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June 19, 1969 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1969-06-19

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~i~ Bic4t1┬žan ihj
Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich. News Phone: 764-0552
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This mut be noted in olf reprints.












BEHIND THE FRENETIC and frantic ac-
tion of the last two days, it almost seems
as if Ann Arbor has become "where it's at," a
center of radical activity, But it's not.
Rather, the confrontation in Ann Arbo is
being nourished on borrowed rhetoric, non-
issues and idle time. It roots seem to be in
Berkeley and Madison, not Ann Arbor, Its
leadership is a core o--at most 75-self-
proclaimed revolutionaries who do genuinely
sympathize with revolutionary causes, every
where in the nation and world. The issue is
not really whether the streets belong to the
people but whether the United States is sal-
vageable, or indeed worth salvaging. As some-
one shouted during yesterday's rally on central
campus, the issue is Freedom.
However, if the tactic of confrontation is to
dramatize the infamy of police brutality, it is
so much wasted skull cracking. Any inform-
ed individual in the city or on the campus
is aware of police brutality. But one does not
halt police brutality by provoking it.
IT I UNDENIABLY true that Tuesday night's
violence was primarily attributable to the
police, specifically to the activities of the
Washtenaw County Sheriff's department, no-
torious for/its brutal overreaction to conflict
However, it is equally true that some peo-
ple in the crowd were likewise addicted to
violent behavior. A number of those vowed at
yesterday's Diag rally to stalk the campus
with baseball bats.
That a core of individuals have chosen to
abandon democratic means and seek confron-
tatiou wherever and whenever they ca find it
was well evidenced at yesterday's rally.
ALTHOUGH PIOUSLY proclaiming to speak
only for themselves, speakers, including SGC
President Marty McLaughlin and Executive
Vice President Marc Van ber Hout, righteous-
ly declared to lead the People to Freedom. Yet
they were hopelessly deflated when their Oe-
mand to close off South University was re-
soundingly defeated. When students v o t e d
down their demands, the "leaders" appeared
to turn against the voters, apparently deter-
mined to cast their votes in the street. Such
disrespect for democracy and such a penchant
for demagoguery should cast doubt on their
own qualifications for positions of leadership,
However, the resolution of such revolution-
aries should not be underestimated. Even the
advice of Mississippi born Ezra Rowry, former
city chairman of CODE andca veteran of more
confrontations than most students will-
hopefully - ever see, to "cool it" could not
phase the violent minority. For they know
d- that there has never been, nor will there ever
h. be, an effective means of compromising w i t h
in revolution or coping with violence.
ur THE REAL DILEMMA, during the o u t -
le i break,then, confronts the established au-
to thority, the city's newly elected city admin-
in. istration. Mayor Harris had a limited .num-
ber of unsatisfactory alternatives. If Mayor
Robert Harris had determined to stall or block
al police action through persuasion or threat,
on most of theviolence would undoubtedly have
a been averted. By even allowing police in thge
to area he was sanctioning tear gassing and billy
n- clubbing. If violence was to be averted, police
e- should have been kept out.
he On the other hand, the street of South
u- University belongs to all of the people, and
it was in their interest that Harris was oblig-
ed to act. He could not permit a repeat per-
_u formance of'Monday night's "happening" and
n- maintain the good faith of his electorate. Be-
nd sides, an escalated version of Monday's events
st might have resulted in personal injury to
ed the area's residents an; consumers as well as
rnd wanton destruction of property.
ty "

el- r
of k

Furthermore, it is well known that Harris'
long range goal is to effect reform of police
practices. However, he cannot reform the po-
lice from within if he loses their confidence.
To . inhibit them from preserving the peace
could only' alienate the police and the largest
proportion of Ann Arbor's citizenry.
ris was left in the position of condoning police
violence, an agonizing position for anyone who
considers' himself a liberal. His simple and
simplistic statement, released yesterday morn-
ing reflected exasperation behind his disap-
pointing but inevitable resolution to check
violence with violence.
It is indeed unfortunate that this outbreak
will serve as a setback to Harris' intention to
confront the really important city problems
such as those raised during the recent HRC
incident. It must be obvious that city police
are being ill-used in defending South Uni-
versity, and that the crowd's energies care
equally misdirected.
already emerged as the applauded hero of
Tuesday's confrontation, and deservedly so.
His decision to mingle with the crowd and
attempt to forestall bloodshed displayed
courage as well as hard-headed good sense. He
could have remained inside his home and done
nothing; indeed he could do nothing.. But
he tried to use his influence to preserve peace
as long as possible.
Certainly Fleming's own confrontation with
Washtenaw County Sheriff Douglas Harvey
reveals where a very real danger lies. Harvey
insolently rejected Fleming's advice that tear
gas and police" charges should not be -used to
break up the crowd. The brief dialogue var-
iously recorded' in local newspapers between
Feming and Harvey ran thus;
Harvey: In five minutes I'm going down
treat street with my men.
Fleming: That is a very poor tactic and
I'll have to make a statement to that
Harvey: Fine. I couldn't care less. These
officers are getting clobbered' and we've
had it...
WHAT THIS points out is the long known
fact that Sheriff Harvey should be re-
move from office. He is apparently a free
agent, responsible to no one, and very in-'
responsible. He proved himself impervious to
the better judgment of Fleming, and perhaps
Mayor Harris as well. It is no secret that
since the welfare demonstration last fall, the
city administration hays been 'runnfing scared,
constantly" fearful of what the sheriff errant,
might do next.
What street people and revolutionaries
should remember is that Doug Harvey is an
elected official and must be occasionally re-
sponsible to an electorate. The political arena
is the only one in which Harvey is vulnerable.
He will win uncontested any b4ttle in t h e
AND AT THIS POINT, it is only reason-
able to' note that Harvey had his electorate
firmly behind him. Harvey is proof that the
only result of youth revolution is bound to Ibe
middle-aged reaction. It is significant that
"law and order" candidates should triumph in
New York's mayoral primary just as violence
erupted in Ann Arbor streets. The wave of re-
action sweeping from Los Angeles to Min-
neapolis to New York will not spare Ann
For Ann Arbor is not really where it's at.
The revolution, if it is to come, belongs to
Watts and Detroit and Harlem. That is really
where it's at. Unless the attention of revolu-
tionaries and politicians is focused there, a
genuine people's power play will tragically
reach a climax.





the streets,

unith the people

people," the freaks' crazies,
and radicals tell us as we return
from the Diag. The hysteria of
the mob has fooled us - the
police were once again charging.
they cry as we dash to avoid a real
wave of rushing police, billy clubs
in hand, tear gas 'cannisters} hurl-
ing through the air. "RIGHT ON;
MQTHER," we cheer as the police
retreat to regroup, stringing out
between Stephan's and Ann Ar-
bor Bank.
The solidarity of our spontan-
eous struggle forges bonds t h a t
hardly seemed possible hours be-
fore. Our emotions have t a k e n
control - we jeer and deride the
fascists for their invasion of our
"long"-loved soil. All our anger
and passion at the way things are
becomes directed toward the pigs.
It seems rather silly how we
started our revolution though. A
handful of teeny-boppers, freaks,
and cyclists decided Monday night
that we are going to take over
this block after a cop harrassed a
guy for doing "wheelies" in t h e
street. Makeshift barricades were
erected; people gathered as if it
were a mall. A bonfire was built..
Hundreds of spectators lined the
streets awaiting the arrival of the
police. The MC-5 are to come
we are told. Hours pass. No cops.
No rock-band, Harvey must have
read the Kerner Report. Why else
would he allow this "unauthori-
zed" assembly to occur unless he
felt that if cops came in, the place
would explode?
Still the street people revel in
their defiance. The street and
their hopes for mankind have be-
come one. We have seen them be-
fore. They usually cluster by PJ's,
sit on the curbs, or strike up gath-
erings with the~ arrival of cycles.
They're young.. Maybe they' take
dope. It reminds us of the times
in high school when the hoods and
the grease would huddle in the
hallways to laugh self-consciously
at each other.
That was before Haight-Asbury,
however. Now we have stripped
bare our preconceived notions,
looked deeply into the inner work-
ings and ethic of our country, and
come back disappointed, disillus-
ioned, carrying no hope for the
future. The street people are all
right we decide. If not the wave

Our. consciousness swings for-
ward to the scene on South U
Tuesday. Olson and the cops are
gathering between Forest and
Washtenaw along South Univer-
,sity. Iarvey strides up and down
the block, seemingly showing off
-the awesome array of power that
is just arriving.
Twelve to sixteen cops s t a n d
guard at the corner of Forest and
South U as twenty to thirty
youngish freaks verbally' t a u n t
them. The cops remain immobile.
Behind the youngish freaks are
sympathizers and' a steadily in
creasing milling of spectators.
More, cops arrive in front of
Charter Realty': gray( and b 1 u e
State troopers, green fatigued
Washtenaw County deputies, Oak-
land Tactical Mobile Units, Ma-
comb and Monroe officers. The
freaks move from Forest and
South U to taunt them. They, too,
dp not reply or 'retaliate. Two
"flags are raised: one a 'purplish-
blue and white of the W h i t e
Panthers, another, blood-red,
symbolizing revolution. The cli-
max looms near.
THE POLICE begin to group in
formation. Deputy Chief Olson
appears with a bullhorn and an-
nounces for everyone to clear the
streets. The freaks stay w h e r e
they are - they know where the
politics are at - they've got their
shit together, or so we are told.
The cops march, hundreds of
them, then run down South U in
formation, grabbing anyone re-
maining in the street and hauling
them back to the bus that serves
as paddy-wagon.
One screams "Viva the Revo-
lution." Twenty to thirty freaks

altogether have been arrested. The
street has been cleared, although
thousands remain on the side-
walks. "Search and destroy" mis-
sions are -begun by the police, as
hundreds are forced off South U
onto sidestreets.
More are arrested.
A county cop fires a tear gas
cannister into the house above
Student Book Servce. Spectators
remain cordoned off S o u t h Uni-
versity on Forest, Washtenaw,
Church, and East University. Pa-
trol units have surrounded us.
Rumor has it that they're as far
as North U, Hill, and State streets.
Four policemen have been injur-
ed, thirty kids arrested.
The revolution isn't off to. a
blinding start.
IT IS somewhere between ten
and twelve. We have made it back
toward campus, along with five'
hundred to a thousand others. The
police are gathered in two blocks.
A bullhorn tells us to disperse. We
can't move; this is our land. We
go to school here.
The cops charge, and we run
like we've never run before. Tear
gas cylinders are hurled into the
air by police, only to land in trees
bordering on West Engineering.
Two are set afire. Laughter at the
inefficient police, then indigna-
tion: "they're destroying our trees
and our university!" More gas.
We run toward the President's
house. Tear gas stings our eyes.
Around Alumni Memorial Hall
and toward the Diag, a huge cloud
of gas envelops us, forcing us into
the President's backyard, only to
find more.
McLaughlin and others gain en-
try to the house, and for a half
hour people tell the President

what is happening in the streets,
and ask what can be:done.
FLEMING leaves to talk to the
police. A deal- is struck. If t h e
crowd of k i d s at the corner of
Tappan and South U move back,
the cops will retreat.
Our body of two hundred or so
moves down Tappan as the Ma-
comb and Monroe deputies retreat.
Suddenly, without warning, more
cops move into the void and gas
cylinders once again range over
our heads. Ann Arbon police have
broken the agreement. It is the
first battle of Ypres.
It is before twelve, and we have
moved in number to the Engin
Arch. The police are between East
U and Church in force. More cops
arrive via U-haul Truck. Rumors
spread t h a t these are National
Guardsmen - yet we see no bay-
The cops charge and retreat, at-
tempting to disperse us without
trampling upon the sacred ground
that is campus. We become ex-
hilarated by the faint taste of 'tear
gas that lingers in the air.
the restraint shown by the cops,
some of them taunting police, oth-
ers despicably throwing rocks and
bottles. Cops fall from the rain' of
debris. They are angry and incen-
sed by our lack of respect for the
need for law and order. They
charge again. We run again.
It is minutes before one o'clock.
Olson has announced, after sev-
eral ;unsuccessful mediation at-
tempts, that the police will charge
again. -We see waves and waves of
police behind the first row that is
strung out between Stephan's and
Ann Arbor Bank.

Hysteria again rules. We win
sprint until we are, out of breat
At one, the cops move in mass,
formation, up to the Engin Arc
down South U, down East U. 0
ranks have deteriorated. Peop
have seen what they wanted
see. 6nly a few str'agglers rema:
Harvey's game of tag is over.
WE ARE TOLD by our radic
friends on the Diag this afterno'
that yesterday's affair wa$ only
prelude for a larger struggle
suffocate the menace to commu
ity welfare that is poug Harve
We will demand that the thre
block section be given back to t
people from which .the city a
thorities usurped it.
We will demand that three hi
pies, three blacks, and three st
dents be given the power to co
trol the police. We will dema
that the public officials respon
ible for the police "riot" be fir
from authority. We will dema
that Robben Fleming give accou
of the University's role in the a
fair. We will assemble once aga
and dare the pigs to take our pre
ious land.
Some revolution. Some list
demands. Some radicals. One ca
not escape the feeling that o t
cherished Student, Governmer
Radical Caucus, and Trans-Lo
Energies only represent the san
brand of opportunists as Dougl
One cannot escape the fear f
for the future of the Universit
One cannot help but hate the i
fluence of the freaks and t
street-people into all of this. O
cannot escape the distasteful fee
ing and tormented conscience
the day after.



Regarding our dangerous local sheriff

T 0 DISTRIBUTE blame for the
violence of Tuesday evening
would require the indictment of,
many. Most noticeable was the in-
eptitude and stupidity of police,
cityeaind University 'officials. It
is clear that the largest share of
this blame must be placed on the
shoulders of Sheriff Douglas Har-
vey. For his behavior Tuesday
ni a wh twsmonstrnusl m o

vey showed his true colors by al-
lowing -,even relishing - actions
which injured and terrgrized by-
The danger of Harvey's vindic-
tive attitude is that it becomes de-
partment policy. His contemptible
behavior must further inspire his
deputies to savor, brutality,
THE REAL Doug Harvey emerg-
ed when he delivered a screaming

Daily photographer, after hearing
that he was employed by the
Kost people are not surprised,
by seeing again the pleasures the
sheriff takes in his little forays in-
to the field with the boys to beat
up students. But never before has
it been so obvious that local offi-.
cials are powerless to control him.
Although not used last night,
Fleming has an informal agree-

juxtaposition;;of the two state-
ments suggest the difficulties en-
countered. As President Fleming
said Tuesday night, "T h e y are
having a , little difficulty in co-
ordinating their commands."
BUT THE REAL distribution of
power became clear in the decis-
ion to charge at 1 a.m. Harvey
lashed out at Fleming and deliv-
ered his ultimatum. Deputy Chief



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