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September 08, 1968 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1968-09-08

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Seventy-seven years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the, University of Michigan
under authority of Board in Control of Student Publications



for anything

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

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



'U' employes' strike:
A questionable issue

the University by Local 1583 of te
American Federation of S t a t e, County
and Municipal Employes is a conditional
situation. Neither side in the dispute over
contract negotiations is entirely right or
entirely wrong.
The dispute must be viewed in the con-
text of the, progress of the negotiations,
the prospect of mediation and what ef-
fect it will have, as well as in the larger
picture of what collective bargaining
means to the administration and to its
The union and the administration have
r'at 23 times now in the last four months.
Discussion has centered on non-economic
issues - those upon which a specific cost
cannot be placed - and more specifically
on grievance procedures, which affects
most employes.
OUR MONTHS is not an undue length
of time for negotiations on a first col-
lective bargaining contract. Michigan
State University negotiated with AFSCME
for seven months, although the situation
was somewhat different in that meetings
between their administration a n d the
union were conducted off and on for a
time before the union was officially rec-
But for four months' negotiations, they
have not been terribly fruitful, although
it, is difficult to assess the blame. Only
non-economic issues have been discussed,
leaving the equally important and diffi-
cult economic issues still to be considered.
The union is responsible for first submit-
ting its economic proposals which it has
not done, even though it has had the ned-
essary information from the University
since May. University spokesmen argue
that t h e y cannot realistically consider
the non-economic proposals bbcause of
their effect on the economic issues with-
out having seen the total package of pro-
posals from the union.
The Black man
"WHITEY'S BEEN putting me on all his
life. I know just how far these white
'radicals' are willing to go."
Omniscient bitterness denied every
whisper of hope for the blacks who stood
apart from the milling white students.
"Sure they come down to get arrested
and yell their stuff. But when they go
back up on the hill the man's gonna get
his revenge . . . in the alleys where no
one looks . .. that's where we eat shit."
The students did their thing. Some
honestly hoped to win some Ghandian
,power by suffering through severe sen-
tences to publicize American oppression.
But some purely wanted just to lose their
legal virginity.
"It's okay for them, man, but not for
me. They've got lawyers and money and
their bag is to beat the rap. I don't need
A SMILE OF desperation played on his
lips and deadness waited in his eyes,
knowing that help was so close and yet
so far away from him.
"Sure the mothers asked them to sit in
and maybe the mothers will get some
more money. But we don't ever get noth-
ing without the man getting it back
twice over. Them supervisors know how
'cause they've done it so many times
Growing up with the status of a beg-
gar in a country which disowns its in-
digent class is humiliation enough. Trans-
lating the life struggle to the politics of
force (which is more politics than force)

or to the polemics of humanism (which is
more polemical than humanistic) sticks
in the guts.
"When the man points the guns and"
lets loose the dogs them kids gonna hide
away in some corner and you know who
gonna be left to fight(!)?,..."
CONSCIENCES flip-flopped as students
debated the actual commitment of
being arrested. Picket lines seemed a very
viable compromise; and jail seemed such
an irrevocable inconvenience.-
"I know one black cat who says he

THE UNION'S ANSWER is that the non-
economic issues are basic. It says it is
asking for t h e standard non-economic
base and that this question must be set-
tled before it can formulate appropriate
economic issues.
Reports from both sides indicate that
the last two weeks of negotiations have
been significantly more productive than
much of the previous talks. The major
advance concerned the University's ac-
ceptance of non-mandatory presence of
a union stewart at the original filing of
grievances. This is considered normal
procedure, but the University had refused
to accept the policy until recently.
has helped negotiations along, and an
actual strike, were it extensively support-
ed, would quickly win a very good agree-
ment for the union and its members.
Even allowing for the disruption, t h e
threat of legal action and the precedent
it would set for later contract negotia-
tions, the improvement of the agreement
for University employes may well make
a strike worthwhile.
The threat of a strike now is even more
relevant if the activity of a year ago is
kept in mind. The University - despite
claims that it was doing the best it could
and acting in the best interests of all its
employes - was, by its acts if not its
words, strongly anti-union, and thus es-
sentially domineering and unresponsive
toward its employes. The strike quickly
cut through the mesh of paper issues
which had been putting off the inevitable
and eventually won for the unions i t s
representation rights.
That strike also culminated a two and
a half year display of the University's in-
transigence on t h e unionization issue.
Thepersonnel who represented the Uni-
versity through that period are largely
the same who represent it now. There is
little reason to believe that one quiet year
h a s drastically altered anyone's views.
THERE IS ALSO the larger picture to be
noted: the extremely low pay of many
employes, especially the unskilled hospi-
tal employes; the fundamental inequities
in employment which leave blacks in un-
skilled jobs while almost entirely exclud-
ing them from the higher prestige, higher
paying jobs; and the University's posi-
tion, not as a benevolent, enlightened in-
stitution, but as the traditional h a r d-
nosed employer.
Another - probably more important -
factor is the position of the state Labr
Mediation Board. Both the University and
the union have requested a mediator from
the board, but oe will not be available
until the current negotiations and strikes
concerning state teachers are settled. The
wait may be anywhere from a few weeks
to a few months. The board has yet to
respond to either the administration's
l6tter or the union's telegram.
A MEDIATOR would bring an optimistic
note to the -talks. It is likely the board
would send the same mediator who was
here for talks between the Washtenaw
County Building Trades Council and the
University. Both sides in that case agreed
the mediator had greatly facilitated their
negotiations. Such an effect could be ex-
pected in the current negotiations.
This prospect argues strongly for pa-
tience on the part of the union.
Finally, there are the legal implica-
tions. It seems clear that the strike is
illegal. Public Act 379, part of the Public
Employes Relations Act, outlaws strikes
by state employes. The University sought
no relief on that.issue a year ago when

the "walkout" occurred, although num-
eroustother legal issues were raised at
that time.
the strike could be effective before any
restraining order could be issued, thus
circumventing the restrictive law. The
legal issues are ones for the union leaders
to decide.
Current indications are that the strike
is now inevitable. The vote.has been held
and will be counted Tuesday. Reports
from among employes seem to show that
they are strongly in favor of it. A walk-

Daily Guest Writer
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mr. Roistacher
is a graduate student in social
psychology. He has been an Army
National Guardsman for nine years.
He gained experience in crowd
control as an infantry platoon lead-
er and as a civil rights demon-
strator and has done field work for
the ACLU.
county building allowed the
public to view not only the dem-
onstrators but also the city and
county resources for coping with
public disorder.
An evaluation of police work at
the scene of a demonstration is
entirely independent of any eval-
uation of the aims of the demon-
strators. The goal of a public offi-
cer at a demonstration must be
that he permit any lawful activity
to proceed with a minimum of
hindrance while supressing any
unlawful activity with a minimum
of force.
Crowd control is always a diffi-
cult task, and the principles and
techniques which prevent a crowd
from becoming a riot are not all
obvious. The fact that there was
no mob scene on the order of Chi-
cago does not mean that the local
authorities are masters of the art
of crowd control, but only that the
demonstration was basically a
peaceful one. A skilled observer
could note many things about po-
lice conduct and equipment which
do not inspire confidence.
The first stage in an y crowd
control operation is a s h o w of
force by the public authorities.
Formations of police are deployed
where they and their equipment
are visible to the crowd. In theory,
the only ones who should be in-
timidated by such a display are
those contemplating unlawful ac-
tiops, who will now remain peace-
ful and make unnecessary a n y
further action by the authorities.
A show of force is as much an
exercise in dramatics as in tac-
tics. A tightly controlledand dis-
ciplined formation conveys an im-
pression of impartial and controll-
ed force. To stand unarmed before
an armed man who keeps his tem-
per and deportment under control
is quite different from facing a
member of an armed and angry
mob who happens to be paid and
equipped out of one's own taxes.
the deputies in the crowd control
force was one of being a group of
loungers In helmets and riot ba-
tons. Their level of discipline
showed itself in such behaviors as
gum chewing, baton swinging, and
in a general 'Hey, charlie, when
do we get to open a few skulls,'
attitude. Some of them appeared
to be conversing with the crowd at
times. It can be said of the Oak-
land Mobile Tactical Squad that
they neither looked nor acted like
a mob and that there was little if
any doubt of the ability of their
commander to control them.

Two of the most basic principles
in dealing w i t h public disorder
are: never employ more force than
is necessary to control unlawful
activity; never look as if you will
do something that you do n ot
mean to do or that you cannot do.
Sheriff Harvey was infected on
Friday with a strong case of over-
kill. Even though the demonstrat-
ors were in the courthouse, he
faced a crowd of spectators with
a force more appropriate to op-
pose a gang of armed vigilantes.
It was quite apparent that those
who occupied the county building
were not going to stage an Alamo-
like resistance and that those who
watched them were lawfully as-
sembled. The use of riot-equip-
ment was inappropriate.
T h e Oakland Mobile Tactical
Squad was misused in a similar
fashion. This group, a formation
of 42 officers, consists of a squad
leader, dog handler, grenadier,
sniper, and eight officers armed
with 12-gauge browning military
riot guns.
erkill is not quite what it might
seem to be. The grenadier carried
a 37-mm tear gas grenade launch-
er and some gas ammunition. Tear
- gas ammunition can be misem-
ployed by firing directly at a
member of a crowd, but if prop-
erly employed is neither more or
less annoying than tear gas de-
livered in any other way.
It is reasonable to criticize the
employment of the Squad but not
the presence of the grenadier.
Surprisingly, the same can be said
of the sniper, who is less of a
threat to the crowd than any of
the other officers and deputies.
His sole duty is to return the fire
of someone sniping from a roof-
top or window. Someone firing
from a roof into a collection of
police and crowd is an extreme
menace to public safety and it is
imperative that he be driven from
his position or even wounded or
killed to protect the people in the
The sniper is not any g r e a t
threat to the crowd however. His
bolt action rifle puts out a smaller
volume of fire than a n y other
weapon in the hands of the police
and the telescopic sight on it is
almost impossible to focus at such
a short range.
What was truly ominous about
the employment of t h e Mobile
Tactical Squad was the us e of
shotguns. All of the members of
the squad who carried shotguns
were equipped with bayonets, but
did not fix them on their weapons.
To oppose a crowd with a riot ba-
ton is to imply that you will club
someone if necessary. To oppose a
crowd with bayonets is to imply
that you will prod or stab someone
if necessary, To oppose a crowd
with riot g u n s is to say to its
members that you will f i r e on

There was no conceivable rea-
son for threatening to fire on un-
armed citizens peacefully congre-
gating on a public street. Mem-
bers of the Ann Arbor police have
stated that the Mobile Tactical
Squad had had little experience
with student protest and c a m e
prepared for a much more violent
demonstration. Even so, t h e y
should have left their riot guns on
their shoulders and carried noth-
ing more threatening than riot ba-
tons. We can be thankful that the
discipline of t h e tactical squad
seems appropriate to its arma-
THE SAME cannot be said for
Sheriff Harvey's display of wea-
ponry. The Sheriff's two new AR-
15 rifles were prominently on dis-
play on the roof of the jail during
most of the afternoon. The AR-15,
the civilian police version of the
military M-16, c a n be fired as
either a semiautomatic, single

shot weapon, or a fully automatic
weapon. Its effective range is lit-
tle more than 75 yards; beyond
this range it is difficult for even
a good marksman to hit a man-
sized target with any degree of
The roof of the jail was at least
75 yards f r o m any conceivable
target. At such a range, the only
"reasonable" use of t h e AR-15
would be as a fully automatic, ar-
ea fire weapon. The observer must
assume either that sheriff Harvey
was bluffing, and therefore vul-
nerable to all that a bluff entails,
or that he was prepared to ma-
chinegun the crowd of demonstra-
tors and spectators if he thought
it necessary.
The AR-15s also, indicate poor
judgment in equipping the police.
There was not one officer present
at the courthouse who had a mod-
ern, reliable gas mask. The Navy
Mark IV masks carried by all, in-
cluding the Mobile Tactical Squad,

are twenty year old relics whose
canisters have probably lost their
potency, are difficult to breathe
in, and are difficult or impossible
to wear under a- police helmet.
A POLICEMAN in the midst of a
frightened and running crowd
with a gun in his hand and his
eyes full of his own tear gas is a
greater menace than the public
should have to bear. It is ironic
that the interests of both demon-
strators and police are served by
having the police better equipped.
(The approximately $325 that the
sheriff's AR-15s cost the taxpay-
ers would have bought at least ten
modern gas masks.)
In all, the Sheriff's department
s e e m e d undertrained, wrongly
equipped, and overdeployed at the
Friday demonstration. T h e fact
that there was no bloodshed is due
not to their efforts but to the re-
straint of both s*t.ators and


On your mark, get set . .


Journey to commitment

was oblivious to mothers on
ADC. I was the innocent by-
Early Friday evening I allowed
myself to be arrested in behalf of
those mothers.
** * d
I was formally introduced to the

Letters to the Editor
A call for a re-evaluation of goals

THE FBI HELICOPTER circled above disturb-
ing the peace and the cops circled below
threatening all-out war. Meanwhile hundreds of
students affirmed their concern for the ADC
mothers. It was the privileged young and the
old poor against the police state. If the lines
of battle were clear, its objectives were not.
At ten-thirty I left the general library. Where
there had been hundreds, there were not fewer
than a dozen students. Nearly a scorenof black
teenagers moved in rag-tag fashion toward the
Union. I moved in front of them, walking to-
ward my bicycle. I heard the clomping of run-
ning feet behind me. I then felt those same feet
planted with some force in the center of my
back. My head snapped backward in a whip-
lash and my spine tingled from strain.
"What did you do that for? Jesus Christ, you
could have broken my back." After his success-
ful dropkick, my assailant slipped back into the
crowd. My words of complaint seemed an af-
front: they effectively cowed their uppity vic-
tim by menacing en masse. Stragglers jeered
and taunted my silence and disbelief, while oth-
ers shoved a lone passerby into the shrubbery.
The blacks m o v e d off laughing and joking,
pleased with themselves, not in any hurry.
I HAD NOT expected an assault. My reaction
was completely visceral and perhaps untoward. I
might have said something more reasonable and
friendly if I had been thinking in advance. If I
had the kick-me-I'm-a -white-liberal mentality,
I could have brushed it all off with an abject
"Thank you." Or if I had been wearing my El-
dridge Cleaver button, the whole episode might
never have taken place. Yet it is doubtful that
I would have been wearing it in the center of
my back.
As my back grew painful during the night, it
was difficult not to feel some small resentment,
By morning my neck wasstiff, and I had de-
cided that surely other means might be found
for expressing black discontent and black dig-
nity. It was black power misunderstood. But by
noon when my whole back ached every instant,
I was questioning the whole alliance between the
students and the blacks.
Very possibly these were the dependent child-
ren the clothingsallowance was for. Were these
my natural allies? What did we have in comr-

insignificant. Danny the Red burns Springer's
trucks because he would not dream of burning
Springer himself. But here the loss of property
is shocking, the loss of life merely regretable.
THE POLICE symbolize much that is odious,
but the larger failure is that of their materialis-
tic society. What the students need to see is
that their problems are not with the police, and
that thesir problems are but little allied with the
blacks. Instead of pre-empting the black revo-
lution, the building of many little Americas com-
plete with black business and black police, per-
haps students should concentrate on I a r g e r
problems such as pollution, transportation, plan-
less cities and raped countrysides, repressive
schools and rampant military spending and dom-
ination of universities and most of all the war
in Vietnam. These problems are more germaine
and more imnportant than aiding and abetting
a demoralizing welfare system, more important
than getting a few bucks for a few people who
can get their own money in their own way. The
police are small potatoes when compared to the
larger issues. It is corrupt to play on the wel-
fare mothers' plight: they want money, the
students want the police.
The way to deal with the police is from the
top down. That way, if they don't get the mes-
sage, they can get the axe. So let the movements
be parallel but not congruent. Where there is
mutual concern, fine. Where there is none, let
the b a t t 1 e be waged simultaneously on two
fronts, if battle there must be.
An older view
In Chicago, in the most disturbing and outrag-
eous political convention ever h e 1 d in the
country, the Democrats nominated a man who
has undergone a shocking transformation in the
past four years - a man who made no effort
whatsoever to stop the inexcusable violations of
legal rights and liberties in Chicago and a man
who is a 100 per cent hawk.
In Miami, the Republicans nominated a thor-
oughly discredited politician who is also a 100
per cent hawk. Both of these candidates have
fervently supported President Johnson and Sec-

ADC controversy Tuesday after-
noon in the basement of the Coun-
ty Bldg. I accompanied a Daily
photographer there and spent the
majority of the time sitting on
desks in the welfare offices and
listening to the mothers' com-
plaints and observing police and
administration reaction to them.
Still an innocent bystander.
What struck me about the po-
lice, especially Sheriff Harvey's
deputies, was their unwillingness
to do anything but follow their
orders, ("No press. You must clear
the area.") and their tendency to
be just a little more disagreeable
than the situation seemed to call
for. But it didn't bother me very
I remember seeing the list of
clothes that the mother claimed
their children needed to 'start
school and feeling that it was
somehow vaguely repulsive that a
person should have to list his per-
sonal clothing, part of what makes
him an individual, in terms like
"underpants-2 pr., shirt-i, etc."
For the most part I swas a bored
innocent bystander.
Daily editor was arrested for try-
ing to do his job as an accredited
reporter and a responsible jour-
nalist and it became a little more
personalized for me. I walkpd .in
the demonstration outside the ,ail
that night, partly because I want-
ed to see what was happening and
partly because my friends were.
I was amazed at the number of
police and the dogs but other than
that I reacted in a generally neu-
tral, though slightly radicalized
I said "Harvey must. go! " but
I said it softly. Still innocent and
still bystanding,
Thursday made the difference. I
intended to go to my one o'clock
that afternoon but was sidetrack-
ed by the rally and pickets around
the County Blgd. I went mostly
because my friends went and I
wanted to see what was happen-
I hung around the County Bldg.
all afternoon, getting more and
more interested in the controversy
and the people that seemed to be
precipitating it. I was allowed into
the rooms where the actual nego-
tiations between the mothers and
the Ways and Means Committee
were occurring.
A title less innocent now and
an little less of bystander.
During the early portions of the
meetings I was particularly struck
by the concerted effort Loth sides
seemedtto be making towards a
fair settlement. Both sides ex-
pressed their views well, with
adequate consideration for the
realities of the situation, although
there were occasional verbal bogs.

me that it doesn't take $60 to get
my children prepared for school."
The mothers took this as it was
meant, personally; and hope for
a settlement that day disinte-
grated. No longer was it a clash
between mothers and supervisors.
Now it was a confrontation be-
tween people who deeply distrust-
ed and disliked each other.
The meetings broke up at 5:30;
the demonstrators gathered in the
halls outside; Prosecutor Delhey
read the warrant; the cameras
moved in; the police- moved in;
and 52 people were arrested. I
watched some of the mothers be-
ing dragged out feeling as if I had
let them down, that I had no
right to go free while they were
going to jail.
I respected them and sym-
pathized with them and I called
the police pigs.
Less innocent. Less bystanding.
THE NIXT DAY I was there
for the sit-in, knowing that
arrests would undoubtedly take
place. I was still very much un-
decided as towhether I would al-
low myself to be arrested, but
I was definitely going to stay to
see what would happen. By this
time I knew the leaders by sight
and name and they were begin-
ning to recognize me.
I was in the group bf so-called
radicals that met with Harvey
that afternoon and I heard him
say they would use "dogs, not of-
ficers, but dogs." I couldn't believe
him. He said we were profes-
sionals at this type of thing and
that anytime we wished to have
a peaceful demonstration he
would work' with us.
We took Harvey's warnings
back to the demonstrators; they
voted; some went out; some stayed
in; sone wandered in and out.
We returned to Harvey's of-
fice, explained the group's deci-
sion, and watched him look pleas-
ed. "You cooperated with me," he
said, "and now we'll cooperate
with you. No dogs, only man-
power will be used."
A FRIEND AND I walked over
to the bus station for a piece of
pie and he told me he was "a
littletoo existential" to commit
himself to anything enough to get
arrested. I wondered if I was.
I walked back to the C o u n t y
Building and started to walk
through in the picket line that'
had formed, Three friends called
to me to sit down, and I knew
the time had come.
Not innocent. Not bystanding.
I sat down on the floor a little
while later and got myself to-
gether trying not to feel frighten-
ed. The police moved in quickly,
handled usroughly, nand pushed
us into the bus. We hollered "Pigs





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