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November 07, 1969 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-11-07

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Thr M44'tgan Bail
Seventy-nine years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

within the system: 3 European precedents

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Doily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in al reprints.



Julius Hoffman v. Bobby Seale:
The court's contempt for justice

BOBBY G. SEALE, leader of the Black
Panther Party and until yesterday co-
defendant in the Chicago Eight trial, was
accused by Judge Julius Hoffman of be-
havior which "constituted a deliberate
and willful attack, on the administration
of justice and an attempt to sabotage the
functioning of the federal judicial sys-
tem." Having thus characterized Seale's
protests, Hoffman found the militant
black leader guilty on 16 counts of crimi-
nal contempt, each carrying three months
imprisonment, and sentenced him to a
total of four years in jail.
It is probably much closer to the truth
that Judge Hoffman is sabotaging our-
or more properly, the white man's-sys-
tem of justice in denying certain basic
rights in this trial. The right to the coun-
sel of one's own choosing seems so ele2
mentary to the fair administration of jus-
tice that any challenge to this principle
is inexcusable, particularly when that
challenge comes from a man who has sat
on the bench for as many years as Judge
O SECURE this right to choice of coun-
sel, defense attorneys William Kunstler
and Leonard Weinglass repeatedly made
it clear to the court that as far as they
were concerned, they could not claim to
represent a defendant who did not desire
their services. Hoffman has remained
adamant on this point, and Seale has
tried in every way he could to secure his
rights as a defendant.
As matters stood, then, both "attorney"

and "defendant" disavowed any legal re-
lationship in the trial - and yet Judge
Hoffman refused to recognize this. Seale
would not be silenced in his simple de-
mand, and finally, Hoffman wrecked any
hope of a fair trial, if there ever was
hope, by physically silencing Seale with
a rope and a gag. Hoffman's contempt for
Bobby Seale as a human being far ex-
ceeds the alleged contempt with which
Seale is charged.
THE WEAPON Judge Hoffman resorted
to Wednesday, that of summary im-
prisonment for criminal contempt, is one
which must be used sparingly and with
great discretion. Hoffman may not have
overstepped his legal bounds in finding
Seale guilty of contempt. But the Supreme
Court has not yet ruled on whether a
judge can enumerate the actions which
constitute a "contempt," and proceed
against each as a separate count as Hoff-
man has. This question will undoubtedly
arise in the appeal, and hopefully will be
ruled in Seale's favor.
Chicago was the city in which coercive
and brutal police tactics were given their
best public airing. Perhaps now Chicago
will be the place which will mirror a sys-
tem of law which can be successfully used
to deprive minority rights, silence politi-
cal protest through use of the courts, and
jail its victims without jury trial when
they dare to demand the rights guaran-
teed by the Constitution,

MUCH OF THE discussion in left-wing
political circles, now heightened by the
tremendous growth in militant anti-war
sentiment, concerns how best to reor-
ganize society in order to give social
power to the people.
Liberals maintain, in brief, that this
can be accomplished without disturbing or
going outside the established political in-
stitutions of American government. Radi-
cals insist that those institutions are
only masks 'for privilege and power-cen-
tralization which those in power will
quickly jettison when the institutions be-
come threatening to the established socio-
economic order.
This is hardly a new debate, but recent
events in Europe remind us how it has
been resolved in the past - not mere-
ly in theory, but in fact.
THIS MONTH, northern Italy was rock-
ed by a general strike - primarily of
metal workers with labor in other sec-
tors striking in support. Demands includ-
ed shorter hours for greater pay, and the
level of militancy was expressed in strik-
ers' physical attacks upon strikebreakers,
management, and the industrial plant it-
The Italian Socialist Party (PSI) re-
quested "limited government intervention"
to deal with this "labor unrest."
FIFTY YEARS ago, the Italian Left ar-
gued out the question of reform or revo-
One wing of the movement insisted
that what was necessary was the deliber-
ate, mass seizure of industry and gov-
ernment and their reorganization along
collectivist lines.
The prevailing group, however, brand-
ished revolutionary phrases while intend-
ing merely to sit on its hands and wait
the enthronement of socialism through
the exercise of universal suffrage.
SO IN 1920, when the metalworkers in
Turin and Mlian -- supported by trans-
portation workers and others throughout
the North - began spontaneously seizing
their plants and managing them them-
selves. the Socialist Party and its trade
unions refused to condone the strike. The
PSI was banking on electioneering, not
mass action.
Unfortunately for the Socialists, t h e
bourgeoisie saw as early as they did
which way universal sufrage was leading
Consequently, the republican police be-
gan enrolling criminals into goon squads
which threatened, bludgeoned, and laid
seiae to the homes of Leftist candidates.
By 1921, the temper of the electorate had
swung so far Left that the Liberal party
decided to enter an electoral alliance with

the Fascists in order to forestall Socialist
Fascist gangs killed dozens on election
day that year, having already made PSI
electioneering an impossibility in much
of the country. The gangs themselves were
often led by on-duty commissioned army
officers and armed with government-dis-
tributed weapons.
Local groups of Socialist militants began
forming self-defense squads, but these the
police conscientiously broke up.
IN THE face of all this, Italian re-
formists conseled, not armed defense or
revolutionary offense, but passive resist-
ance to deprive the government of "jus-
tification for its mock neutrality," as one
historian recalls.
And the Fascists, with the support of
both the conservative and liberal bour-
geoisie, systematically set about complet-
ing the job by expelling the Socialists
from the trade unions and the Parlia-
By 1925, Fascism was firmly in the
saddle. And the efficacy of reformism had
been demonstrated in Italy.
The post-war PSI has learned its les-
son. It has decided not only to abandon
reformist socialism, but socialism per se,
which is one sure way of preventing
By the 1960s the PSI was solidly in-
corporated into the Establishment, and
is now in the business of policing pro-
perty rights, as this month in Turin.
IN WEST GERMANY, Willi Brandt of
the Social Democratic Party (SPD) has
become Prime Minister, and journalists
are trumpeting the re-emergence of Ger-
man socialism from the ashes of the
In a speech to Parliament at the end of
October, Brandt made clear what kinds
of changes could be expected from SPD
The New York Times reports that "al-
though he did not go into great detail,"
Brandt promised educational television.
curbs on air pollution, better schools, town
planning, sports, "computerized govern-
mental operations," reforms of civil
service. welfare programs, taxes, research.
medicine, and a brand new "war on
No mention, of course, of workers' con-
trol of industry, democratic planning of
the economy, or de-militarization. No
mention of socialism at rll. The SPD has
learned the same lessons as the 'PSI
and has made the same decisions. '
IN THE Germany of the twenties, the
SPD spoke of radical social transformation.
And like its Italian brother, it awaited
success through victory at the polls.
The German bourgeoisie, like the Ital-

ian, was not ideologically committed to
For quite some time it stood with the
Weimar Republic and treated the Nazis
like pariahs.
But the constitutionalism of the bour-
geoisie was conditional. Historian S. Wil-
liam Halperin notes, "The leaders of in-
dustry in Germany were not greatly con-
cerned about forms of government per se:
they were ready to tolerate any regime
so long as it permitted them to accumu-
late weath and retain it. A thoroughly
conservative republic subservient to the
great business interests would have been
altogether satisfactory to them."
OF COURSE, German workers were
not interested in using their votes to en-
trench the "leaders of industry." They
were becoming increasingly bent on trans-
forming the nation into, at very least,
a social republic with serious restrains on
business prerogatives.
So, Halperin continues: "The conclus-
party's chronicler, Stanley Payne, observ-
tion's industrial plutocracy was that the
republic would have to be eliminated."
They turned now to the same kind of
Fascist squads as had appeared earlier in
Italy - for the defense of property from
COMMITTED to the parliamentary road
to power and terrified of involving the
masses of people in messy, unmanage-
able revolution, the SPD wrung its hands
and witnessed its own murder in silence.
The SPD which emerged from t h e
war is even more gun-shy than before. And
it has therefore even less chance of mak-
ing Germany society a democratic one.
THE RISE of Fascism in Spain was too
similar to the stories in Italy and Ger-
many to bear lengthy repetition. Once
again, the rising Leftist vote. Once again,
the fearful ruling classes. Once again, the
tepid reformers. And once again, Fascism
What is worth examining more closely
in Spain is the nature of the Fascist re-
It was claimed by the Fascists of all
three countries - and is heartily second-
?d by liberal capitalists since then -
that Fascism initiated a social order com-
oletely different, not only from socialism.
but from capitalism as well.
Unlike in Germany or Italy, Spanish
Fascism survived the war, and in Spain
we can examine Fascism's true nature.
AT BIRTH, Spanish Fascism masquer-
aded as social-revolutionary; in power,
all such ideological baggage went over the
Its grandiose prbmises to limit capital-
ism have been junked. As the Fascist
partys chronicler, Stanley Payne, observ-
ers, Fascism's elaborate plan for societal

reorganization "rwas carefully trimmed
and regulates to fit many of the require-
ments of capitalists.
"The financial world recv.:.'d g r e a t
privileges not because Franco cared f o r
bankers but because he needed rhe sup-
port of the upper middle classes to pro-
vide a technical, organized base for the
regime of 'order.' "
Trade unions were broken and replaced
with a top-down structure of labor dis-
cipline; profits soared. And again Payne:
"By 1950 Spain was much closer to being
a capitalist country than ever before."
Since then, the official Fascist party,
too, has watched its star decline. This
month, in a drastic cabinet reshuffling,
Franco virtually eliminated from all key
power posts representatives of the Fa-
lange, substituting the technocrats of the
lay Catholic group, Opus Dei.
Fascism, the more drastic phase of
Spanish capitalism is closing; and the na-
tional-syndicated pretensions of the Fa-
lange were long ago discarded.
Spain now plans to join the Common
IN ALL three countries, reformers said
they planned a total re-ordering of na-
tional priorities: masses of people began
voting the reformers into office; and the
ruling classes, perceiving real or imagined
threats to their social power, abandoned
all interest in democracy or parliamentary
forms - turning to the Fascist movements
for social defense.
Because the reformists were willing to
subordinate their needs to constitutional
forms, they assumed the ruling class was,
too. They were wrong, and they paid for
their mistake.
THE UNITED STATES is not a Fascist
country, and it is not headed for Fascism
in the immediate future.
Nevertheless, we can see in the in-
creasing political repression here a micro-
cosm of the European experience.
The increasing brutality and extra-le-
gality of the police; the wild abandon ex-
hibited by more and more courts; the sly
wink which state authorities give to right-
wing vigilantes; the "law and order" cam-
paigns in the cities - all these indicate
that the American ruling class has no pe-
culiar attachment to democratic forms.
When republican traditions or institutions
threaten or inhibit the defense of the
existing economic power structure, t h e
American ruling class, like the European,
looks first to its wallet.
It is therefore apparent that any move-
ment in the US which seriously intends to
restructure this society along truly egal-
itarian, democratic lines must be pre-
pared to do so in an organized, militant,
revolutionary fashion. The only alterna-
tive to repression or passivity is success-
ful revolutiOn.

The income tax in retrospect:
Consider the alternative

THE OVERWHELMING defeat of the
income tax package last Monday fore-
casts the worst of times for Ann Arbor
and the Democratic administration. The
failure of the tax package dooms the city
to a financial crisis by early next year
and begins a new assault on the city's
It is important to analyze why Ann
Arbor's voters came out in numbers des-
pite relentless drizzle to express them-
selves at the polls. Undoubtedly, the
silent, but voting majority is fed up with
tax hikes of any kind and is revolting
against any proposal which calls for the
slightest shift in the already odious tax
Taxpayers feared the package was only
the first of a series of new taxes to be
imposed by state, local and national gov-
ernments. And a local tax burden, cou-
pled with the general trend of tight
money and increasing unemployment,
drove voters to play it conservative and
vote down the institution of the income
Furthermore, some voters probably
Jesus Saves
A VERMONT pastor, the Rev. Richard
C. Ogden, Jr., is instituting a "pray
now, pay later" plan in his Church.
Pastor Ogden, who is also the mayor
of the town, hopes that his plan, which
is based on credit cards, will boost church
Just inside the main door of his church,
Rev. Ogden has installeda credit card
machine; the theory is that parishioners
will find it easily to give on credit than
in cash.
Yankee ingenuity marches on.
!iHtEN Y C X, Editor

feared that the city government would
merely assimilate the estimated $1,000,-
000 increased revenue from the new tax
and not plow it back into public use. The
mayor must indeed be faulted for having
failed to establish spending priorities.
THE IRONY is that the voters chose the
conservative course although m o s t
would have profited from the adoption
of the proposed tax. The proposals would
have substantially lowered the property
tax paid by lower and middle income
homeowners and the city would h a v e
drawn a great part of its revenue, from
the one half per cent income tax on
commuters. Although many inequities
would persist, the income tax was as
progessive as state law permits.
Its failure can only be attributed to a
misunderstanding of what the vote was
all about by a great number of citizens.
Some did not understand or believe the
voting propaganda profusely passed out
explaining the tax benefits.
Others - probably a smaller number,
but a significant group nonetheless -
saw their negative votes as a - slap in
the face of Ann Arbor Mayor Robert
Harris. Harris had staked his city ad-
ministration solidly behind the program
and it appeared to his opponents that the
best way to stymie the mayor - short of
the aborted recall -- was to vote down his
tax package. The package lost heavily in
the Fourth Ward - headquarters of the
Concerned Citizens -- although the pro-
posal would have benefitted the middle
income residents of this area most.
Residents of the other areas which
would have benefitted substantially from
the tax and the resulting improvement
in city services - the low income pre-
cincts - also failed to back the propos-
als. Although the vote was close in several
of the city's prodiminantly black, low
income areas, the tax failed to pass in
most of them. The total vote in those
areas was relatively small.
Students, likewise, failed to turn out in
numbers to endorse the tax package.
While the tax would not have directly
aided most students, and could have
financially injured some, its progressive
nature should have lured many student
IT IS IMPERATIVE that the voters of
Ann Arbor reconsider the tax pack-
age. The alternative is a series of re-





To the Editor:
WE HAVE been answering many
queries at the Draft Counselling
Center concerning President Nix-
on's declaration on induction of
graduate students. Unfortunately.
we have had to disappoint most of
the persons involved: we fear a
good deal of this is due to faulty
reporting by your paper.
Therefore. I would like in this
letter to try to clear the matter
up by direct quotations from the
Michigan Selective Service Head-
quarters, which will give an exam-
ple of the correct national imple-
mentation of Nixon's message:
W h e n a Local Board re-
ceives a request for postpone-
ment of induction of a grad-
uate or professional student
who qualifies for such post-
ponement... the Local Board
will postpone the registrant's
induction until the e n d of
the student's academic year.
No action will be taken until
after the Local Board has is-
sued an Order to Report for
Induction (SSS Form 252).
. . . The registrant's classi-
fication in Class I-A or Class
I-A-O will be continued
throughout the postponement
period unless new information
is presented to the Local
Board which would warrant
reopening of the registrant's
classification . . . At the end
of the graduate student's
academic year, if he contin-
ues in Class I-A or Class
I-A-O, he will be ordered to
report for induction .
THREE crucial points must be
1) The above does not mean
that graduate students should
expect that they won't receive
induction orders in the fu-
ture. They will still be getting
them at the normal rate. The
directive refers only to those
who already have, or are
about to have, their notices.
2) The above refers only to a
postponement, not a cancella-
tion of the induction order.
3) This postponement does
not mean by itself any reop-

Il rrr
au5 '
c -'

cause they "lack revolutionary
analytic perceptiveness." Nice little
game you've got going there!
TRUE, YOU recognized the
basis for the necessity of white
professional liberals speaking out
when you conceded that their ap-
peals "would have been considered
because their pigmentation and
economic status were correct," and
"Had their numbers been over-
powering the Supervisors could not
have afforded to say no." Unfor-
tunately, you then had to resort
to an old ploy and proclaim "Even
if the white liberals had won an
increased allotment for the moth-
ers it could not have resolved the
basic problem."
Come off it!
-Dr. Robert Segal
Oct. 30
(EDITOR'S NOTE: The editorial
in question wasgwrittenrby edi-
torial page night editor Lorna
Cherot and expresses Miss Cherot's
views, not those of the editorial di-
rectors of The Daily. The writer's
byline was omitted accidentally.)
Martin Singer
To the Editor:
FOR THE information of all
my curious friends, I am not
the author of the piece "T h e
Tricky Dicky Show" which ap-
peared in yesterday's Daily.
-Martin Singer, Grad
Center for Chinese Studies
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Marty Singer,
yesterday's gnest writer, is a
freshiman in the literary college.)

, n I .z RN ev!4',s


r rr w r w ~ w'rr UrF,. . rrr r i h 4i L u S f lJAtfi. pi

Giant step

To the Editor:

sent actions

beyond one's

dcitv Editor
>" Av I} I PP'INCOT'r ..
I"I:I.ImE WAYNE .....

Associate 1Managing EIditor
Associate City Editor
Editorial Page Editor
Editorial Page Editor
..Arts Editor
('ontributing Editor
Contribut lg Editor
Photo Editor
w\n'Sii (' rorrspondent

WE REGRET the necessity for
having to report this. If there are
any questions, please see us at
502 E. Huron.
-Greg Kandel
Draft Counselling Center
Nov. 6
Curious notion
To the Editor:
SvrTA VTAVL O ,,2cuis.

strangest one is her claim that the
war dissenters are using the same
tactics against which they are pro-
Her statement might make more
sense if a war dissenter had
brandished a cross and had hit
her over the head to prove the
On the contrary, Mrs. Taylor.
If the U.S. government had limit-
ed itself to setting up a display in
Saigon telling the people that the
"democracy" of the South is bet-
ter than the "tyranny" of the

guilt feelings motivating the so-
cial action efforts of white liberals
is old hat! As for your sociological
premises about co-optation-surely
you can do better than that. Wel-
fare mothers aren't so easily co-
opted-nor do all the white liberals
wish to play the role of the co-
What turned me off though,
and what surely must leave some
egg on your faces, was your holier-
than-thou attitude. Certainly you
aren't implying that it is only The
Michigan Daily that has the pre-

ON NOVEMBER 10 and 11, we
students are going to be offered
the chance to take a giant step
forwa'd. We will have the oppor-
tunity to decide who will have the
power to tax us - the Adminis-
tration or we, ourselves.
The referendum, which focuses
on this issue, reads:
"Shall the student body have
the authority to determine when
new student fees shall be added
to tuition for construction of Uni-
versity facilities?"
SIMPLY PUT, a yes vote would
mean that we stuidents nre naking

I? ....... .....,. %, i .IT

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