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September 07, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-09-07

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£fr4n Dal
Seventy-seven years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
under authority ofBoard in Control of Student Publications

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.,

News Phone: 764-05521

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

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 1968

NIGHT EDITOR: JIM HECK

In the wake
of the arrests

by MARCIA ABRAMSON
"(END 'EM ALL to Jackson with
the otners, Doug," a man yell-
ed out from the safety of a win-
dow high above the street across
from the City County Bldg.
"You're gonna burn," was the
answer from the street.
(Inside t h e building, a gray-
haired woman was spraying a per-
fumed disinfectant on the people
sitting on the floor. Some of them
caught the sickly sweet stuff in
the eyes and mouth.)
Above, the man began throwing
stones from a planter box in his
office down on the crowd. They
were only small stones; they just
stung a little. In retaliation, the
black man next to me brandished
a Coke bottle in mock fury. "You
wait til it gets dark, you up there.
You wait."
OUR ATTENTION wasso on
distracted by the arrival of blue
and white police buses. We had
been waiting for them. The crowd
began a steady stream of curses,
taunts and dares, directed at the
pigs and thestateand the coun-
try, t h a t probably has not yet
stopped.
(Inside the-building, earlier, the
loudspeaker drew laughter when
Eric Chester announced, "Every-
one who got arrested yesterday
better go over to City Hall and get
arraigned, O.K.?")
The people on the street, most
of them black, waited.
'This city is gonna burn now,"
one man said. He wore a dark suit
and carried a briefcase; he had
just emerged from an office
building. I asked him if there was

rom ise
going to be a fight. "If it isn't
right now, it'll start tonight," he b
told me. Two women sitting next t
to me on the bench murmured
their agreement. i]
(Inside the building, the last t,
call came for people who didn't p
want to be arrested. On the out- p
side, the picket line wound round
and round. All over the street, e
people on the way home from o
work were stopping; the streets
had been blocked off.) a
ii
FINALLY THE HELMETED, a
nightsticked, revolvered auto- g
matons emerged, line by line. a
Everyone jeered. Two young black h
men standing near me were sur- h
prised because they could only a
spot two officers carrying tear gas t
bombs. "What they planning to li
do, anyway?" o.

Again we waited. The police
uses pulled up in the front of
;he building; the police- moved
n, and, working in pairs, began
o empty the building. All over,
eople held up their hands for
eace and freedom as they watch-
d. The buses filled quickly. As
ne drove by, we cheered.
Suddenly a black man s h o t
cross the street and disappeared
nto a crowd. Six officers took off
fter him. "That was Jim!" the
irl next to me said. "They've been
fter him for a long time. I told
im not to come round here, but
e thought they wouldn't have
ny time to bother with him. I
hink he got away, didn't it look
ke that?" She got up and went
ff in the same direction.

ft

to

protect

you'

THERE WAS SOMETHING incredibly
stark about yesterday's confrontation
in the lobby of the county building.
Few events mark so clearly the delinea-
tion between good and evil, right and
wrong as the conquest of the non-violent,
singing demonstrators by Sheriff Harv-
ey's automaton-like deputies.
For those who had never seen such a
naked display of force before, it was a
grisly and irradicable experience.
For those now veterans of many de-
monstrations, often with even more
brutal denouements, yesterday marked
the return of that all too familiar feeling
of outraged impotence.
But as the long night of bookings, tear-
ful reunions, and the long and arduous
task of raising bail money began, it was
necessary to sort out the issues involved
in yesterday's protest.
MORE THAN anything, theneed for
protests like yesterday's is a graphic in-
dictment of the welfare system as a
whole.
There is nothing unusual in welfare
mothers having to beg the county board
of supervisors for money for s c h o o 1
clothes for their children. For people on
welfare begging, out of necessity, has be-
come a way of life.
Events in the past have shown that
the welfare mothers by themselves are
politically impotent. Thus the county
board of supervisors has total discretion
whether to grant their requests or con-
demn them to silence forever.
But events have come to a head this
week primarily because the welfare
mothers have been aided in their efforts
by a group of committed students.
For, whatever their motivations may
have been, their intervention has trans-
formed what would have been a rather
pitiful plea by welfare mothers into a
dynamic and vibrant struggle.
IT IS DIFFICULT to sift out whether
the blame for the intransigence in grant-
ing the needed allotments for back-to-
school clothes lies with the county board
or in Lansing.
But even more than with unheeding
boards and uncomprehending bureau-
crats, the real evil must be with the na-
ture of the welfare system itself.
If the poor are ever to have dignity,
the need for humiliating spectacles such
as begging for school clothes must be
totally eliminated.
But in view of their present dire need,
we must reiterate that we stand firmly
behind the welfare mothers in their
courageous struggle with the c o u n t y
board.
MOREOVER, we must not separate the
plight of the welfare mothers from the
underlying question of the relationship
of the individual to the police whose al-
leged function is to protect him.
It is quite likely that the brutal at-
tack on a Daily editor coming so soon
after the impotent rage -generated by the
savage treatment of the demonstrators

in Chicago played a major role in pro-
voking the almost unprecedented stu-
dent response to this issue.
But the issue of the relationship be-
tween the police and the individual tran-
scends the mere question of brutality.
Despite some unpleasant incidents-and
a few outbreaks of downright sadism, the
performance of Sheriff Harvey's force in
carrying out their assignment yesterday
compared favorably to the norm for po-
lice forces in this country.

Admittedly, this is a far from
standard-. But it is important to see
the issue is more than just brutality.

high.
that

Street confrontation with
theTactical Mobile Pigs
By MARTIN HIRSCHMAN
WHEN THEY MOVED on the Washtenaw County Bldg. at 5:30 p.m.
yesterday, the Tactical Mobile Pigs were carrying rifles and shot-
guns-all too long it looked like they were going to use them.
These specially trained pigs-clad in their blue uniforms and
spaceman helmets-were part of the force which kept demonstrators
outside the building away from the other pigs who were carrying,
pushing and dragging the protesters out from inside.
So when a group of people drew close to the building's entrance
and Sheriff Douglas J. Harvey yelled at them to get back, it was the
Tactical Mobile Pigs who moved in.
(I was in that crow.d)
The pigs pointed their rifles and shotguns towards the faces land
bodies, yelled to get back, and
started walking forward.

THERE MUST be a flexibility in the
applications of laws to ensure even a
shadow of justice.
While perhaps it is in the public in-
terest for there to be laws forbidding
trespass in the county building, it is un-
questionably clear that the public interest
was not served by yesterday's arrests.
While these things are difficult to com-
pute, it is quite likely that the eventual
jail and court costs, as well as police
overtime pay, will end up costing Wash-
tenaw County as much as granting the
welfare mothers their demands.
It must be made clear, both here as in
Chicago, that when legal powers are
maliciously stretched to arrest peaceful
protesters who are in no way endangering
public property, the intent of these laws
has been seriously mangled to thwart lib-
ertarian purposes.
What is needed in Ann Arbor, as in
America as a whole, in this time of severe
national discoird is a tolerance quite alien
to either Mayor Daley or Sheriff Harvey.
For the suppression of dissent by even
quasi-legal means is wholly alien to the
values which are supposedly rooted in
this nation's fabric.
CONSEQUENTLY, we would like to ex-
press a deep empathy and a heartfelt
gratitude to those students and welfare
recipients who sat-in and demonstrated
at the county building these past two
days.
Furthermore, in view of the severe
hardship imposed upon everyone involved
by the spiteful raising of the bond for
trespassing from $25 to $50 per person, we
.call upon all concerned with the future
of dissent to contribute to the bail fund
for these and whatever future arrests
may be needed.
In many ways this has been a sad and
moving day for Ann Arbor and the Uni-
versity community and the students and
*elfare mothers who have, suffered at
the hands of the police.

Harvey smiles for newsmen

THE PEOPLE in front of the
crowd started inching back and
some turned around, ducked down
low and pushed the people behind
them to move back.
(I was terrified.)
People were shouting "easy"
and "don't run" and "move back,
keep moving" and the Tactical
Mobile Pigs kept walking forward
pointing their rifles and shotguns
straight ahead.
Finally, the group managed to
put some space cautiously between
them and the tactical pigs, but
when they did, there was no very
safe way to turn.
ALL AROUND, hundreds of
pigs-tactical pigs still pointing
their rifles straight ahead, regular
pigs with riot sticks maintaining
a no-man's land on Huron St. and
attacking pigs who were "escort-
ing" their prey into the waiting
pigmobile.
(While his mother was confer-
ring with newsmen, a small boy,
tired of playing marshal with his
red armband, took out a well-
hidden capgun and began firing.
He was remonstrated immediately.
"Don't do that!" He looked up
with a question on his face and
I could see one of the marchers
pointing to the rifles on the roof
of the county jail.)
Yes sir, there's been a good deal
of talk about- the ring-a-ding pig
state we're living in. Lots of talk.
But there it was, an °organic
pig state on Huron St. And it was
pushing people around and pen-
ning them in and twisting their
arms and gobbling them up.
(I was incensed.)
And there were people who
watchedtcalmly from the window
of the Ann Arbor Bank across
from the County Bldg.
But not jbeing down on the
street, all they saw was worth,
exactly nothing.

Showmanship played
to. a -captive audience
By BILL LAVELY
SHERIFF HARVEY had his finest hour yesterday afternoon.
He was so much in control, so mach the center of all
activity, it could only have been gratifying to his ego.
Addressing the students in the lobby of the county build-
ing, his white pate shining through his black crew cut hair,
he came to the students in a halo of frankness and under-
standing which was as disconcerting as it was confusing.
"If you obey the law and protest orderly, I promise to
protect you and to cooperate with you fully."
"Oh yeah?", some protestor yelled, and he was about to
continue when a hundred impatient students screamed "Shut
up!" and "Let him talk!"
"I just want to assure you that if you protest peacefully,
and if anyone tries to interfere with you, we will ... take care
of them."
The crowd howled in appreciation of the sheriff's eager-
ness to forcefully face any wrongdoers. Harvey laughed.
The whole thing was like good-natured banter, a witty
duel of understatement and double entendre:
The students were putting it on, but was Harvey?
I DOUBT IT. Somehow, Harvey exuded the confidence
of a man who did not really understand the depth of the situa-
tion.
Throughout the day, Harvey treated the confrontation
with the students like a game, or at least like a theatrical show.
Harvey was at his best in the thick of police action. There,
with his reinforcements from Livingston and Oakland coun-
ties, he choreographed an attack strategy on the county build-
ing with the care of an Eisenhower contemplating Omaha
Beach.
First a platoon of deputies moved in, to restrain the crowd.
Then a phalanx of shotgun-toting, mace-swinging, dog walkers
for that special show of force. From out of nowhere came the
troop-carrying paddy wagons who invaded the building with
the efficiency and dedication of commandos.
THEN CAME the finishing touch. Harvey himself suddenly
appeared in the midst of his men. While the, rest of the
officers were obviously apprehensive behind their helmets
and riot shields, Harvey waded into the crowd like a Mac-
Arthur wading ashore in the Philippines.
Finally, as a limp resister was being dragged by, Harvey in
a show of manly paternalism admonished, "Why don't you
stand up and walk like a man?"

l

But perhaps it is not futile to hope
out of their actions the beginnings
far more compassionate future
emerge.

that
of a
may

-WALTER SHAPIRO
-MARK LEVIN
-STEPHEN WILDSTROM
-ANN MUNSTER
-DAVE WEIR
-ALISON SYMROSKI

A protester is dragged to a waiting bus
T choice of realities:
To stay put or go free
By WALTER SHAPIRO
IN A WAY the arrests were anti-climactic.
It was shortly after three in the afternoon in the welter
of confusion surrounding the vague ultimatums being issued
by Sheriff Harvey that the real decisions were made:
Who would stay and who would go.
"I just don't know," the girl said. "I want to support the
mothers, but I'm about to start practice "teaching."
That was the choice. The two realities.
The sang "America the Beautiful" as they were arrested.
At first it was for its rich irony. The irony that is one of pro-
testers' few defenses against the steel-helmeted hordes.
But as chorus after chorus of that fourth grade patriotic
hymnal rang out, it took on a new meaning.
It sang of the rich potential of America.
There was another girl. She had told me just a few days
ago that she was "through with being political." There she was
seated on the tile floor of the lobby as the minutes grew short-
er. Finally I found her at the door going to join the picketers
in the street.
"I can't stay, I have a job, it's my livelihood," she wailed
apologetically.
It was all kind of strange. Everyone knew that even if the
welfare mothers won their demands, the world would be little
different than b.efore.
A STUDENT wearing the red armbands of a demonstrator
marshal asked as 5:30 drew closer, "Is anyone here under 18?"
There were a few hands raised in assent.
Then came the warning, "It's not a good idea for you to
stay. You'll be taken to a juvenile home. Bail can't be posted
for you."
No one left.
The county prosecutor William Delhey finally arrived with
his standard "in five minutes you will be arrested" speech. He
ended with a plea to leave, "I appeal to you as patriotic law-
abiding citizens."
The demonstrators sang another chorus of "America the
Beautiful."
And then the nolice came.

4*

'God so loved
the world ..'
By HOWARD KOHN
Associate Editorial Director
A siren echoed in the distance.
The neon lights made her dizzy.
How many times had she
warned him? Damn that hot
temper of his. Always getting
into trouble and expecting her
to cover up. I'll beat him to an
inch of his life.
I told him not to be a cop.
Get a nice job driving a bus or
working in a packing house. Not
me Mao he'd say, I just got to
get on the force. It's in my'
blood,
He was a nice boy really. God
knows I raised him to be. It's
not my fault he's 'a little on, the
tough side. He had to be, grow-
ing up on the street...
It's those filthy rich bastards
from the college. What do they
know about life? Why don't
they stay at their pot parties
and sex orgies and leave my boy
alone? They don't belong here
anyway. It's our town. We know
how to run it.
She wiped the tears with her
cottonknit sweater.
All right, damnit, so he shot
one of them. The dirty slut
probably had it coming. They
all had it coming.

I

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