charged with contention
rather than trespassing? Espec-
ially considerirg the nebulous 'na-
ture of the state contention law.
Sec. 170. Disturbance of law-
ful meeting - Any person who
shall make or excite any dis-
turbance or contention in any
tavern, store or grocery, man-
ufacturing establishment or
any other business place or in
any street, lane, alley, highway,
public building, grounds or park,
or at any election or other pub-
lic mieeting where citizens are .
peacefully assembled, shall be
guilty of a misdemeanor."
ONE POSSIBLE explanation is
that in order to safely obtain a
trespassing conviction, one of the
necessary - though not sufficient
conditions - is to give a warn-
ing to the participants that they
are unlawfully trespassing a n d
should remove themselves. For
some reason this was not done
during the LSA sit-in.
Perhaps the warning was n o t
given because Pres. Fleming fear-
ed the students would leave t h e
building and avoid arrest. Cer-
tainly Fleming's major advisor of
the evening, Governor Milliken,
would have been livid with rage.
Four hundred policemen and no
The other theory notes that the
contention charge was made, not
because of its legal merit, but as
a means of revenge and harass-
ment. The desire to deter future

acts certainly must have entered
in the decision.
IN ANY case the defendants
were left with little choice but to
fight it. If they permitted these
cases to stand as precedents, al-
most any form of dissent could be
easily smashed, by the threat of
guaranteed convictions on the con-
tention charge. The promise that
state and federal grants will very
likely be revoked upon conviction
made it even more necessary to
fight the charge.
Unlike the South University con-
tention trials of last summer
which were half-way fair and re-
sulted in 50 per cent convictions,
Judges Elden and Thomassen have
ruled with an iron hand, showing
the defendants what due process
in the law means.
city was not going to fool around
came when Attorney Donald Kost-
er attempted to see his clients the
night of the arrest. Koster was
told by the police that he could
not visit his clients until after they
were bonded out - a total denial
of their rights.
Both Thomassen and Elden
have constantly ruled against the
defense. They have forced groups
of defendants to be tried together,
although the General ourt Rules
of Michigan require that a motion
for such consolidation be made in
writing at least four days before
the trial.
They also refused to allow an
attorney who entered his appear-
ance just before the beginning of
the trial to prepare his case, and
instead of allowing all the de-
fendants in each case to pre-
emptorally challenge five prospec-
tive jurors, they allowed each
group of defendants two challeng
IN ADDITION, it would appear
hat for a contention conviction
for the defense would have to
prove that a disturbance or con-
tention did take place and that
each of the defendants actually
committed the offense or at least
aided in it.
Yet the only thing the prosecu-
tion has shown was that each of
the defendants was actually in the
building at 3:35 a.m., and that
each was arrested. Nowhere did
they even attempt to show that
any of the defendants was even
in Ann Arbor when the alleged dis-
turbances occurred.
But this has not stopped o u r
Judges who have instructed the
jury that a defendant can be found
guilty if it is proven that he was
in the building, i.e., he was ar-
rested, even if the prosecutor has
not proven that the specific de-
fendant acted in any way which
the jury considered "contentious."
With such instructions, it is no
surprise that most of the defend-
ants who have gone to trial have
been convicted. However, two
groups of defendants, one defend-
ed by Koster and Buck Davis, the
other Koster alone, were acquitted
after defense lawyers showed that
what was involved was a political
crime. But such victories are only
the exception which prove t h e
rule. There are times when a good
defense may some times overcome
the repressive legal system which
is geared for conviction.
have been "extremely successful in
handling the cases as they see fit,
they have, as of late become press-
ed for time since these cases, oup-
led with the Rent Strike cases,
have completely mangled the nor-
mal proceedings of the court.
With nearly half of the LSA

trials remaining, the courts have
been unable to c o p e with
the tremendous loads, and cases
are backlogged for months.
In an attempt to alleviate this
problem, vague noises were uttered
from the judges chambers several
weeks ago noting that they would
accept a nol contendre plea-a
plea of no contest that does not
admit guilt - on the lesser charge
of trespassing rather than demand
conviction for contention.
at the County Bldg. in September
of 1968 over the welfare mothers,
the lawyers for those arrested, the
prosecutor, and the courts work-
ed out a compromise which lead
to the imposition of work sentenc-
es rather than jail. The defense
lawyers then involved, for the most
part, were those who had to do
business with the local system
every day. Consequently they had
no desire to confront their system
and so advised their clients.
With the trials already poli-
tical, and the decision to appeal
most of the cases already decid-
ed, there was little desire to "cop
a plea." In addition, it ,appears
that the appeals will win, which
means the cases are returned to
the District court to be tried over
Judge Elden said, "Z must take
into consideration the severity of
the offense, but this must be equat-
ed with the fact that the defend-
ants action was based on sound
judgment and that they believed
it. However, when one's choice in

this matter is against the law, one
must be willing to pay the penalty
for his offense."
Elden then proceeded to hand
out sentences of seven days in
jail, $240 in fines and oourt costs,
along with 15 months probation to
first offenders. For those with one
previous conviction it was i n-
creased to $275 in fines and court
costs and 14 days in the county
jail, and 15 months probation. No
one with more than one conviction
has been sentenced and one can
only guess the sentences of people
with- more than one conviction.
THERE IS MORE than one
reason for the toughness of the
trial and the sentence. Prosecutors
and judges do not like people who
won't play' their legal game. Thus
anyone who goes through with a
trial and demands all his 1 e g a 1
rights will be dealt with severely
as an example to others.
Furthermore, the LSA sit-in -
whether or not one agrees with the
tactics and politics - did chal-
lenge the authority or President
Fleming. Therefore these trials
have become a warning to others
not to confront the University.
But instead, people should see the
trials as a warning not to g e t
Although what is happening to
those who did sit-in is hardly
comparable to the legal repression
which is coming dovn in Chicago,
it is part of the same reaction by
those in power. Get people i n t o
court and then screw them. And,
the response to that can only be to
use those same courts as a forum
for political action.

THIS IS NOT to say the courts
and the legal system are the chos-
en forum. But, the Chicago con-
spiracy case has shown us one
example of how to use the courts.
Unfortunately, in Ann Arbor.
the people have not turned out to
support their friends. Still, when
the people are forced into the
courts by the structure, for t h e i r
own protection they must organize
as much public pressure and sup-
port as possible.
The legal system must be strip-
ped of its legitimacy. This will
make it far more difficult for the
establishment to use the courts
to impose its will.
One of the ways to prevent a
total repression is to make the
price of using the legal system un-
acceptable every time it is tried.
FINALLY, it is important to re-
member that even if a defendant
is acquited, it does not mean he
has won anything. Getting off
means he broke even and is back
where he started. But, the g o v-
ernment has won just by getting
him into court.
Dr. Spock had his conviction
thrown out on appeal, but that
trial cost those defendants o v e r
The government is forcing seven
highly active political people to
waste time, organization, and a
lot of money in Chicago.
These people and others like
them are needed on the streets,
not playing legal g a m e s over
whether there is any integrity or
rule of law left in the legal system.



The CSJ trial
that might leave been

IT IS UNFORTUNATE that students who
filed charges against President Fleming
and the Regents for disrupting the Uni-
versity during the bookstore controversy
last fall decided to drop their case. Fot
they denied Central Student Judiciary the
opportunity to review the actions of the
constituency of the University which now
answers to no one-the administration
and Regents.
It must be acknowledged that the stu-
dent judiciary probably does not have
the authority to try administrators and
faculty members. Moreover, CSJ certainly
could not have enforced its ruling, even
if it found Fi'leming and the Regents
BUT THE REAL value of the trial would
not have been its legal outcome, but.
rather its exposure of the way decisions'
are made and power is exercised in this
community. Much as the show trial for
"conspiracy' in Chicago has revealed just
how repressive and undemocratic the
government can be, a trial of the Presi-
dent and the Regents could have exposed
the hypocrisy of the system; which makes
token concessions to students; but which
consistently denies' them their rights
While a plethora of rules govern fac-
ulty and student conduct, the administra-
tion which polices the conduct of mem-
bers of the community exercises power
And certainly rights can never exist
when an elite, like the administration,
dominates the decision making process
over all parties who have an interest in
the decision. For rights must be above
the rise and fall of leaders or else they
are mere privileges which can be revoked
at the caprice of rulers.
IN THE DEMOCRATIC community, of
which the University should be an ex-
ample, faculty, students and administra-
tors share an undeniable interest in the
disposal of institutional affairs. If the
power to make rules binding on all groups
rests with one particular group, the other
groups have only revocable privileges.
Since the advent of the student power
movement, the administration has re-
treated from its stance that it alone had

IRONICALLY, AS the University admin-
istration granted students more privi-
leges, students found themselves with
control over their own affairs but with
less.contact with and control over broad-
er University affairs. While they can es-
tablish "open door" policies in the dormi-
tories, for example, students have no
voice in deciding when the President
should open the door of the Administra-
tion Bldg. More dramatically, while stu-
dents are able to formulate codes, con-
cerning student disruption of University
business, they have no mechanism to col-
lectively define a code affecting the ad-
ministration and faculty as .well.
The locking of the Administration Bldg.
may seem like an exaggerated example,
but if the administration can perpetrate
this act for which the students would be
punished 'with impunity, there is noth-
ing to prevent it from overstepping stu-
dent decisions in any matter. What, for
from overriding the decisions of the pro-
posed student services policy board?
AT THIS POINT, CSJ is a woefully in-
adequate instrument for checking
p o w e r of the administration for two
First, the rules which the judiciary
must uphold are explicitly called "Regu-
lations Concerning Student Conduct."
Second, the court itself is an all stu-
dent body and cases involving more than
one University constituency should be
tried under a uniform code by a mixed
MEANWHILE, THE administration does
not show any signs of movement to-
ward recognition of the students' share
of interest in University affairs. As a re-
sult, it does not accept the authority of
any student rules over anyone other than
the students who wish to abide by thenm.
But more and more students now ex-
hibit an unwillingness to respect the
authority of an administration in which
they are not involved, and great trouble
lies ahead unless the Regents and those
administrators who regularly influence
them demonstrate that they have
changed substantively their attitude to-
ward students.
If nothing else, the Fleming case could

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The author of this
article is a Daily contributing editor and is
one of the 107 people arrested in the LSA
sit in. He has yet to go on trial.)
PRESIDENT FLEMING lies. He lies quite
often and quite well even though he is
under oath when he lies.
Fleming testifies at the trial of every
student who was arrested last September in
the LSA Bldg. sit-in over the bookstore
issue. The students have been charged with
"contention" or creating a disturbance
and, thanks to Fleming, the prosecution is
able to make the charges stick for about
three out ,of every four defendants.
The technique is quite simple. Fleming
testifies that the students were not satis-
fied wtih the Regents' handling of the
bookstore issue and that they took over
the LSA Bldg. because of t h is dissatis-
faction despite his valient attempts to keep
them out of the building.
THE RESULT is that the jury-over-
whelmed by Fleming's prestige and the
fact that the students were arrested in the
building-finds the defendants guilty, as
But guilty of what crime and charged by
whom? What the students were really
charged with was not contention, but "at-
tempting to take control over matters
which concern them" and the plaintiffs
were really not "the people" but the Re-
gents, the administration, the local book-
store owners, and the power elite of the
Ann Arbor area.
The whole bookstore issue might have
seemed frivolous to many radicals in the

witness for the persecution

criminating testimony, however inaccurate
or untrue, to the prosecution's case.
Fleming's big lie is his ,account of why
the University asked for an injunction
against the students inside the building.
ON THE WITNESS stand, Fleming
states, "We sought a restraining order be-
cause we did not wish to bring the police
on the campus and we did not wish to
have a criminal case."
Fleming should know better than to
make statements like this. He is a lawyer
and a law professor as well, also an expert
in labor relations which no doubt has made
him well acquainted with the use and power
of restraining orders and other types of
Fleming knows very well that if the in-
junction had been served, its only effect
would be to raise the penalty for students
who wished to remain inside the building
in protest.
Violation of a court order is contempt
of court which would enable a judge to
hand down sentences of up to two years in
IN ADDITION, the students who remain-
ed in the building would no longer have
had Ann Arbor's police to deal with. They
would now be victims of whatever head-
splitting Sheriff Douglas Harvey's goons
would dish out, since Harvey would be the
officer of the court responsible for en-
forcing the court order.
In this sense Fleming told the truth
when he said he wanted to avoid having
the police on campus, the Ann Arbor Police,
that is. Bringing Sheriff Harvey to the

ment that he
have realized
at least three

signed under oath he might
that he swore falsely on

The complaint states that the twelve
students named in the document all par-
ticipated in the takeover of North Hall
earlier that week when at least eight of
the students could have proven that they
were not involved.
It also charges the same students with
taking part in the sit-in at the Institute
of Science and Technology earlier in the
month when at least five of them were,
not involved.t
And the complaint claims that the twelve
students were all presently involved in the
LSA 1ldg. takeover when at least two of
them had taken no part in the action:
Fleming also failed to notice that the
complaint stated that he knew ,each of
the "facts" of his own knowledge and not
on information and belief. When he actual-
ly had no personal information about any
of the three demonstrations.
BUT FLEMING is no fool. When during
the contention trials defense lawyers try
to pin him down on his mistakes he
smoothly avoids the question by insisting
that he believed the charges to be true
based on "information given to me by the
people whom we employ for these pur-
Fleming is also very adept at presenting
the administration's view of the whole
bookstore issue, and on a political level,
this is his greatest "achievement" in
He begins by saying that the original

the same "problem" of having a student-
controlled bookstore that would be finan-
cially isolated from the University but
still be eligible for the 4 per cent state
tax exemption on textbooks sold at Uni-
versity stores.
IN REALITY, the only major difference,
between the original SGC bookstore plans
and the one finally agreed to by the Re-
gents was in degree, not in policy. The
SGC plan called for a $1.75 fee assessment
rather than the $5.00 revolving fee pro-
posed by the Regents. The new plan also
called for a faculty minority on the book-
store's policy board where the SGC plan
had not included faculty on the board.
Fleming cites these changes as major
differences, thus trying to defend the Re-
gents' reluctance to pass the SGC proposal
and its willingness to pass the "compro-
mise" proposal.
However, the real reason for the Regents'
actions seems to be the simple fact that
the SGC proposal was introduced before
any student pressure was applied and the
so-called compromise proposal was pre-
sented after students had put pressure on
Fleming and the Regents.
Of course, Fleming fails to concede this
point to the jury.
WHAT FLEMING is now doing in court
is to punish the students who dared to
use power politics against him, and to
warn those who might like to try it in the
future. He does it the best way he knows
how, by using his position as president to
place juries in a position that the prosecu-

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