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February 12, 1970 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-02-12

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A happy first birthday for the

Tenants Union?

Daily News Analysis
As the Ann Arbor Tenants
Union celebrates the first anni-
versary of the rent strike tonight
at a mass meeting in the Union
Assembly Hall, the celebration will
not necessarily be over victory.
Some past members, in fact,
believe the union is hobbling on
it's last legs. But its present lead-
ers believe the union has succeed-
ed, although they say a change
in emphasis is needed. to build a
much stronger union than exists
The union has apparently failed
to meet most of the goals it set
for itself last February. Organized
around the tactic of a rent strike,
the Tenants Union was designed
to protest high rents, inequitable
leases, sub-standard housing and
poor maintenance. Membership,
which was to have reached 2,000,

hit a peak of approximately 1,200
strikers last April, but now re-
mains at about 800.
However, the union has achieved
what many members see as con-
siderable success in many of its
endeavors. In the early court cases
involving withheld rent by strik-
ers, large reductions in back rent
were often awarded to the strik-
ing tenants and improvements in,
housing maintenance were en-
Furthermore, the union gained
the support and endorsement of
many leaders both inside and out-
side the University. The United
Auto Workers, for example, sup-
ported the union with a contri-
bution of $1,000 last March.
Endorsement has also come
from many local Democrats, sev-
eral City Council members, and
many University faculty members.
In addition, the housing code

passed last Monday by City Coun-
cil contained several amendments
originally proposed by the Tenants
"The fact that the Ann Arbor
Tenants Union has lasted this long
speaks well of the union's suc-
cess," argues Stuart Katz, one of
the union's original organizers.
"Rarely does a group start from
scratch and build into any kind of
However, the union leaders be-
lieve that in the last few months
the original tactic of rent striking
has ceased to be effective and the
legal strategy of the union has
had to be reassessed.
In a year's time, the landlords'
attorneys have built strong de-
fenses against the tenants' vari-
ous charges and have devised new
tactics for winning the court
cases. Furthermore, the landlords
have considerably improved their

housing maintenance as a result
of the strike, and the tenants have
less of a case against the land-
"All our buildings are up to
code and now we try to provide
prompt maintenance service," says
R. H. Renkin, manager of Renkin
As a direct result, the union
came close to failing completely
earlier in the year and is now
shifting its emphasis from the rent
strile. The concentration in the
future will be the forming of a
strong, unified organization. "We
overestimated the strike, and we
were actually on the verge of col-
.lapse," says General Coordinator
Steve Burghardt.
"Against many landlords, the
court battles just are no longer
the most effective pressure," adds
Lynn Hallen, press secretary of the
union. "Now our faith is in the

union, not in the strike," she says.
Furthermore, landlords have ex-
pressed the feeling that the small-
er union is less effective than it
was earlier.
"I don't think the union is as
influential this year-mainly it's
a case of less strikers," says Jay
Gampel, manager of Summit As-
Bob Schram of Charter Realty
adds, "Last year I had about 150
strikers in my buildings, now I
have around 30. This representa-
tion certainly can't have much
affect on me."
As a result, the representative
assembly of the Tenants Union
voted to allow non-strikers to join
and enjoy equal status with the
In addition, the union no longer
encourages sympathetic students
to directly withhold their rent:
"The idea behind this tactic is

that the union wants to represent
as many tenants as possible," says
Miss Hallen. "Once 51 per cent of
a landlord's tenants designate the
union as their bargaining agent,
the landlord should recognize the
union as the actual representative
of his tenants."
Further, the union is attempting
to extend its effectiveness by
representing tenants' interests be-
yond their original grievances.
"The union must reach farther
than just solving maintenance
problems," stresses Miss Hallen.
"We are now encouraging those
who left the strike to rejoin as
non-striking members and help
us build a strong identity and
"The tenants must realize that
their best interests are not the
concern of the landlords, the
banks, or any other financial in-
terest," Miss Hallen says. "Rather

the tenants of Ann Arbor must
realize they are being exploited.
We must defy this exploitation,"
she adds.
As one other possible solution
to some Ann Arbor housing prob-
lems, the Tenants Union has also
decided to press for increased
low-cost University housing.
"It is imperative that we force
the University to construct more
low-cost housing. Rents are up
and the student population is in-
creasing. The University must do
something about the a situation if
it is genuinely concerned about
the students' interests," says Burg-
"We will be using all sorts of
tactics to impress upon the Uni-
versity the importance of this
issue. From referendums to sit-ins
to full scale demonstrations, we
will be stressing this issue," he

See Editorial Page lf r 4f ia

Cloudy, possible
snow flurries

Vol. LXXX, No. 11 1

Ann Arbor, Michigan-Thursday, February 12, 1970

Ten Cents

Eight Pages





hit aid laws
Senate Assembly's Student Relations Committee (SRC)
yesterday urged President Robben Fleming to "challenge
through the courts if necessary . .. federal and state laws
requiring termination of financial aid as a form of student
The statement, which received unanimous support from
all SRC members present, also called upon the University to
"consider without prejudice" granting aid to students de-
prived of federal or state assistance as a result of their
SRC's action follows recent controversy over federal and
state laws requiring termination of financial aid to students

'Chicago 7'''

Demonstrations to protest the
handling and existence of the
"Chicago 7" trial are currently
being planned by the Committee
on Repression and other loca:
groups ,for the day following the
release of the verdict.
The theme of the activities, ac-
cording to committee member
Brian Spears, will be the "institu
tional repression of the poor, black
and disenfranchised in Americar
society."' The demonstrations wil:
be held xegardless of the verdict
"If the defendants are not fount
guilty, the demonstrations will bE
both a celebration of the verdici
and a protest. that such a trial
could ever take place," Spear
"If the defendants are convict.
ed, then a large demonstration will
show there are many, many peopl
who want ,an end to political re-
pression and who want our court
to begin to serve all races and
classes in our society," he adds.
Proceeding on the assumptior
See PROTEST, Page 8
Special To The Daily
CHICAGO-"The theory of
the government's case is that
seven nyen long active in the
peace movement suddenly de-
cided to embark on an insane
a n d completely inexplicable
course of violence," Chicago 7
defense attorney Leonard Wein-
glass told the jury yesterday.
The main thrust of Wein-
glass's closing argument was
that it would have been "lunacy"
for the seven defendants to act

convicted of disrupting Uni-
versity teaching or adminis-
trative functions.
The controversy arose after
Fleming announced he was con-
sidering sending the Department
of Health, Education and Welfare
and state authorities the names of
student financial aid recipients
who were arrested in the LSA
Bldg. sit-in Sept. 26.
Fleming has sent a letter to1
HEW informing the department
of the LSA Bldg. sit-in but ex-
plaining he is not submitting
names because he believes the law
is not applicable in this case.
The president is currently
awaiting legal opinions concern-
ing the probability of winning a.
court test of the constitutionality
of the state law.
SRC's statement urges that
Fleming "take the lead" in the
University community in seeking
to "rid our law books of these
The statement adds that the
laws are:
-A danger to civil liberties be-
cause they intimidate some fi-
nancial-aid students from exercis-
ing their rights of free assembly
and speech and their freedom of
non-violent dissent or protest;
-A form of "double-sanction"
because they include both court
and financial punishment;.
-"U n e q u a 1 punishment" be-
cause they affect only one group
of students, the financial aid re-
cipients; and
See SRC, Page 8

shut f
Mississippi Valley State Col-
lege, where 889 students were
arrested Tuesday after sitting-
in on a campus street, was
ordered closed yesterday noon.
Tuesday's action is the largest
single mass arrest on a college
campus in U.S. history.
Scholarships on which more
than half the students depend,
were temporarily suspended yes-
terday by College President J. H.
White. The faculty committee is
presently drafting a new admis-
sions policy to determine the con-
ditions for reinstating the arrest-
ed students.
Almost all of the 2,500 students
at the predominantly black col-
lege in Itta Bena, Miss., have been
boycotting classes for five days
and have presented the adminis-
tration with a list of 30 demands.
The demands include recruit-
ment of more qualified instructors,
written rules for conduct of se-
curity officers, abandpnment of
rules governing student dress and j
more public telephones..
President White said the college
had met some of the demands
last week but that it could not
meet all of them. He would not
specify which demands had been
The students were sitting in a
campus street, White said, and re-
fused to move when campus se-
curity officers asked them to leave.
The security officers then turn-
ed the students over to the Le-
flore County Sheriff's Department.
"I called in 65 extra Negro se-
curity officers from across the ame
state to assist our seven security Pres
officers," White said. Originally thet
there were nine campus security over
officers, but one was struck by
rocks and another injured by a
chain and was hospitalized, said Cou
White. tiati
White said L had "facts" that mee
there are "outside agitators" in-
volved in the protests and that
See MISS., Page 8 at a




-Daily-Jim Diehi.

300 march to protest trials

300 protest t rials of
Newton, Black Berets

Mlarty McLaughlin

Robben Fleming

About 300 people marched to
the Washtenaw County Bldg. yes-
terday to protest the "incarcera-
tion of Huey Newton," a national
Black Panther leader, and t h e
trial of six Ann Arbor Black
The march, organized locally by
the Free Huey Coalition, was part
of a nation-wide protest yesterday
sponsored by the Black Panthers
to demonstrate support for New-
ton's legal battle.
The protest was held in con-
junction with the appeal of New-
ton's conviction for voluntary
manslaughter in the killing of an
Oakland, Cal. policeman. T h e
appeal was scheduled to begin in
the California Supreme C o u r t


The marchers were also protest-
ing the trial of the "Ann A r b o r
Six" - Black Berets facing charg-
es stemming from a police raid last
August on their Ann St. head-
However, the Black Berets' pre-
trial hearing scheduled for yes-
terday was postponed for approxi-
mately threb weeks because, the
judge was absent.
The march began after about
100 protesters gathered in the fish-
bowl and then moved to the Diag
for a rally. By the time the group
had begun its march to the Coun-
ty Bldg., over 300 people had join-
ed the protest.
The marchers carried signs say-
ing "Free Huey" and chanted slo-
gans including "Free the Ann Ar-
bor Six." The procession drew both
bemused smiles .and clenched
fists from observers. And one
woman called the marchers "a
bunch of hoodlums."
After. passing through a section
of the black community, the rally
was held on the steps of the Coun-
ty Bldg. Several Washtenaw Coun-
ty police armed with nightsticks
refused to let marchers enter the
building, however.
Speakers then called for con-
tinued harassment of oppressors
in the United States and quoted a
Newton speech. "The blood, sweat
and tears of black people are
the foundation of the United
States. We were forced to b u 11ld
America and if forced we will tear
it down."
Another speaker demanded that
all 10 points of the Black Panther
program-including the freeing of
all political prisoners and local
control of black communities-be

was beautiful, but we've got to
continue with this solodarity," he
"We're going to intensify the
struggle and coordinate the strug-
gle," declared the last speaker.
"The effect of the freezing weath-
er kept some people away," he
continued, "but you just wait un-
til it gets warmer."
The coalition, which includes the
Black Panther Party, the Black
Berets, Black Students Union,
Students for a Democratic So-
ciety, and other groups, will also
sponsor a benefit Sunday night
celebrating Newton's birthday. All
funds raised at the benefit will be
used for Newton's legal defense.
The raid on the Ann Arbor Black
Beret headquarters followed an
attempt by two police officers to
arrest David Hunter, a Beret, in
front of the headquarters. Hunter
was wanted for parole violation.

leming rejects
Ludent-run OSS
Negotiations over the controversial Regents bylaw
ndments appeared to have broken down yesterday as
sident Robben Fleming announced he could not accept
creation of a student-dominated policy board with control
the Office of Student Services (OSS).
In response to Fleming's position, Student Government
ncil President Marty McLaughlin said that "bylaw nego-
ions are effectively at an end." He added that at tonight's
ting, SGC would discuss possible further action.
Fleming's announcement on the policy board issue came
closed meeting with student and faculty representatives.
He later confirmed his state-

starts summation

Poli sci moratorium continues,
grad students reject proposal

nesses who were for the most
part policemen."
"This trial has been considered
as an act of vengeance against
seven men who dared to come
here to protest the policies of
war and racism in the face of
a city that didn't want them
here," Weinglass told the jury.
The government must project
it's conspiracy theory, the de-
fense lawyer said, because it was
necessary to blame the conven-
tion week violence on someone.
They had to have scapegoats,
Weinglass said. "The scapegoats

his attack on prosecution wit-
nesses with a reminder to the
jury that a wide variety of
people had served as witnesses
for the defense.
He answered Schultz's claim
that some defense witnesses had
misbehaved on the witness
stand, explaining that their an-
ger at the court was a natural
reaction to an unjust trial. He
characterized- one of them, Jul-
ian Bond, as "a black man
raised in Georgia, who, until he
took that stand, was able to
cope with American justice."

Protesting political science grad-
uate students voted overwhelm-
ingly last night to reject a com-
promise proposal made by the de-
partment's executive committee
earlier this week.
The students also voted to con-
tinue the moratorium on teaching
recitation sections scheduled for
the remainder of the week.
The faculty proposal called for

in the department's Rackham
block fellowship grant and addi-
tional funding for graduate stu-
dents from outside the University
will compensate for the cut in
teaching fellowships.
Approving an extensive motion,
which included the provision to
continue the moratorium, the
graduate students last night de-
-That next week would consti-

mass meeting next Thursday at
7:30 p.m. in the Rackham Amphi-
-That graduate students will
vote on the proposals made by the
student-faculty committee and if
they are accepted, the moratorium,
scheduled to resume Feb. 23, will
be called off. If the proposals are
rejected, the moratorium would
resume in a modified form.
t-h ,,id-tc d,-tidtd+th+t "i

At a similar meeting last week,
Fleming had indicated that it
might be possible to delegate au-
thority over internal OSS matters
to a student-controlled board.
But the president indicated yes-
terday that there was "no viable
distinction" between internal and
external affairs .of the office. He
also argued that students would
tend to be prejudiced toward their
own interests and would not make
effective long-range decisions.
"The students are a principal
party of interest in matters which
extend beyond the present college
generation," Fleming explained
last night. He said he believes that
students would be too involved
mi+h immndiat oncerns to nlan

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