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September 27, 1969 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-09-27

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9#~r Sir4iijan &i~
Set enty-nine years t)f editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

On the exploding, collective unconscious

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

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



On Strike. Shut It Down!

5TUDENT LEADERS have called for
a general strike Monday to protest
the decision by President Fleming to
order mass arrests of students peace-
fully occupying the LSA Bldg. and his
continued refusal to engage in mean-
ingful negotiations over the establish-
ment of a University bookstore.
But recognizing that the administra-
tive decision on the bookstore is only
symptomatic of the lack of democracy
in University decision-making, strike
leaders have called for a wide-spread
student struggle for greater participa-
tion in University affairs.
We applaud this effort.
4TUDENTS must demonstrate unequi-
vocally that they will not be sup-
pressed by threats and intimidation
from Fleming and his police. They
must show this University that it can-
not deal with student pressure by har-
assing student leaders and ordering
mass arrests.
To back down now, would be to con-
done Fleming's dec'ision to break with
150 years of University tradition by
employing police-rather than dialogue
to deal with student protest.
Arts Editor
Managing Editor
Associate Managing Editor
Editorial Page Editor
Associate Sports Editor

While conceding that some student
actions-such as the disruption of the
Regents meeting last week and t h e
LSA Bldg. sit-in-make dialogue ex-
ceedingly difficult, the students' ac-
tions were an obvious result of their
powerlessness, of their exclusion from
the decision-making process.
The issue is one that does not lend
itself easily to calm discussion. It is
a question of power, and few people
give away their power calmly. Students
are clearly justified in demanding more
than a mere advisory role in this Uni-
STUDENTS MUST strike to demon-
strate that they will no longer al-
low the central administration a n d
Regents to make decisions unilaterally
for 35,000 students.
For the Regents and administration
have demonstrated time and again-
the bookstore is only one example--
that they represent interests wholly
alien to those of students.
This oligarchy cannot be tolerated
any longer.
City Editor
Literary Editor
Associate Managing Editor
Associate City Editor
Sports Editor

]HE ONE obvious and overpowering message of
Thursday night's occupation and support dem-
onstrations at the LSA Bldg. was that the contro-
versY over a student-run bookstore was simply not
the motivation for this massive outburst.
Viewing the carnival of Thursday night's ac-
tivities was like watching the collective unconsious
of the concerned student community explode
through all the past frustrations and failures in a
desperate attempt to come to terms with the reality
of an apathetic society which ignores the politics of
As the afternoon wore on Thursday, the fact that
a building was being occupied loomed much larger
in the students' minds than the Regents decision
on the bookstore, which precipitated the event.
Students flocked to the LSA Bldg. to see the oc-
cupation for themselves. While crowds supporting
the occupiers guarded the doors of t h e building,
larger groups gathered on State St. and in Regents'
. Plaza to watch the bust everyone expected.
The protest became a spectacle.
WHILE MANY of the crowd drifted around the
building, discussing the pros and cons of the book-
store and the occupation, the "hard-core." the peo-
ple inside the building and those "protecting" its
entrances were caught-up in a sea of comaraderie
which exuded waves of songs, chants and unlimited
The hard-core accepted supporters without
question, enveloping them into their mass. Simi-
larly, when a person made the commitment to join
the hard-core, he immediately identified with the
For those who joined the demonstration, there
was the meaningful reward of human warmth. Gen-
erosity abounded. The crowd was fed and k e p t
warm. Enthusiasm and confidence were bouyed
through the singing of old songs which everyone
s more than

SIGNIFICANTLY, the bookstore problem faded
and merged with other sources of discontent. The
songs reminded the demonstrators of the war, of
the draft. The rumors of a bust reminded them of
other confrontations, broken heads and teargas.
The bookstore, regardless of its singular impor-
tance or relevance as an issue, provided people with
an opportunity once again to raise up all the other
issues, the "real" issues.
To put it bluntly, the demonstrators had a Chi-
cago conscience.
PEOPLE WONDERED and speculated a b o u t
what would happen during the course of the night,
but they consciously prepared for the worst. They
had no illusions that this time would be any differ-
ent, that after this demonstration people would
understand. But they had no doubts about the nec-
essity of their being there.
To deal with an apathetic society, they felt con-
frontations must be manufactured, even at the ex-
pense of reaction.
More than at any other time in the past, there is
a movement in this country. Tactics and issues may
be debated, but moral outrage is common to all.
The gulf between the young an dsociety-at-large
grows wider, the credibility of government policies
is completely lost, and those who profess a social
conscience refuse to accept any continuation or
rationalization of the status quo.
THE INTENSE determination of youth to com-
municate their moral outrage to society-at-large
refuses concilliation. Their emotional commitment
to human values cannot be bought off with token-
ism or even sincerity.
They demand an end to inhumaness. They are
not willing to just talk. They are not willing to wade
through the murky backwaters of "political chan-
The raw energy released through constant col-
lisions against the wall can no longer be repressed.
a bookstore

Student power i

Friday morning reviewed

IT IS remarkable that while o t h e r
universities have shown a marked in-
ability to accommodate any institutional
change without disorder, this University
has remained calm during the last several
years. Although there had been friction
here, an uneasy, productive truce h a d
existed among faculty, students and ad-
The truce has worked. Disruption has
been averted and police have been kept
off campus. Bylaws which would give stu-
dents greater control over their affairs
have been drafted and have received
much faculty and administrative sup-
port. A bachelor of general studies has
been Instituted to foster academic free-
dom. A Tenants' Union has thrived and
a Student Credit Union is beginning.
HOWEVER, most observers predicted
that the University has been running
a collision course of late and that this
campus would explode as it did finally
Friday morning.
Now that police have been dragged
onto campus and arrests have been made,
it is useless to go about trying to place
the blame for the shattered tranquility.
No single individual or group of individ-
uals can be considered fully responsible
for the events of yesterday morning.
Rather the cvents of yesterday morning
suggest that what happened was a col-
lision of various pressure groups: stu-
dlents, faculty administrators, govern-
ment officials, taxpayers. All are to blame
for the disasterous events of yesterday
morning, and those which may follow.
O ATTRIBUTE the tragic events to
the blunders of one man-the Uni-
versity president---is naive. This is not
to say that Robben Fleming was not
guilt-y of s e v e r a I tactical blunders.
He probably was. He overreacted to the
threat of student disruption and called
the police when it might have been

better to have done nothing, It would
have been better to disturb LSA secre-
taries for a day than to call police on
But the argument can be made that the
irrational actions of some protesters and
unnecessary pressure from local police
and even from Lansing may have prodded
the president to act when he mi g h t
ordinarily sit tight.
In the context of the past weeks, if;
has become apparent many demonstrat-
ors are not at all interested in adhering
either to the democratic process or to
rational behavior. That Robben Fleming
did not hear out all complaints yesterday
is unfortunate; it may have cost him
his reputation as an even tempered ad-
ministrator. But there is reason to believe
that nothing he could have said or done
yesterday could have dissuaded the pro-
testers from seeking arrest.
IANY OF THE protesters honestly feel
that Fleming's behavior toward them
was so despicable as to warrant dramatic,
militant action. Perhaps they were right;,
perhaps nothing can be altered without
student pressure.
But it is a sad delusion of some that
the University's decision-makers c a n
easily be intimidated by student power
plays. The administration and the Re-
gents can, indeed, be pressured, but the
militant actions of the past weeks are
apt to alienate rather than terrorize
Since student power and not the dis-
count bookstore is admittedly the issue,
the students should address themselves
to the proposed University bylaw and
needed constitutional revisions which
would once and for all give students con-
trol over their lives and balance dis-
tribution of power at the University.
DEMONSTRATORS who realize that the
real issue here is student power

THE CAMPUS is going on strike Monday. Most of the speeches have
centered on one demand: student control of a student bookstore.
But let's face it; there's a hell of a lot more involved and a hell of a lot
going on.
More, because everyone can see at this point that the bookstore is
becoming a focal point for larger discontev. Tha was crystal clear at
Friday's rally. We are disgusted with thewa the entire University is
being run by an Olympian few. And the way they are running us at
the same time.
Yes, running us. Because for a student, the nattire and purposes
of the University in large measure dente the natnre and purpose of
his life while there.
If the student cannot exercise a reciprocal control over the Uni-
versity, he ceases being a human being and becomes passive grist
for a diploma-mill. He is acted upon, but cannot act. He is molded, but
cannot mold. The demand for power over the bookstore symbolizes
our demand for power over the enti'e University. Curriculum, finances,
admissions, housing. You name it. We demand a democratic University.
EVERYBODY knows this. Which helps to explain the size of the
crowds these days. And which helps to elain the stance of Fleming
and his Regents.
They know that to give in on this demand--trivial as it might
seem in isolation-would threaten them riously in fact. For one thing,
their powver is founded on always ha ihe last word, onl being the
collective court of last appeal. We are now shaking those foundations.
Why do the Regents flatly refuse to reconsider their earlier deci-
sion? They are afraid to. It would prove that Regents have the last word
only when we students let them.
For another thing, this specific decision of theirs stands as a bul-
wark against a torrent of demands which could follow a bookstore.
Like: University funds for low-cost housing (to break the landlords'
stranglehold on the student market i Perhaps student-faculty control
over all University finances -an end to priorities which produce
"Regents' Plazas."
THAT IS vhy we are watching the metamorphosis of a Fleming.
Remember Robben the Compromiser? Robben the Mediator? Robben
the Sublime? He's nowhere to be seen. And the campus is shocked
that he's called in the cops? Fleming wears his happy masks only when
they're effective. When they fail, they're discarded and replaced with
others. Now we have Fleming of Stern Demeanor, the Cops' Robben.
What matter-his purpose remains unchanged: Law and Order!
The situation here is similar to industrial disputes. The given de-
mand may be small, but the implications huge. Sociologist Alvin
Gouldner found in such a dispute that management could not com-
promise on every issue just because it was small. "They also required
solutions which would be compatible with their status interests.
They were. therefore. disposed to resist any solutions which threat-
ened their perogat ives and diminished their control over the situation,
however much it might improve efficiency. Given management's fear
that the workers were out to control the planit, . . . management sought
solutions which were safe as well a icient.''
FOR NEED any radicals be embarrassed about 'purely student
fights'' in the midst of an imperialist war. The driving ene'rgy behind
the bookstore clearly transcends even tle University. That energy can-
not be divorced from the history of the student movement.
That is, a bookstore demand could never have mushroomed this
way six or seven years ago. The accumulated sears from fighting the
war, racism, imperialism, and capitalism have made the difference.
Anger born of one fight is carried into the next. And rightly so.
Because one of the lessons we've learned in the past few years is that
the same system-- and even the same men, despite their rhetoric--
stand behind most of the eneies we've been fighting. We see the
same institutions that keep down other victims of the American empire
keep us down, too. We are broadening the anti-imperialist, anti-racist
fight into a total war for liberation, including our own.
So this is one time when it is more than fantasy to shout: Bring
the war home! We are doing jutst that.


"" """"iss"ue
To the Editor:
THE BOOKSTORE controversy
is just another attempt by a spe-
cial interest group to get some-
thing free from the taxpayers.
The only sure financial benefit
to the students ithe special in-
terest'group involved) will be from
the sales tax exemption. It's ob-
vious that the taxpayers of this
state will have to make up the
it amuses iue that students on
this campus, who pretend to take
such a high, moral attitude toward
the war and other distant items,
can so quickly become crass polit-
i'al opportunist when they have
the chance.
-Walter 'i. Broad
Sept. 19
)armn g dl
To the Editor:
ROTC activities, I had to answer
in my own mind some of the ob-
jections against such militant
demonstrations, especially that
they violated academic and per-
sonel freedom.
Maj. Radike's and Pres. Flem-
ing's defense of academic and
personal freedom as, in effect.
absolute values, reminds me of the
indignation of 'liberal'' ministers
againsti the disruptive tactics of
Dr'. King". In a brilliant defense of
nonviolent civil disobedience. "A
Letter From The Birmingham
Jail," he exposed the hypocrisy of
liberals who are morally indignant
at the inconvenience caused by a

sit-in, but who utter impotent
cliches when confronted with the
overwhelming oppression imposed
on the socially disenfranchised.
SO. TOO, in isolating the dem-
onstrations from thei' social con-
text, Maj. Radike and Pres. Flem-
ing divinize academic freedom
while hypocritically glossing over
the military's pervasive disruption
of students' personal lives, uni-
versity life and the life of the na-
tion. The military has disrupted
students' lives by forcing them to
"volunteer" for ROTC, the service
or draft-exempt jobs, as a means
of dealing with the draft. How
many students have had their
academic careers or even their lives
permanently "disrupted" by the
In view of the military disrup-
tion which affects students, Rad-
ike and Flenting 'to use the wo'ds
from "Alice's Restaurant") "have
a lot of damn gall" to complain
about the disruption of an ROTC
BEMOANING THE militaristic
disruption of American lives and
society will do little good. The Es-
tablishment, from Maj. Radike, to
President Fleming, up to Presi-
dent Nixon, already knows of
America's disillusionment with the
war, excessive military spending
and militarism.
However, because of the mili-
tary's political influence in gov-
ernment and financial investment
on campus, the government and
the university will stubbornly re-
fuse to follow the mandate of the
people. To intimidate dissenters,
force, the threat of force, and
academic and civil sanctions will
be invoked.
In Chicago I saw the McCarthy-
ites with their "Peace Now" slogan
clubbed down by police night-
sticks; here I see many "liberals-
for-peace" back away because of
the threat of arrest, physical fotce
or academic reprisals. So that
someday we can all "make love.
not. war." the war machine must
be brought to a halt. The military
resistance has only begun to fight.
-Chester J. Kuhs, Grad
Sept. 20

management of the college and
the university.
Now all this promising effort
has been abandoned. Instead this
fall we have been treated to evi-
dence of the basic teaching of our
cumbersome institution-irrespon-
sibility. We have i'r'esponsible re-
gents, administration, faculty, and
--Prof. Sam Bass Warner, Jr.
History Department
Sept. 26
Peace now
To the Editor:
An open letter to all University
of Michigan students who are
currently participating in demon-
strations on the campus for any
reason whatsoever:
As an alumna of the University
of Michigan, I am as ashamed to
have you associated with the Uni-
versitv as I am proud of the in-
telligence and decency, the cour-
age amtd honor of President Rob-
ben Fleming.
I applaud his belief in rational
discussion and in democratic
means for achieving legitimate
ends. This country was founded
on the basis that all men have a
right to express their opinions
freely----but not any one group at
the expense of all of the rest.
Americans do not believe that the
end justifies the means: only Fas-
cists or Communists act upon
this prenise!
THERE SHOULD also be priori-
ties in national life. You should
get youur values straight and real-
ize that the lives of American
boys and men are more sacred
than a little money spent on books
or even over-night abolition of
ROTC. Go about these projects,
if you must, but in a peaceful,
orderly manner. And remember
always that LIFE IS MORE IM-
Put first things first. Please
support. President Fleming in his
efforts to end the war in Viet-
nam. Look at the Peace Corps
plaque on the front of the Mich-
igan Union and the medallion on
the steps, and turn your thoughts

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