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June 20, 1969 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1969-06-20

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w.rrw _ _-_ ___ _

just a song in the wiuid

S idtan Daily
Seventy-eight years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

And now, Ann Arbor

by jinn hIeck.-...I..

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 mut

be noted in ol reprints.

FRIDAY, JUNE 20,,1969



Sheriff Harvey

DOUGLAS HARVEY, sheriff of Wash-
tenaw County, continues to needlessly
provoke and escalate disorder upon South'
University. His choice of tactics, his ex-
cessive and senseless use of force and
weaponry, his intransigent and righteous
manner of negotiating with sincere and
concerned elements within the public
seeking to put an end to the possibilities
of violence upon South U, all seem de-
signed to engineer turmoil and chaos.
Harvey seems intent, to say the least,
to raise high the ugly 'specter of a leftist
takeover in Ann Arbor, the dramatic un-
folding of Michigan's "little Berkeley"
in order to further his own political for-
tunes rather than soothe and calm crisis.
There can be no question that Harvey,
whatever transpires in the next few days,
will be the only public official to come out
of the South University ,disorder ahead.
He has the superior weaponry if not the
manpower, the better Claim to legitimacy,
and, the support of the Ann Arbor com-
munity behind him in his struggle to keep
the "freaks" off South U. /
His excessive employment of force in
the field not only deters the "freaks"
from once again seizing the street, b u t
also attracts a substantial nightly gath-
ering of student-spectators. Incidents of
police brutality only increase the s y m-
pathy of students for "freaks."
CONSIDER THE intensive hatred among
students for police everywhere in this
country - and especially locally for Har-
vey - after the brutality of the" Welfare
Mothers Sit-In. And then consider the
tactics used over, the past few days. A
continual employment of an excessive
number of police to quell a small disor-
der, the utilization of an extensive and
occasionally rough pacification of the
immediate sidewalks and streets, the un-
necessary maneuvering of student-spec-
tators into the struggle through contin-
ual police forays into their midst with re-
peated usage of clubs and gas, seem to be
the tactics of larger confrontation rath-
er than dispersal.
But what could Harvey gain from' a
confrontation? For one, he could play
upon the wealth of aAil-student and
anti-youth feeling among a substantial
number of voters in the community who
feel jeopardized by the generation c o n-
By using such tactics Harvey would be
able to quell the rising opposition within
the city to his fruitless search for thq in-
dividual or persons behind the Ann Ar-
bor slayings. And there is that recall

campaign begun just last week. By
heightening disorder, one might suppose,
he would put an end to the evident dis-
satisfaction within City Council and the
QF EQUAL IMPORTANCE, too, is t h e
tenuous nature of Mayor Robert Har-
ris's position. The heightened struggle
brought about by the cohfrontation would
certainly do severe damage to the may-
or's unblemished, untarnished liberal re-
putation. Harris, it must be remembered,
was elected upon a platform that implied
a return to civilian control of the police.
Hence, considering the emphasis he
places upon reform of the police, t h e r e
might be a certain degree of ill-feeling
between Harvey and the mayor. It must
also be remembered that the sheriff's re-
putation as a trustee of ,the public wel-
fare has been less than perfect. If Harris
took, any. course that was less than a full
enforcement of the law-and if through
Harvey's choice of tactics, the struggle'
becomes magnified into a student riot --
Harris's reputation would be virtually de-
To students he would appear as a fas-:
cistic "law and order" zealot. To the
suburb people he would take on the aura
of a vacillating leader in time of crisis.
He would lose face among the University-
community which feels that student dis-
orders must be avoided if the future of
the university is to be preserved. His
political supporters would vanish, and
the election of his successor, certainly a
'law and order' fanatic, would leave }the
University little influence in shaping
public. policy.
1T ONLY STANDS to reason that any-
one who becomes involved in t h i s
situation, as an innocent, gaping bystand-
er or a rilitant armed to the teeth, is
only acting as a dupe of a Machiavellian
political animal, intent upon sacrificing
the public good for his own political for-
The way to deal with such a beast
is not to fight him on his own terrain, but
to use means that are not in contradic-
tioil with one's ends. Democratically-
oriented means, such as recall, such as
the circulation of a petition signed by
residents demanding that the Governor
remove, Douglas Harvey from office. As
long as we keep playing into his hand,
there will be no freedom on South Uni-
versity or in Ann Arbor.

THERE IS A QUEER feeling that en-
velops you as your campus begins to
blow up and you are 600 miles away. It
is almost a feeling like patriotism-to the
pauses below the disruption. There is the
urge to return, to see what is happening.
It is expected that one would discover
what is already felt: the situation embod-
ies repression and the reaction to it.
And there are one's personal reactions
anger at Harvey and his battalion of ro-
bots, sympathy for Staudenmeier - praise
for his initial restraint, and identification
with those whom you had disagreed with,
the White Panthers. And not so ironically,
there is a general feeling of sympathy for
President Fleming. The image of Fleming
walking the streets will long be remem-
bered as a eulogy to the times of control-.
that sentimental stroll that wasn't quite
able to bring back the past.
It's all very confusing now. Though
many people, Fleming included, expected
violence at the University, it came much
sooner than anticipated. And it came in
a mysterious genre of the times - is-
sueless and superciliously flogged by dis-
reason. But then, as one arrested rioter in
Madison once said to me, reason is a term
predicated on the system that exists; when
you desire radical change, rational rea-
son'is not necessary.
BUT VIOLENCE came and the Eastern
press is treating our campus like the
Midwest press treated the recent violence
at Harvard: with the aloof "I told you
so." And again the question. Why Michi-
The answer is simple. It is not based
upon the idiosyncrasies of our campus, its,
history, or its progress-these factors are
not relevant to spontaneous disruption.
They tare only relevant when the rebellion
is championing issues and substantive de-
mands. The reason South University is
a battleground is because there are people
who have enough power and enough con-
viction to Make it one.
The rioters may be psychotic. If so, then
the mental health of our nation is in

grave danger of being diseased by a
plague, for this type of disruption is
spreading rampant. The rioters may be
subversive. But if so, then there are enough
American subversives that only revolution
will resolve society's unmalleable reaction
to their beliefs. And no doubt, they are all
revolutionaries, which means simply that
revolution is in the offing.
It doesn't really matter whether there
are issues carrying the fight for the se-
curing of South University. It doesn't mat-
ter, because apparently the inequities in
our society that have promulgated this
type of rebellion are innumerable. So in-
numerable that one can arbitrarily pick
any social institution and use it as the
basis for the rioting. This would bring
valid justification, but would be mislead-
ing, because it would limit the scope of dis-
satisfaction. So when there are so many
general inequities, one might as well just
generally riot.
YESTERDAY IN Washington, a report
was issued by a group of Congressmen who
travelled about the country to scrounge
up evidence in support of a tough anti-
violence bill for campuses. It was to be
the administration's first attempt to se-
-cure control over the relatively autonom-
ous university communities. But the Re-
publican Congressmen changed their atti-
tudes with a tinge of embarrassment. As
their report states, they suggest the gov-
ernment leaye hands off the campus situa-
tion, and furher, that campus administra-
tors should respond. to the demands of
moderate students in order to keep them
from being radicalized.
The report indicates two interesting
phenomena of the student movement. One,
that students are being radicalized a n d
very quickly. Two, that there is no use in
dealing with the radicals - they cannot be
.brought back to the flock; therefore, one
must deal with the moderates who are not
yet radicals.
This has forboding overtones. It means
if the negotiations with the moderates
prove unsuccessful, the only alternative
the government thinks it has it to out,-

.4 1

rightly repress the radicals and their ideas.
This has been rumored for some time as
attested by the constant threat of the
quasi-mysterious 400 Ray Brown indict-
ments that are supposedly already written
and sealed. But most iportantly, it means
the minds like those of the Republican
Congressmen refuse to examine the rea-
sons for the polarization of students or
the feeling that makes steadfast the rad-
ical's beliefs. It means the conservative
nature of our country is to blindly per-
petuate whatever came before. It disre-
gards that "what came before" was dam-'
aging to 'many people who only now have
the cohesion to do something about it.
On hearing of the Michigan violence,
former Michigan mnan Roger Heyns, now
chancellor of the riot-torn Berkeley
campus, uttered a nostalgic, "Well, I'll be /
,damned." Heyns, who has been travelling
frequently to Washington for furtive pur-
poses has privately acknowledged that
"riot plague just might be a good thing."
Heyns has two bodies - the one that
negotiates - which means submits - to

Ronald Reagan, and the intellectual who
has retained his interesting and deep in-
Unfortunately, however, he has so far
been unable to assert his second. f a ce.
He greatlyeregrets accepting the Sacra-
mento dictum to fence. off People's Park.
Fleming's tempered condemnation of
police forces Tuesday night is in marked
contrast to Heyn's regrets. Hopefully, the
mysterious President we still- know little
about will take note of Heyn's experiences.
THE UNIVERSITY now takes its posi-
tion behind Berkeley and Madison. Harvey
has accepted his role in the same manner
police at Berkeley and Madison accepted
theirs. The difference so far has been af-
fected by one man, Fleming, who outright-
ly criticized the police. Hopefully, he will
become the standard here who asserts the
students' long overlooked grievances and
allows them to be impressed upon the pub-
lic. And, if necessary, who allows the
movement of the times to go its way, with
as little bloodshed as possible.




In response to South

Mayor Harris

fire from many students for inaction
or evasion of the important issues of the
past few days. Many allege he has hedged
on criticism of the police, support of a
police review board, a n d establishment
of a "people's mall." -
Much of this criticism is misdirected.
As a liberal mayor with only a narrow
popular mandat.e, his power in Ann Ar-
bor is far from absolute. H i s political
power in the rest of conservative Wash-
tenaw County is almost non-existent.
Many condemn Harris for not publical-
ly supporting the establishment of a po-
lice reviev board. Butt an Ann Arbor po-
lice review board has little chance of win-
ning public support, and Harris probably
knows this.
City Council could vote a police review
tomorrow by a simple majority. But
rightwingers could move to abolish the
review board easily by initiating a public
referendum. They need only 1200 signa-
tures for initiation and a referendum for
abolition would almost certainly obtain
the requisite 50.1 per cent.
HARRIS HAS NO control over Harvey;
he has said so h i ms elI f. .The
County Board of Supervisors could estab-
lish a sheriff's department review board,
but again the same procedure of petition
and referendum could abolish it. Support
for a sheriff's department review board
in the whole of Washtenaw County would
undoubtedly be smaller. Ypsilanti, Saline
and Milan are Harvey country.
Harris can't be accused' of harboring;

vey would only go further on the ram-
page. Outright removal of Sheriff Harvey
is the impossible dream. Only Governor
Milliken has the power to personally re-
call Harvey without his actions being'
subject to a referendum. Harvey, unfor-
tunately, . will continue to hover over
South University in his helicopter-broom
for a long time to come.
HARRIS HAS ALSO been criticized for
hedging on t h e establishment of a
"people's mall," and his proposal for City
Council to study the problem on Monday
is derided as bureaucratic red tape. But
Harris can't cordon off traffic by dicta-
torial decree.'
Reportedly Harris would happily sup-
port creation of a traffic-free mall, but
would the rest of Ann Arbor echo his sen-
timents? Even students voted down the
"demand" for the mall, although perhaps
they may have supported a 'proposal."
Of course not all of Harris' statements
were accurate or excusable. His statement
early Wednesday morning that only sev-
en students were hospitalized was clearly
inaccurate; in truth nearly 25 were hos-
Nor were the Ann Arbor police above
criticism as Harris said. Some.;of their
tactics, such as the teargassing of t he
crowd in f r o n t of President Fleming's
home, were hardly exercised w i t h "re-
straint." Harris w a s in no position to
judge police behavior and consequently
should have said nothing.
YET SOME OF HIS remarks were mis-
construed. He s a i d "almost no stu-

Playing games
To the Editor:
FROM WHAT I SAW, very lit-
tle of any clear thinking was done
by either side at Tuesday's:Diag
rally. There is no question that
the police, particularly those un-
der Harvey's command, used ex-
cessive force Tuesday night, and
no degree of distaste for the ob-
noxiousness of some of the stu-
dents and "street people" involv-
ed should be allowed to obscure
The policy of mass police re-
sponse was stupid to begin with,
and, to a certain extent, exem-
plary of the general unwillingness
of those who run America to pay
any serious attention to'those who
question t h e ultimate worth of
middle class values a n d institu-
tions, exemplary of their blind de-
termination to constrain and re-
press the assertion of other values
and institutions.
Moreover, everyone that I have
talked to has said that relatively
few people were throwing things
at the police, and that once the
clubbing and gassing began, it
quickly became almost entirely in-
discriminate, deliberately catching
up not only bystanders. but also
people merely on their way home
from other parts of the campus.
THIS, OF COURSE, has become
standard police practice through-
out the United States. And clearly,
Harris' response showed little at-
tempt to view the situation openly.
and less concern with protecting
students and street people from
the repression and viciousness
which police are so eager to dish
out. Hopefully this will help to
teach genuife liberals that only
when the Left can exert sustain-
ed, organized pressure on liberal
politiclans can these politicians be
expected to live up to their pro-
fessed values.
All of this not withstanding, the
position being taken by the White
Panthers and others calling for a
"people's" takeover of South U. is
even more asinine than the posi-
tion taken by those supporting the
police. I would love to see these
guys go into the ghetto in Detroit
or into a village in Vietnam and
try to convince the people there
of how important it is that we be
allowed to get drunk and do mo-
torcycle tricks in the street - of
how revolutionary it is to fight
cops for control of South U.
T'h e idea is ludicrous - it is
worse than that; the idea that we
should devote time and money and
resources to this cause while an-
other generation of blackchildren
is being maimed by our society,
while poor people throughout the
Third World are being murdered
by the thousands under the aus-
pices of our government, is con-
temrntabhh and n won~rthv of anv

other people have legitimate in-
terests in how these streets are to
be used - t h e White Panthers
w a n t to go from a situation in
which only the businessmen's in-
terests determine how the streets
are used to a situation in which'
only street people's interests are
Rather the issue is that our so-
ciety serves the needs of minority
groups and dissidents only with
the barest leftovers and serves the
needs of the people in general only
in ways consistent with the vested
interests of dominant elite groups.
The issue is that even the most
liberal politicians are not genuine-
ly responsive to requests that this
situation be altered and are will-
ing to repress independant at-
tempts to alter this situation.
The issue is that our society is
pervaded by a double standard to-
ward violence - police violence
against independent action by mi-
nority groups or dissidents is le-
gitimate no matter how vicious,
relatively trivial violence by mi-
norities or dissidents trying to as-
sert their rights and needs is a
threat to civilization and must be
crushed no matter what the cost.
The issue is that a society which
operates this way at home will be
disposed to operate analogously
abroad - and when the society is
the most powerful on earth, this
means repression and death for
tens of thousands, indeed, for
whole populations.
THE WORK that needs to be
done to bring these issues to the
fore and to b u i l d a movement
around them is, of course, a lot
harder and a lot es s dramatic
than simply arousing hostility to-
ward the -police and arousing the
desire -to raise hell and be obnox-
Some legitimate relation can be
drawn between the real issues and
the events of Tuesday night, but
not in any direct, clear-cut or ab-
solute manner as t h e Panthers
would have it.
Nevertheless, it seems to me that
these are the kinds of issues on
which we must focus. People of
good will must be brought to un-

derstand that while it is proper
and necessary t h a t we criticize
those who act irresponsibly (if this
word can be rescued from liberal
rhetoric) in trying to buck t h e
system and p r o m o t e radical
change, the ultimate irresponsibil-
ity lies with 'those who have cre-
ated and who maintain the situa-
tion which makes some sort of
revolutionary effort inevitable and
In the United States as in Viet-
nam, criticizing a n d condemning
revolutionary excesses will not
change this situation; only a con-
certed attack on elite obstruction-
ism will do that.
does not make you a r a d i c al.
Those who would have us fight
for control of the streets at this
point (or anytime in the near fu-
ture) are not making a revolution,
they're playing games, doing their
ego-tripping thing, when what the
situation demands is a great deal
of very serious work.
-Bill Barnes, Grad
June 19
Bourgeois illusion'
To the Editor:
THERE IS A war in Vietnam,
a quasi-war in the Middle East, a
dangerous. military "defense" sys-
tem being approved by the gov-
ernment of the USA; military dic-
tatorships are dotted over the
globe, and racism is rampant; half
the world is starving - and all
Ann Arbor's "radicals" are inter-
ested in is whether South U shall
be "free." This is supposed to be
revolution? Down with this puer-
ile bourgeois illusion.
-Rachel Costra, Grad
June 19i '1
Doug Harvey
To the Editor:
LAST TUESDAY night while
visiting the home of a friend whose'
apartment overlooks, the South
University-Church street area I

cU. con
had an opportunity to observe at
first hand the confrontation be-
tween police and young people. I
admit that my observations only
sampled a part of the total num-
ber of incidents which occurred in
that area on Tuesday night and
may not reflect an accurate pic-
ture of the total situation but in
any, case I feel that my observa-
tions are instructive.
My first impression was the ob-
vious difference in behavior be-
tween members of the Ann Arbor
Police Department and members
of the County Sheriff's Depart-
ment. The Ann Arbor police per-
sonnel were well disciplined and
reacted with restraint and intelli-
gence to the incidents that I ob-
In contrast the Sheriff's Depart-
ment men seemed to be undiscip-
lined, rude, belligerent and stupid.
Their use of abusive language and
maltreatment of citizens who of-
fered no provocation was. appal-
One individual in particular
stationed on the south side of the,
Church Street-South University
intersection waving a splintered
club was particularly belligerent
and caustic to passersby to the
point w h e r e he seemed almost
pathological. If any serious trou-
ble erupts in the city this summer
part of the blame must be laid at
the feet of men such as he whose
asocial behavior infuriated e v'e n
reasonable citizens observing him.
THE QUESTIONS which arise
in my mind over such incidents
are the following. In joint opera-
tions which involve several police
departments,who haseoverall con-
trol and authority? W h o is re-
sponsible for the deputies' behavi
ior and actions at the scene of a
disturbance? Where were the of-
ficers in command of individual
patrolmen? Are we to have an Al-
gier's Motel-like incident in Ann .
Arbor? C4 n deputies charge
around like enraged bulls inflict-
ing injury and damage on citizens
without supervision of reasonable
and intelligent commanders or
was the supervision encouraging

the wanton acts of violence and
I observed that the Ann Arbor
police seemed to work in units
under the command of an officer
who held the behavior of his men
in check. No such supervision was
observed on the part of the Sher;
iff's deputies.
Sheriff Harvey is fond of refer-
ring to the training and skill of
his men but to watch the depart-
ment in operation last night was
to observe an undisciplined, bru-
tal, and vengeful mob rather than
trained, disciplined men.
If major incidents a r e to be
avoided this summer without the
loss of life the citizens of t h i s
community must demand that the
law enforcement agencies charged
with preserving the peace be well
disciplined and under t h e ade-
quate supervision of competent,
intelligent, and reasonable com-
mand officers.
that armies are only as good as
their officers. The same can be
said of police agencies.
The behavior, of Sheriff's depu-
ties last night indicates that the
command structure and attitudes
of the Sheriff's 'Department is in
need of revision and restructing if
they are to function in the best
interests of all citizens with 'e-
spect for the rights of fellow com-
munity members.
-Name Withheld
upon request
Blaming street people
To the Editor:
and Anzalone in Wednesday's
Daily suggests that "the thrust of
anger over last night's senselessly
Violent clash betwveen police and
members of the community be di-
rected against city officials . .
I respectfully suggest that the
thrust of any anger (regret; might
be a more appropriate emotion)
generated by the events of Mort-
day and Tuesday nights would be
better thrust at the street people,
hooligans and others (members of
the community?) who caused the
sorry incident.
To my wife and me watching
from our University Towers apart-
ment window, it was clear that the
police action came about only as
a response to provocations a n d
antics clearly intended to precipi-
tate such a response.
about freedom of the streets can
justify this mob action. In t h e
first place in what sense is the
disruption of motor and pedes-
trian traffic, the setting: of fires
and the raucous profanity a part
of the definition of "freedom of
the streets?" In the second place,
there seemed to be little motiva-





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