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SATURDAY, MARCH 29, 1969
NIGHT EDITOR: BILL LAVELY
The rent strike:
n , 1h
" a~ r
rTHE ANN ARBOR Rent Strike goes on,
gaining momentum, attracting na-
tional attention, and in general surpris-
ing its early detractors who thought it
an impotent flail at the all-powerful
The rent strikers certainly haven't won
yet, but they have had some significant
victories and will no doubt give the land-
lords a hard fight before the end comes.
The last case handled so far, which was
decided yesterday, is the most significant.
Not ofily was the rent reduced, but the
tenants were given possession of the
apartment for the remainder of the lease.
Implicit in such a verdict is the very clear
declaration that there is something very
wrong in the housing situation in Ann
Arbor. The landlords have been found
greatly at fault, in this the first serious
attempt at challenging their power and
authority in the housing market.
THE STRENGTH of the rent strike can
be measured by the non-student sup-
port it is gaining. There are many people
close to the housing situation, who do not
have a vested interest in it, who have
tacitly or openly declared their support
for the strike. The strength grained there
-from the powerful United Auto Workers
Union among others-adds greatly to the
credence the strike is developing.
Buit these early successes are not the
whole ball game. The pleasure of these
victories must not obscure the goal of the
rent strike, the reason for the whole
effort. No number of minor or psycholog-
ical victories should overshadow the pri-
mary goal-the permanent establishment
of a public or private agency which will
equalize bargaining power between the
tenants and the landlords.
The rent strike is not the first attempt
at improving the tenants' situation in
Ann Arbor, although it is the most suc-
cessful. The most important factor is the
permanance of this attempt. Landlords
last longer in Ann Arbor than students
and individually have a greater stake in
the housing market.
IT IS UP TO the students to consider the
future housing situation as well as the
present one. Such considerations would
indicate only one course of action for
students; now considering entering the
housing market: they must not, under
any circumstances, rent from any of the
landlords being struck, or if they do, they
should join the rent strike immediately.
Current rent strikers must also be
aware. Some landlords now are trying to
buy them off by catching up on improve-
ments and satisfying their immediate de-
mands for service and maintenance. But,
while that is what the rent strikers seek
in the long run, the piecemeal successes
they win this way must not be confused
with the real thing. And the success is
neither real nor assured until every stu-
dent can be assured of protection by a
There is a very positive virtue in the
fight being waged now. The landlords
have overstepped the bounds of propriety
in their handling of housing and tenants'
problems up to now. It is now that they
are being brought to task, and they
should be made to pay the price.
Clearly, the question here is not one of
property rights or even the personal
nights of tenants in any ethereal sense.
The long-suffering tenants are challeng-
ing the strength of the landlords, and it
is just that, a test of strength.
The basis of that strength lies in more
than just economic clout. The students
have a sharp, competent agency leading
their fight, and it is in that leadership
that their victory will lie.
THE LANDLORDS are only now becom-
ing aware of the competence of the
rent strike steering committee. The com-
mittee has established its ability to ob-
tain and use factual and legal informa-
tion, and it is a strength the landlords
did not expect, but which they will have
to deal with,
The landlords' awareness of the ten-
ants' leaders' abilities was not the crucial
question-the ability itself was. That has
been established, and it now seems to be
only a matter of time before the play will
see its last act-most likely in favor of
The man who laughs
"He had lived well enough to have six children, a house on
the water, a good apartment, good meals, he had even come to
enjoy wine. A revolutionary with taste in wine has come already
half the distance from Marx to Burke."-Norman Mailer in Chicago.
NORMAN MAILER'S National Book Award is a great pleasure; you
meet only a few persons in life who enforce on you a respect that
is quite past envy, they become a private possession, a better self, so
to speak, and their awards, in some curious way, are partly your own.
This award had to be unanimous; in cases like Mailer's there is
until the final judgment always some passionate dissenter in the jury
who hangs the others and forces them to choose someone less trouble-
some. He has arrived then at becoming a closed question, a grand maitre.
"The Armies of the Night" passed beyond any need for distinc-
tions by ceremony quite a while ago, having already broken open the
journalism we had accepted before it. I will take these awards, Mailer
told his audience in effect, and you will give because none of us any
longer knows what we are doing.
And Mailer came at a time when we understood that wecno longer
knew what we were doing, when the canons of objectivity and the
commitments of partisanship were alike unable to serve us, when we
needed narrators so engaged that they were unafraid to contradict
HIS WORK, of course, is held k."
together by the presence of a
great comic character and a great
serious character, both himself.
Everything works, not only the
eye but the memory of other
times, all of him even to the
nerves in the shoulder when a
policeman lays his hand upon it.
He throws on any table every
bit of property he has. His sense -,
of risk is the only ridiculous thing
about him. I remember sitting the
Sunday before the Goldwater con-
vention and hearing him say how
much he wished he could be for :...<': . .
Goldwater. Look at these girls. he
said. My God, I answered, look at
their mothers, having learned long
ago not to imperil my immortal
soul at inconsequential public
events by allowing myself to be
susceptible to their participants. I
did not understand the Immense '
advantage, held by the man who '
dares that peril until I read Mailer
later: he had left that convention
at the same time picketing and
AFTER HIM, we cannot be satisfied again with any other version
of the events except the one which has the beholder's every, intimacy
and embarassment in it. Already, 'after Mailer, the magazines are
coming out with great, sprawling pieces founded on the principle that
size itself is a virtue and more 'often than not convincing us that it is.
It is hard to say how well all this will work; most men, given a real
effort, may develop sevenreasonably new ideas of their own and these
can be exhausted by just one large exercise in the Mailer pattern. The
danger of imitating a truly strong talent is that we do not have its
capital; he may leave the rest of us very soon bankrupt.
No matter; strongers unconceived will pick up "The Armies of
the Night" as some of us do Carlyle's "French Revolution" and say
"This was the way; why didn't these fools know to follow it?" Our
answer will be that we did know; we just didn't know how.
In the interim, Mailer lifts _us all; he reminds us that, after so
many sins of ours, one of us has gone past Walt Whitman who was
ne'ver so untrustworthy as when he wrote: "I am the man, I suffered.
I was there." Now we have an American who knows enough to say:
"I am the man, I suffered a little. I laughed a lot. I was there." Care-
ful, you lords of creation: something new approaches, led by a man
(c) The 'New York Post
More notes from Howard
By HOWARD KOHN
IN KANSAS CITY six-year-old
Timothy Adams took the long
way home from school. His mother
called the police who sent out a
helicopter to look for 'rim.
Flying overhead the police spot-
ted Tim and boomed out on a
megaphone "Timothy, go home!"
He ran all the way home and
told his mother of "the big voice
in the sky." His mother explained
AND T H E ABSURDITY of
hunting took on new ramifications
this week when Gerard Matte shot
down a low-flying helicopter be-
cause it was scaring his game. The
helicopter was spraying marshes
for mosquitoes in France.
The pilot made a forced landing
with buckshot holes in his g a s
tank and his leg.
In Africa's Kenya veld profes-
sional guide Bali Iqbal earned his
fee from U.S. sportsman Bill Des-
manders this' week. A supposedly
dead buffalo gored Iqbal in the
leg when he a."proached it after
Desmanders shot it.
But Iqbal calmly held the
wounded animal down with h i s
foot while Desmanders shot it
And in Florida poachers contin-
ue to make from $500 to $1000 a
night killing alligators in the Ev-
PEOPLE WHO BUY savings
bonds are actually losing money
because of the eroding purchasing
power of the dollar. Someone
should tell Uncle Sam about truth
GENERALISSIMO F R A N C O
wants $700 million from the Unit-
ed States to renew a contract for
two air fields and a Polaris sub-
marine base in Spain. Not only is
the price outrageous but the bases
have little worth, either militarily
If we don't renew the contract,
we will have to evacuate within a
year - which is exactly what we
* * *
LONG-REGARDED as a haven
for the experimental and icono-
clastic in theatre, no matterf how
raw, New York City has finally be-
gun to define some limits.
After several preview perform-
ances which featured simulated
love-making on stage, 'Che" was
raided this week by the police.
"Che" is billed as a symbolic
tale of Che Guevara's last hours.
Police arrested 10 actors including
two women and a 16-year-old boy,
all of whom appeared n u d e on
The charge was lewdness, sod-
omy and obscenity.
DR. DONALD GATCH, who ex-
posed ricketts and starvation in
Beaufort Count, S.C., has b e e n
hospitalized because of malnutri-
tion. Doctors said he had b e e n
working too hard and observing
poor eating habits.
Some 50 years after he d a t e d
Ethel Boeke, Frank Warren has
taken out a marriage license.
Warren, 90, has never been mar-
ried. Ethel, 73, is a widow.
But, good bachelor that he is,
Warren has not yet set the wed-
AND IOWAN HOUSEWIVES
continue to argue with state
chemists over whether there are
rat claws in the bologna thereIaf-
A\ spokesman for the Iowa ag-
riculture department originally
announced the hard, white slivers
in the bologna, which is processed
in Des Moines, were rodent's
A subsequent chemical analysis
disputed this finding and claimed
they were "lip pacillae," from the
room of a cow's mouth and legal
ingredients for bologna.
But now some chemists say the
analysis was inconclusive and the
clippings may indeed be rat's
To the Editor:
WMHO "WON" the eviction trial
of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Rosen on
March 20? Decide for yourself on
the basis of the- Ann Arbor News
story reprinted in the Daily, an-
onymously by t h e landlords, to
scare rent strikers.
Edward Kloian sued to collect
$300 back rent and the jury
awarded him $280. T h e tenants
were not thrown out on the street
and were not hurt financially. Ac-
tually they gained $5 by joining
the rent strike: $20 cut in back
rent balanced off against $15 (10%
of first month's rent) they put
into the strike fund.
Any court costs (set by law at
$25) will be paid by the Tenants
Union if they are charged to the
What of Kloian? Paying his
lawyer $30 an hour a n d paying
other bills associated with the
case, it cost him more than he
got out of it. And the case has
little scare value since the Rosens
are no worse off than if they had
never joined the rent strike. Klo-
ian still has a lot of rent strikers
on his hands, including the Ros-
ens starting again next month.
Tf landlords canscore big vic-
tories in, court why have t h e y
brought so few eviction cases
against strikers? O n I y 25 sum-
monses have been brought on the
1200 strikers. The big management
companies (Charter, Apts. Ltd.)
have not brought a single sum-
THE POINT IS not t h a t the
Tenants Union achieved any of its
goals in court, but that the land-
lords will not be able to break the
strike in court.
The Tenants Union will be es-
tablished as an effective bargain-
ing agent for Ann Arbor tenants
only by winning an economic war
with the landlords. Only then will
the monopoly power of the land-
To the Editor:
DURING THE CAMPAIGN for
mayor, there h a s been some
discusion of the record of Richard
Balzhiser as a councilman.
Although it took place nearly
four years ago, there is one entry
in that record I will never forget.
It is dated Dec. 20, 1965.
The Council was about to vote
into law our Fair Housing Law.
The moderate Republicans - Hul-
cher, Hathway, and Crary - had
made it known they would vote
for it. We Democrats - Eunice
Burns, LeRoy Cappaert, Ed Pierce,
Bob Weeks, and I-all had fought
hard for it and obviously would
vote for it.
Then there were the Council's
two best known conservatives -
Johnson and Habel. No one was
surprised when they announced
they would vote against it.
The lines were drawn: the lib-
eral majority - a coalition of
Democrats and moderate Repub-
licans - on one side. On the other
side were the right wingers.
WHICH SIDE did Councilman
Balzhiser choose? He joined, the
other conservatives a n d voted
against the ordinance. (That is
after he first tried to cripple it
by limiting it to just a token num-
ber of dwellings in this city.
And why? He has since claimed
he voted "no" because he felt it
was more appropriate for the state
to pass laws regulating discrimina-
tion. Did he say anything about
this on the night of Dec. 20, 1965,
when he tried to vote down Fair
Housing in Ann Arbor? Let the
next day's Ann Arbor News tell
the story: "Both Balzhiser a n d
Mayor pro tem 0. William Habel
said the ordinance encroaches on
the rights of citizens to privacy
That is a night for all citizens
of Ann Arbor to remember.
news reporting) policy of y o u r
publication in such an untenable
position as to make a Joke of what
you must consider to be serious
In one editorial yesterday (on
the engineering school's sit-in re-'
cruitment protest), you managed
to (1) headline President Fleming
as a "meddler," (2) make it ap-
pear that the President was acting
against the wishes of all the en-
gineering students by "pre-empt-
ing enraged engineering students,"
(3) take the unbelievable position
that Mr. Fleming as president of
this university has no d u t y or
right to act where university stu-
dents are denied the right to speak
with a recruiter who was present
in a university building at the re-
quest of a university official, (4)
accuse President Fleming of at-
tempting to influence student af-
fairs by referring a matter to a
student judicial body which the
students themselves have ordain-
ed and established for the situa-
tion at hand.
ANY "EMBARASSING and per-
plexing dilemma for the juriciary"
was not created by President
Fleming as you say, but by t h e
students themselves which you,
every day, attempt to lead down
the correct paths.
I believe that the facts of this
case are clear. Your attempt to
distort or re-characterize them
can only lead to your own demise
as an influential editorial writer.
Need we guess what your edi-
torial would have sounded like had
President FleI..ing done otherwise
and permitted the Ann Arbor po-
lice to make arrests in this case?
Your directive as to what the Cen-
tral Student Judiciary "must" and
"should" do seem equally out of
place since you are clearly trying
to tell a judicial body what to de-
To the Editor:
ON TUESDAY, March 25, a
group of students affiliated
with SDS took the first of a series
of militant actions orientated
against the University in its capa-
city as the servant of the military.
A recruiter for Naval Weapons
Research was effectively block-
aded in his office and prevented
from recruiting for the greater
part of the day. 'We in SDS feel
that this action was justified for
the following reasons.
Military recruiting in all its
forms must be seen as an integral
part of the role the University
plays in maintaining and increas-
ing the militarization of American
society. Together with the in-
stitution of ROTC and University
involvement in Defense Depart-
ment contracting (war research),
recruiting is a necessary phenom-
enon: necessary, that is, to the
present functioning and growth
of the military establishment as
the oppressor of countless num-
bers of people both at home and
The fact is that the military as
it functions today could not exist
without the support so willingly
offered by our supposedly "neu-
Today's large university forms
the very foundation of American
society; it is an institution that
legitimates and provides the cru-
cial support necessary to main-
tain the present social order.
Michigan is no exception. Day
in and day out, this University
provides facilities for recruiters;
officers for the Army, Navy, and
Air Force; and technology for the
present policies of domination.
BUT WHAT, specifically, is the
function of the military? Very
briefly, we believe that the mili-
tary and the militarization of the
economy are the inevitable out-
growth of a system that serves
to oppress and exploit people in
both this country and the Third
World, in both the black ghettos
and the villages of Vietnam.
The military functions to carry
out American domestic and foreign
policy, which we believe not to be
formulated for 'national defense,"
but rather for the maintenance of
a veritable economic empire.
But on the other hand, don't
students have the right to be
recruited, to be granted an inter-
view with anyone, no matter who
he be? Does SDS have the right
to disrupt the lawful activity of a
We believe, first of all, that the
'word "right" must always be un-
'derstood in the wider context of
what it is used to justify. In this
'case, when students say they have
'the right to be recruited, in effect
.re saying they have the right
'to participate in the American war
,hachine, the right to do research
'to build more weapons, the right
ultimately - to kill people.
They are saying they have the
'right to carry on the inhuman op-
'pression and wastage which by
'human standards cannot be justi-
fied by any right at all.
*The recruiter and the prospec-
tive employe or officerhshould not
be considered in isolation from the
total system which they represent:
and serve to perpetuate.What
'goes on in that small office is
essential to the continuation of
the oppression and wastage that
is the very essence of the military.
SECONDLY, it seems clear that
rights are defined by the rulers
of this society not primarily with
reference to some standard of
justice, but rather merely in terms
of what is right for the preserva-
tion of the status-quo.
Rights are easily abrogated, if
those rights are used to challenge
the workings of the existing sys-
tem. Thus, while I have the right
to be recruited, I do not have the
right to refuse the draft for polit-
Safeway Supermarkets has the
right to raise their prices in the
black ghetto market when welfare
checks are issued each month for
not issued). But the black people
do not have the right to rise up
in rebellion against this plain fact
of exploitation. The ruling class
An open letter to President Fleming
Dear Mr. Fleming:
I WAS SORRY to see you, the President
of the Administration, expose your
ignorance of student government on the
editorial page of The Daily (March 28).
You note the low turnout at SGC elec-
tions. In the mildly-contested run-off be-
tween two candidates of similar views, with
bad weather and one day to vote, and with
a shortage of pollworkers caused by an
abortive boycott of the election, only 10 per
cent of the student body voted.
Under the best of conditions, the turn-
out has never been much above 35 per cent
of the electorate. While such turnouts
lem"? Low turnout at University Senate
meetings, the faculty equivalent of SGC
elections. What was the resolution? Fewer
University Senate meetings and setting
up Senate Assembly, a representative body
getting much higher attendance.
COME, COME, Mr. Fleming. Are you
caying that SGC should hold fewer elec-
tions? I don't suppose so. Are you saying
that the student body shouldn't try to
conduct too much business through refer-
enda and should instead do most of its
business through a representative central
If so, you are certainly right (though
student body by colleges. You have been
saying that for over a year now. Which is
what shows how little you know about
THE CONSTITUTIONAL Convention
was, in fact, organized as you want SGC
to be organized and was approximately
the size of Senate Assembly (55 seats).
Election by schools and colleges left many
seats vacant and gave few members of the
body any defined constituency they could"
go back to for guidance.
The Convention failed in part because
it could not find an alternative to the
present structure of SGC, but more, I