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February 03, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-02-03

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Q!yIi £fripan Datj
Seventy-nine years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

Vietnamizat ion and the postman 's son

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone- 764-0552

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



SDS, U' both to blame
in North Hall trashing

HOPEFULLY, THE senseless destruction
of windows and trophy cases at North
Hall last Saturday night is not an indica-
tion of the direction student activism will
take on this campus.,
As the most visible manifestation of
U.S. imperialism4 on c e n t r a 1 campus,
North Hall, which houses the University's
ROTC program, has borne the brunt of
political activism over the past year.
Although the ransacking of North Hall
was motivated by sincere opposition to
U.S. imperialsm, this petty vandalism can
hardly be seen as a meaningful or pro-
ductive political action.
Organized by Students for a Democratic
Society, the destruction at North Hall
climaxed a noisy march by about 500
people from the Anti-Repression Teach-
in through downtown Ann' Arbor and
across campus.
APPROXIMATELY 200 people remained
around North Hall and in the true
spirit of a high school pep rally, cheered
their 30-man t e a m on to a victory
against the enemy windows and trophy
cases of the ROTC program.
Apparently, few people at' North Hall
questioned the value of this action, for
when it is examined in any perspective
at all, it must be condemned-both as a
political statement or as a political tactic.
Ransacking a building achieves nothing
in any political context.
There is a real need for the University
to disassociate itself from any program.
which serves or legitimizes the military.
However, this goal can only be accom-
plished with strategies which are per-
suasive or massive enough to force the
University's hand.
THE ACTION at North Hall was as de-
structive to the movement against
imperialism as it was to the building it-
self. At the very least it destroyed the
credibility of the issue in the eyes of the
community - at - large. But more impor-
tantly, it alienated potential supporters
of the movement against imperialism
from participating in any united action
at all.
A political movement against imperial-
ism should be militant, but militancy has
to be distinguished from senseless vio-
lence and malicious destruction.
Even more disturbing is the manner in
which .Saturday night's activities took
place. The whole rah-rah atmosphere of
the teach-in and its emotion ,charged
climax are reminiscent of the pep-talks
and appeals to patriotism which the mil-
itary uses to get soldiers to fight in Viet-

nam and put down riots. These political
tactics cannot be excused by the morality.
of the cause they are supposed to further.
Advocates of a movement which con-
demns the manipulation of minds should
not indulge in the practice themselves.
After all, the U.S. military may have as
much moral confidence that its tactics
tire justified by the cause which it sup-
MEANWHILE, THE University adminis-
tration will announce today its offi-
cial response to the violent demonstra-
tions of the past two weeks.
Ideally, this response will involve an
apprppriate balance of concern for the
security of the University and the rights
of the individuals involved.
Of necessity, the administration must
be expected to protect the University by
pressing charges against. those involved,
if they are known. At the same time,
however, the administration must guard
against unfairly indicting those not di-
rectly involved in the destruction, or
seeking penalties too severe to fit the
HOPEFULLY, THE administration will
choose to press charges through the
student courts. The alternatives-action
in the criminal courts or the schools and
colleges-would seem unwise on a num-
ber of grounds.
Action in the federal or state courts
could lead to penalties involving long jail
sentences-punishment which would only
harden views that American society is
repressive and unresponsive to peaceful
methods of change.
Academic penalties like suspension or
expulsion would be inappropriate on en-
tirely different grounds. The -crime in-
volved simply has no bearing on the aca-
demic capabilities of those who partici-
pated in the destruction.
But if those i n v o 1 v e d in Saturday
night's fiasco are to be held responsible
for their malicious actions, the University
administration must share the blame for
the! sorry events. By allowing the exist-
ence of an institution of violence and
political domination on campus and by
delaying positive action on the question
until last semester, administrators have
provoked a violent response.
Through its support of ROTC, the ad-
ministration has contributed to the frus-
tration many students have felt in their
inability to affect change through estab-
lished political channels.

W ALKING INTO the lobby of our build-
ing the other day, I noticed a postman
engaged in quiet conversation, with one of
the maintenance employes. There was an
interval before one of the mysteriously-
mechanized elevators arrived and I over-
heard only a fragment of their exchange.
First there was the letter-carrier saying:
"My son just got the news - he's going to
Vietnam next month."
The other man said grimly: "No kidding.
You sure?" The answer was: "Yes, he's got
his orders.
TiHE POSTMAN w a s a graying, grave
figure and one was tempted to admit ov-
erhearing his remark and pursue all sorts
of questions about his private emotions.
But I have never acquired a true journal-
istic talent for intrusion inesuch moments;
I was" rather relieved when the elevator
door opened and I found myself removed
from the scene.
Afterward I regretted my reticence. For
the largely untold story of t h e present
phase of Vietnam is not that of the heir-
alded "withdrawal" program but of those
still on their way to that front, and of
relatives for whom the reports of disen-
gagement must have special poignancy.
IN EVERY WAR there have been those
who died in the last moment before the
A bortio

guns were stilled - or even because word
of the armistice belatedly reached the sec-
tor where they were under fire.
But, as in so many other matters, Viet-
nam has created an unusual circumstance.
It is the declared policy of our government
that we are on our way out, that we have
forsaken any dream of military victory,
and that the process of withdrawal is "ir-
Whether that will prove to be the case
if the adversary undertakes a major of-
fensive may be debatable; certainly there
remain some in the military who still cling
to the fantasy that a new outbreak of
large-scale fighting will bring a reescala-
tion of the American commitment.
BUT THAT IS not what most Americans
think about (despite the warning contain-
ed in Mr. Nixon's utterances). It is the
general assumption that the war is "wind-
ing down" and that there will be a steady
stream of returning troops as the Novem-
ber elections approach.
Unless the pace of the program is accel-
eratedsbeyond any current expectations.
however, there will also be a continued
procession of replacements. The son of the
postman will be only one of many still
destined for assignment to th a t blood-
soaked country, and some of them will not
come back.

WILL THE NUMIBER of the victims be
so limited that their departures (and
deaths) will be unnoticed - except by par-
ents and wives and children and immedi-
ate friends of the family? Clearly that is
the Administration's political calculation,
bolstered by the hope that casualties will
also be so significantly reduced that the
impact on the electorate will be minimal.
Still one wonders how long this apathy.
can be sustained. Surely it is conceivable
that there will be a new revulsion over loss
of life in what is formally proclaimed to be
the twilight of the war. For, except to
those still deeply convinced that Vietnam
is a crucial front for the forces of civili-
zation, these sacrifices will appear increas-
ingly senseless. And true believers must be
asking whether there is any logic in any
withdrawal if in fact we have so profound
a stake in the outcome.
tration's position since the high point of
antiwar, manifestation last autumn is not
merely the general impression that our
role is nearing an end. It has been Mr.
Nixon's success in promoting and preserv-
ing the illusion that the only alternative
to his program i5 to "cut-an-run" over-
night in a humiliating, disorderly Dunkirk
while Hanoi and the Viet Cong fly their
flags over Saigon.

The tragic failure of the antiwar forces-
has been their inability - perhaps aggra-
vated by the indolence of some sectors of
the media -- to dramatize the point that
there is an authentic option. Time a n d
again there have been clear signals indi-
cating that the emergence of a coalition
regime in Saigon - one far more repres-
sive than the military cabal run by Thieu
- could open the way to a negotiated set-
tlement. In Paris the other day UN Secre-
tary General U Thant reiterated that view.
IF SUCH A coalition inevitably means
the triumph of .the Communists a nd a
"blood-bath." why is it being urged by in-
creasing numbers of non-Communist voic-
es in South Vietnam? Are they ignorantly
inviting their own execution? Or would
they prefer the risks of peace to the per-
petuation of a Saigon despotism that of-
fers them neither peace nor freedom but
the spurious fantasy of "Vietnamization"
and indefinite extension of the conflict?
In their current paralysis, the Demo-
crats (with a few valorous exceptions) are
abetting the conspiracy of silence on this
issue. Will they finally speak out when
their Policy Council meets next month?
Or will they, too, treat as forgotten men
the youths who must continue to perish in.
Vietnam to keep Thieu and his generals in
@ New York Post


from the underground

IN JUNE, 1969, Sen. N. Lorraine
Beebe (R-Dearborn) took the
floor of the Senate to speak in
favor of a bill that would h a v e
liberalized the state's stringent
abortion laws by allowing the op-
eration when the pregnancy was
dangerous to the physical health
of the mother or was the result of
rape or incest.-
The only woman in the Senate
startled her peers when she re-
vealed she had undergone an abor-
tion - a fact she had never even
told her family.
The response was a respectful
standing ovation, but the vote on
the bill disappointed Sen. Beebe's
hopes. It lost 17-16.
The senator went home t h a t
night disconsolate, but convinc-
ed her effort had made an impact.
IT HAD. In Detroit and across
the nation, newspapers and tele-
vision networks picked up t h e
story of her speech.
One of the first calls she re-
ceived was from her mother who
said, "What have you done? Your
picture is in the paper and they
say you had an abortion."
. But Sen. Beebe had felt compell-
ed to make her remarks hardhit-
ting. "I wanted to make these men
realize that they were playing
around with women's lives. All I
had heard was the male ego being
demonstrated in flowing tones on
the floor.
"Well, they had very little un-
derstanding or feeling for what
this was all about. They don't

realize that a woman herself has
to make the decision on abortion.
"After the speech a movement
surfaced. The underground which
has existed for so long is begin-
ning to come out. You can almost
feel it shifting and gathering force
and beginning to move under-
IT IS HARD to imagine S e n.
Beebe as the leader of an under-
ground movement. A conservative
committed to the principles shared
by many of her constituents in
suburban Dearborn, Sen. Beebe
has also devoted her time in the
past year to working against the
grape boycott. She urged house-
wives to organize and buy Califor-
nia grapes to break what she con-
siders to be an illegitimate strike.
Nevertheless, she is an o u t -
spoken proponent of abortion re-
form and far more radical in her
feelings on this subject than many
of her "liberal" colleagues.
"I'm glad now that the bil11
failed the night I made my
speech," she says. Because she be-
lieves a more liberal measure now
before the Senate may pass as a
result of the developing ground-
swell of public opinion.
THE NEW BILL is presently
being reviewed by the Senate
Health, Social Services, and Re-
tirement Committee, which is
chaired by Sen. Beebe.
"These bills are before my com-
mittee' because this is a health
issue, not a legal issue. I look at it

from a medical point of view," she
The committee has begun a
special round of hearings on the
bill in 12 cities throughout t h e
"We especially try to hold hear-
ings in the districts of those Sena-
tors who voted against the b Il I
last summer," she explains.
IT IS IMPORTANT, she points
out, that "abortion, if liberalized,
will not be mandatory. It will be
up to each woman to take into ac-
count all of the arguments and
make her own moral decision. This
is the way it must be. We can't
legislate morality, transform the
moral and religious beliefs of the
Senate into law. The individual
must choose for herself."
SEN. BEEBE feels that n e w
abortion laws are not only desir-
able but also necessary because of
the danger of the present law. She
recounts some of the many "hor-
ror" stories she has heard con-
cerning botched abortions and the
experiences of desperate women.
"In one Detroit hospital," she
says, "about 40 women a year
come in needing treatment be-
cause of a botched abortion by
some quack. It takes a tremendous
amount of effort to save some of
these women, and often they have
to have hysterectomies. They can
never bear children again, even if
they want to in the future."
BUT THE dangers of abortion
are not only physical, she cites the

testimony by psychologists vwhich
shows that women who get safe,
clean abortions when they need
them have fewer resulting emo-
tional problems than the women
who are forced to have children.
they don't want.
And the unwanted children of-
ten are on the receiving end when
these women attempt to find an
emotional release for their frus-
Sen. Beebe is optimistic that
these issues and others central to
the bill are being brought f o r t h
at the hearings. The good turnout
and an intelligent 'discussion at
these hearings could convince the
Senate to pass the reform measure,
she says.
"NEVERTHELESS, we're going
to make certain compromises to
get it passed," she predicts.
Two of the amendmens t h a t
have been talked about. at t h i s
time are welcomed by Sen. Beebe,
and she feels they will not hurt
the bill, but improve it.
"We'll likely include the provis-
ion that would allow the abortions
only if done in an accredited lic-
ensed hospital," she says. Although
this has been criticized by some
supporters of reform who contend
this will make abortions m o r e
expensive, and out of the reach of
some indigent women, she points
out that legal abortions are includ-
ed under almost every health in-
surance program in the country,
including the popular Blue Cross
plan. In addition, she says t h a t
there are indications that the fed-

eral Medicaid program will pay for
abortions in the case of the fin-
ancially impoverished.
Another amendment welcomes
by Sen. Beebe is the "conscience
clause." This would say that no
legal or disciplinary action could
be taken against a doctor, has-
pital,or staff member of a hos-
pital who refused to participate in
an abortion operation because he
thinks it immoral," she explains.
BUT THERE are amendments
being talked about by more con-
servative senators, she says, that
might severely cripple the bill or
change its intent.
One of these, the "man-involved"
amendment, would require t h e
consent of the father of the child
as well as the mother before the
abortion could be legally p e r -
formed. Supporters of the amend-
ment claim it protects the inter-
ests of the father, but critics claim
that it is a crude move aimed at
unmarried women, prostitutes, and
all cases in which the relation-
shiip is not permanent.
SEN. BEEBE blasts this amend-
ment, saying it contradicts the
main principle of abortion reform
-the woman should have the
right to control her pregnancies,
not the man.
Sen. Beebe does not know how
her outspoken position will affect
her chances of re-election n e x t
November from her predominant-
ly Catholic district, but she is go-
ing ahead with her drive for re-





supports the Black Manifesto

Neighborhood power
prevents an eviction

WEN A GROUP of angry black home-
owners in Chicago began putting
their monthly payments for their homes
into an escrow fund last year, everyone
involved knew that sooner or later an at-
tempt would be made to evict one of the
The homeowners claimed their month-
ly rates are absurdly high - rarnging up
to four or five times more than for a per-
son with a conventional mortgage - and
formed an organization called the Con-
tract Buyers League which has tried to
renegotiate the rates.
In the mean time, the leagues members
have withheld any further payments on
their land contracts until Universal
A ci fieti
.r~l .
'HE EDITORIAL by Philip Block in Sat-
urday's Daily questioning the truth of
President Fleming's testimony in recent
trials of students arrested in t h e LSA
Bldg. sit.-in was only the interpretation
of evidence by the writer.
The article did not represent the feel-
ings of the senior editors or staff of The

Builders, the group which built the homes
and collects the rent agrees to bargain
with them.
the Contract Buyers League and Uni-
versal Builders occurred last week when
an eviction notice was served to J o h n
Moss, one of the striking homeowners.
However, when the day of t h e ouster
came, the builders were outmaneuvered
by the league when hundreds of its mem-
bers went into the streets to prevent any
eviction from taking place.
The police responded on Thursday
when 200 officers went to Moss' home to
insure that they wouldn't be outflanked
a second time.
On Thursday, t h e eviction proceeded
without any incidents; 3 or 4 police mov-
ed the Moss family furnishings out of his
home while the remaining 196 or 197 of-
ficers insured law and order.
After a few hours the police left and
union members preceeded to move all of
Moss' belongings back into his home.
IOSS, who still owes $27,000 on his $31,-
000 home amiably told reporters that
the 200 policemen reminded him of Viet-
nam, and added that he would still with-
hold his mortgage payments while re-
maining ensconsed in his three-bedroom

To the Editor:
THE RACISM which exists in
this society has been supported
morally and economically by the
churches of America. The church
as an institution is, in part, re-
sponsible for the oppression and
degradation of ,black people.
Therefore, it is the obligation of
the church to rectify its racist ac-
tions. They must surrender to the
black comnmunity what they and
the rest of this racist society has
stolen, the opportunity and means
for the development of the black
WE, THE colonized black com-
munity on the campus of the Uni-
versity of Michigan, support the
demands for monetary reparations
made by the Black Manifesto and
the reading of these demands in
the churches of Ann Arbor and
throughout the nation. All wealth
to the dispossessed! '
--The Black Student Union
Jan. 29
To the Editor:
found in your article covering my
interview with SGC on Friday,
Jan. 30 and published in your Jan.
31 edition.
I did not say that the salary
"presently offered" was $10,500.
Mo re important even is that the
mention of salary was a minor
part of our discussion, certainly not
of sufficient significance to war-
rant its being listed as number one
among the "obstacles that might
prevent (me) from taking the job
if offered."

To the Editor:
WE WOULD LIKE to clear up
a few misstatements in the Satur-
day edition of The Daily.
First, Tthe Daily stated that
"SDS leaders", were pleased with
the threat of vigilante action from
students. This is absurd. We dornot
seek to direct our attack against
students, Engineering or other-
wise; we attack those who main-
tain corporate and military power
over blacks, workers and third
world peoples.
SDS attacked DuPont because
they kept troops in the Wilming-
ton ghetto for ten months and
because they supply armaments
used against the Vietnamese and
other wars of national liberation.
If we are attacked during an ac-
tion we will fight back, but we
prefer to talk to Engineering stu-
dents than fight them.
ON A MORE absurd level was
the editorial that appeared the
same day. The person who wrote
it, criticizing our actions, was the
same one who proposed those very
actions at a mass meeting the
night before. Guess what his mo-
tives were. We can't.
The content of the editorial was
just plain wrong. Our purpose was
to reach as many people as pos-
sible, and we accomplished this.
The editorial says, "A pitiful
number of people were involved in
activities . . . Few people stopped
to watch the films that were
shown." This directly contradicts
both the news article and personal
reports. Films were shown all day.
both days, and a large number of
people consistently showed up.

in the editorial), Thursday's and
Friday's actions were aimed at
mass participation. We under-
stand that our actions will alien-
ate some people, but this cannot
prevent us from acting on our
politics. Our goal is to educate
and involve students in the prim-
ary struggles going on outside the
University-the liberation strug-
gles of blacks, browns and third
world peoples.

Finaly, and most importantly,
The Daily exhibited this tendency
to cut itself off from te rest of
the world. .On the day of the
Repression Teach-In in which GI
organizers, Black Panthers and
Chicago Conspiracy defendents
were to speak about the repres-
sion coning down on their move-
ments, The Daily ignored all but
the repression against the LSA sit-
in students. We recognize that this

too is a case of repression, but to
devote all space to this, especially
when the Black Berets in Ann Ar-
bor are facing much heavier re-
pression, is wrong.
Power to the People.
-Dan Brooks '72
-Tim Hall '72
-Marty Lahr '72
Ann Arbor SDS
Jan. 31

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