WINNER! ACADEMY AWARDS
INCLUDING BEST ACTRESS KATHARINE HEPBURN
HEPBURN LION IN
JNE MERROW JOHN CksE WINTER TIMOTHYDOANTROR s
secondI f hioiit ,Iage
ir i ttn
NEWS PHONE: 764-053-
BUSINESS PHONE: 764-0554
Saturday, September 27, 1969 Ann Arbor, Michigan Page Three
TENANTS UNION ORGANIZES
MONDAY, SEPT. 29 8:00 P.M.
PIONEER HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM, ANN ARBOR
EDITR'SNOTE: Daily reporter Steve
accompanied a Tenants Union
organizer on his rounds to gather sup-
port for the rent strike. This is his
account of a night of organizing.
By STEVE KOPPMAN
It's not easy organizing a rent strike
where people live in neat little apart-
ments in nice, clean, two-story houses
on tree-lined streets. You pound the
pavement and you keep telling your-
self how the landlords are screwing
everybody and then you walk inside
to talk to tenants who tell you how
nice he is,
The first lady you talk to doesn't
even let you give your pitch.
"Hi! I'm from the Tenants Union
and . . .,,"
"No strike! We promised the land-
"When we signed the lease, we
promised t h e landlord we wouldn't
strike! We promised him!"
"But that's not really legally ."
"Maybe not legally, but honorably!
It's honorably binding! We promised!"
Oh, hell. She promised. Of course.
You ought to understand. You can't
ask someone to strike if she promised
her landlord she wouldn't. Christ,
suppose all the landlords thought of
You keep knocking on the doors and
you give your spiel and the people lis-
ten intently and nod their heads ev-
ery so often, and you wonder if you're
getting through to them.
The housing situation in Ann Ar-
bor is bad, you tell t h e m, and the
landlords are charging exorbitant
rents, and the leases are unconscion-
able. We need to make a collective ef-
fort, we need to form a strong Ten-
ants Union, so we can bargain collec-
tively with the landlords.
"The owner was here the other day
to vacuum our rugs" says one girl.
"He vacuumed your rugs!"
"He swept out the bathroom too."
"He paid my parking ticket."
"My God" you say, "he's really up-
tight about the rent strike." And you
explain that this won't 1 a s t if the
Tenants Union fails. And these girls
understand, sort of, and they know the
rents are too high, and they're inter-
ested in your little form where you
can check off defects in the condition
of the apartment from the bookshelves
to the towel racks and the screens.
Doors in Ann Arbor o p e n slowly
these days. You've climbed the stairs
to the top floor and you knock and
the girl wants to know who it is. "I'm
John Doe - from the Tenants Union
-- I'd like to talk to you for a minute."
She asks again and you answer again,
and now she's starting to unlock the
She opens the door a little and peeks
through. "Gee, y o u look legitimate.
Come on in." She's beautiful.
"Let me preface this that we haven't
had any trouble so far," she says. Cool.
You explain everything a n d she's
real attentive and friendly, but you
don't think she understands. Her
roommate comes in - you don't like
the looks of this one, and sure enough,
she gives you a hard time. She must be
"We're hard-headed about this."
she says, "we want facts and figures
about how we're getting Jewed!"
You're Jewish, of course.
You tell them about Van Curler's 40
per cent profit, but you explain how
this probably isn't typical. We need a
Tenants Union, you say. We need pow-
You tell them howe minor housing
code violations will get them rent re-
ductions if they have to go to court.
"Well, if you're going to get picky, I
guess everybody has some little viola-
tions," says the beautiful one. "I mean
like, we have our luggage in the back
. and we have the hamsters."
You're sort of depresssed now. You've
hit six apartments, and maybe you'll
get one or two, but nothing sure.
In the downstairs apartment. you
meet someone you know from the Ten-
ants Union. You needed that.
"You can take care of your room-
mates!" you say.
"No. I've tried," she says.
Well, you're still pretty depressed.
Sick and tired. People don't under-
stand. They're so crass. Passive. Stu-
You're about ready to call it a night,
but then you decide to try one more
house. And it's good you did.
"Yeah, I've really been thinking
about it - and the people upstairs,
they'll strike for sure" says the girl.
You feel better already. You answer
all their questions. They're happy to
have you. You don't feel like an un-
welcome guest any more. Upstairs, it's
even better. People who are like you.
People who understand.
"Yeah, well, my father's paying the
rent, and the landlords been nice to
us - but the rents are really high,
and I go along with the union stuff,"
says the guy upstairs.
And you stay in the last apartment
a long time. A girl who's visiting tells
you about light bulbs that fall on peo-
ple's heads, and chair legs that fall
off spontaneously. She's with another
landlord, one who hasn't got tense yet
about t h e strike. Everyone there
agrees they'll join the strike, and the
union is a great thing.
You go outside and you feel heady.
Out of ten apartments, maybe you'll
get five. You've worked over t h r e e
hours but it's been worth it.
I I , 00
you'll be back in a couple of
to try some more.
The Bicycle Thief
Night and Fog
Saturday, Oct. 4 - 8:30 P.M.
TICKETS: $2.00 -$2.50- $3.00
On sale at
SAB Sept. 29 -Oct. 3
Mail Orders and Block Ticket Requests (Sept. 22-
Oct. 1 ) I HA Concert, 151 1 Student Activities Bldg.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
b.)' It Assocad P11re, n c( ollec Press Serice
PRESIDENT NIXON attacked yesterday Congressional pro-
posals for a final deadline for American troop withdrawal from
In his first televised news conference in three months, Nixon de-
clared that while he wants to end the war next year, the imposition
of a specific cutoff deadline would undermine the Administration's'
Nixon said he would not be affected by campus strikes and dem-
onstrations planned for next month.
On other issues, Nixon claimed that the administration's anti-
inflation measures are working; defended his policy on school deseg-
regation and reiterated his support of his Supreme Court nominee.
TWELVE DEMOCRATIC SENATORS, along with an equal
number of House members, met yesterday and agreed to ally
themselves with student opponents of the Vietnam Wliar.
It is reported that the group will support the Vietnam morator-
ium planned for college campuses Oct. 15, and will introduce propos-
als in both Houses for the complete withdrawal of American troops
In the face of President Nixon's insistence that setting of dead-
lines for troop withdrawals would undercut peace efforts, the group is
embarking on an effort to "escalate the pressure" for such withdraw-
The group included Sen. George McGovern IrD-S. D.), Sen. Ed-
ward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Sen. J. W. Fulbright (D-Ark.) and Demo-
cratic national chairman Sen. Fred Harris (D-Okla.)
A MILITARY JUNTA headed by General Alfredo Ovando
Canadia ousted Bolivia's civilian government yesterday.
The new regime's first official act invalidated the oil law under
which the American-owned Bolivian Gulf Oil Company operates.
In a message to Bolivia's peasants, Ovando declared "the revo-
lutionary government is on your side" and will "defend the rights of
the peasants." Ovando pledged to strengthen the land reform act of
WHITE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS demonstrated sporadi-
cally yesterday in Chicago, as Labor Department officials there
heard testimony on claims of discrimination against black
Several hundred white workers massed in front of the U.S.
Customs House jeered as the Rev. Jesse Jackson, head of Operation
Breadbasket, entered the building to testify. A helmet was thrown
at Jackson and the group of blacks accompanying him.
The hearing is investigating charges of racial discrimination in'
hiring of workers on federally financed projects.
STUDENTS AT THE University of Puerto Rico invaded an
ROTC building there yesterday and set fire to furniture inside.
The demonstration erupted soon after word spread that one stu-
dent, Edwin Feliciano Grafals, had been sentenced to a year in prison
for refusing to serve in the U.S. armed forces.
Police were not called to the campus and no arrests were made.
Hair-raising a t the courthouse
Lee Weiner and Abbie Hoffman, right, wrap themselves in white paper while supporter Dick
uses large shears to prune a lock of hair, in front of Federal Building in Chicago. Weiner an
man are on trial there with six others on charges of conspiring to incite mob action during1
Democratic Convention. See story on page 1.
L (Continued from Page I1
ministration Bldg. and dispersed.
Afterward, Fleming remained
on the plaza for three hours and
talked informally with throngs o
7 students about the bookstore
issue. yesterday's arrests, and war
"The Regents should be more
accessible to the students. There
isn't an effective mechanism for
student input into the decision
making. And there should be,"
But Fleming added that the Re-
gents would unanimously be "un-
willing to discuss the SGC book-
store proposal any more."
Fleming was adamant in his
justification of the police action.
He argued that the protesters were
asked to leave peaceably t h r e e
times. and refuse.
O'Brien "We went the injunction route
nd Hoff- because we thought the people
the 1968 would leave and no charges would
be brought about. Injunctions are
usially adhered to," Fleming as-
"We did not read the trespass
statute because that would have
brought in the police.
Only if you don't obey the in-
junction do you end witth the
police," acknowledged Fleming.
"We did not want to arrest
anybody, If they had left there
would have been no police, no
arrests." he said.
e I Fleming did not believe that the
de a decis- students were legitimate in their
ce but had occupation. He claimed that tac-
)ly file out, ties of this sort did not belong in
remained the University community.
Throughout the day, the ad-
ng officers ministration maintained tight se-
ays. How- curity in the Administration Bldg.
ze some of No persons were admitted by se-
le rougher curity guards without elevator ele-
a number vator keys or appointments. Stair-
arily rough way doors were locked.
Fleming on police
Countinued [rmin Page
University Affairs, the top faculty
body, agrees with Barritt's ob-
servations and even goes so far as
to turn the statement around:
"Fleming's reaction is kind of like
the faculty's." he says.
While accepting Fleming's state-
ment of philosophy on disruption
as an' honest one, some have sug-
gested that more pragmatic con-
siderations influenced the presi-
dent's decision to call in the police.
Mayor Robert Harris insists
Fleming is under a great deal of
pressure from the State Legisla-
ture, with the distinct possibility
of an appropriations cut if he
does not handle disruption firmly.
And the president's relationship
with Gov. William Milliken may
also be at stake. In a television
interview following the North Hall
takeover earlier this week, Milliken
expressed confidence in Fleming's
ability to handle the situation-
but added that he expected him to
deal with it firmly. Milliken was
in frequent contact with Fleming
But Fleming denies that such
pressures influenced him to call
in the police. "It was my decision,,"
he says. "It wasn't forced on me
by other people."
The University of Michigan
School of Dentistry is making ap-
pointments for examination of
new patients. Interested persons
should call 764-1516, 764-1517. or
Corn inued frm Pa
The students had ma
ion not to resist the poli
also decided to not simp
Wehrer says. Everyone
Most of the arrestir
were "firm." Wehrer s
ever. he would "criticiz
them for being a litt
than they should be --
of them were unnecessa
with no seeming reason
the way the people wer
"You could see the
betwen one policeman
other," Webster adds.
result, a few of the demo
though not treated bru
"There was absolute
sistance on anyone's par
i based on
And as a
ly no re-
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