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October 27, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-10-27

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deep greens and blues


te ician Dait
Eighty-one years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

David Harris: 'I believe in verbs'

by larry lempert I



420 Moynard 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 must be noted in all reprints.



JW,.hypocrisy on, China

AFTER 22 YEARS of delay, the People's
Republic of China has been admitted
to the United Nations. That should be no
surprise, on the face of it. Even U.S. Am-
ba: ador George Bush. admitted t h a t
there was such unanimity on the ques-
t on that, "It is not at issue in the United
Nations any more."
After leading the fight to oppose the
entry of the PRC for over twenty years,
the U.S. was faced with the reality that
it could not possibly oppose her admitt-
ance directly this year. A more round-
about route had to be taken - that of
defending Taiwan's seat. The plan ad-
vocated by the U.S. delegation was that
of dual representation - a seat for both
the PRC and the Nationalists.
However, Taiwan, in everyone's esti-
mation, including the Chiang Kai-shek
regime, is part of China. Neither the PRC
nor the Nationalists would consent to dual
representation, as the U.S. proposed; such
was evident from the start. The question
was: who is the legitimiate representa-
tive of the Chinese people ?
Will the government swept into power
by popular support, guiding the political
activities of over 700 million Chinese re-
present that country in the United Na-
tions, or will the Chiang Kai-shek regime,
entrenched on Taiwan simply because of
American military support?
The U.S. failed to see this question.
To the end, we heard from our Ambassa-
dor that the "real heart of the matter"
was whether Taiwan should remain or be
If the United States had taken the
position that it had made a mistake, and
now recognized the People's Republic as
the real China, it would have achieved a
great gain for the U.S. in terms of respect,
foreign observers said.
Instead, we have continued our dog-
matic, Cold War approach to the question.
Although we may have changed our stra-
tegy, there has been no change in out-
Although the United States contin-
ually stated that the PRC should be seat-
d, its attempts to keep the Nationalists
in would have prevened this. The Peo-
ple's Republic and the Nationalists both
maintained that they would not hold
seats in the U.N. if the other were also
Secretary of State William Rogers
claimed that it would be a grave injus-

tice to expel the Chiang Kai-shek regime
from the U.N. One might well ask him,
what justice is it that has left outside the
U.N. for 22 consecutive years, a people of
700 million.
Ambassador Bush stated during the
debate that the U.S. did not seek to "take
a 'two-China' position, or a 'one-China
one-Taiwan- position, or in any other way
seek to dismember China." Yet, he plain-
ly proposed that both governments be re-
presented on the U.N. General Assembly.
Bush claims that the Nationalist gov-
ernment represents the 14 million people
of Taiwan, but there is no justification
even for this statement. The fact is that
Chiang Kai-shek fled to that island after
being roundly defeated by popular Chin-
ese forces. Even massive American mili-
tary and economic aid could not save his
Now, through U.S. support and parti-
cularly the Seventh Fleet, which patrols
the Taiwan Strait, Chiang maintains an
autocratic rule on Taiwan. Who is his
government supposed to represent?
Every member of the United Nations
must represent a nation of people, how-
ever small. This cannot be said of the
Chiang Kai-shek regime. The People's
Republic is the only true representative
of the Chinese people, and it is for this
reason that the Nationalists have been
The hypocritical stance of the United
States on China issues was duplicated by
many other members of the U.N. who the
U.S. prevailed upon to vote in the same
way. The Phillipines, Saudi Arabia, Brazil
- almost every dictatorship supported by
American arms and aid voted with the
United States.
But more and more countries are slip-
ping out from the sphere of American
political influence, and are finally dar-
ing to oppose United States policy. It was
these countries who provided the margin
of victory for the entry of the People's
AMBASSADOR BUSH is very well aware
of this fact. After the vote for ad-
mission, he declared, "The United Nations
crossed a very dangerous bridge tonight."
The builders of that bridge are the coun-
tries who have stood up to the United
States, and who have said that our word
is not that of God.

EDITOR'S NOTE: David Harris,
conscientious objector and a found-
er of draft resistance as a national
movement, spoke Sunday at Hill
NO ONE WAS surprised w h e n
the aircraft carrier U.S.S.
constellation sailed for Vietnam,
least of all David Harris. But its
departure for combat several
weeks ago was unlike any the Navy
had known previously.
Twelve sailors stayedabehind,
preferring the jail of San Diego
to the moral trap of Vietnam. The
,arrier also left behind a telling
referendum which, in the home of
the nation's largest naval base,
,ad evidenced widespread opposi-
tion to the war.
While other groups and com-
rnunities were rallying to bring
the boys home, San Diego was
moving to keep the boys from
going. At the head of the move-
ment, David Harris and his wife,
Joan Baez, never really expected
to stop an aircraft carrier. After
all, as Harris says, "an aircraft
carrier is a big sori of a bitch.
But people noticed when it left
-that's the first step."
In the dressing room and on the
stage of Hill Aud. - he is clear-
ly the same person in both situa-
tions -- David Harris seems too
easy-going to be a revolutionary.
He smiles too ;much.
It's a wry smile, and surfacing
through it is a sense of humor
that 20 months in prison has made
more cynical, perhaps,but hasn't
killed. His voice is soft, his lang-
uage simple and . he has two
patches on the seat of his pants.
THE WAY HE LIKES to tell it,
Harris went to jail over a ham-
burger. "It was my country just
as much as the draft board's --
I eat just as many MacDonald
hamburgers as they do." Anyway,
his draft card was a weight in his
pocket, he says, and he felt 10
feet high when he got rid of it.
The lean, light-haired revolu-
tionary would never have made a
good soldier. He has a high re-

gard for people, all people. "The
revolution is an exercise of love,"
according to Harris. "Not the
kind of love where John Wayne
gets the girl with the big tits in
the end. But we have .to actively
recognize the reality, the validity,
the sanctity of lives that are here.
"A revolution for anybody is a
revolution for everybody or it's
no revolution . . . revolution is not
pitting victim against victim." He
thinks back to the months in pri-
son. "Let me tell you something
about the guards in Texas. There
are some red-assed motherfuckers
working as guards in Texas. But
I don't want to hurt them."
Harris doesn't feel like he's "bet-
ter" than anyone else, and he
criticizes radicals today for their
"arrogance," their presumption of
greater worth "because they un-
derstand some of the things that
are going on."
HE HAS FAITH in the people
as a whole, in their ability to ex-
ercise power. The "participatory
totalitarianism" of this country
needs the consent of the people
to operate - "Nixon and the gen-
erals won't be carrying the M-16s.
It's you and me and the cat down
the block who are carrying t h e
"But we can deny the society the
resources it needs to run," Har-
ris says. This means "adopting a
level of seriousness" about t h e
task. It means changing the social
base of a society that has be-
come "synonomous with the social
organization of death," it means
breaking the hold of big corpora-
tions and of the military.
His own approach to the task is
direct and immediate, bypassing
stage of political theorizing a n d
long-winded debate, m o v i n g
straight to action. "I believe in
verbs, not nouns," he says.
It begins with his private life.
In the dressing room backstage,
the lights on a mirror in back of
his head are out of place, sur-
rounding a face too down-to-
earth to be limelighted. Lifting

his knee to his chest and leaning
back against the mirror, he ex-
plains that he and his wife Joan
are no longer living together.
"We tried it for a few months
after I got out of the slam. It
wasn't working out . . . Now we
see eachwother when we want to
-it's cool."

bution of the base of wealth in
that state.
He is patient but determined.
"We're gonna run and lose and
run and lose and run and lose and
run and lose and run and win."
Harris is prepared for a 15-year
struggle on this issue alone. For
he had added the word "struggle"
to the common vocabulary of
"peace and justice and democracy
and freedom;" only struggle, he
believes, can make these other
words real.

THE EFFORT may lead to suc-
cess. By his calculations, the odes
in 1963, when he joined the civil
rights campaign in Mississippi,
were 100,000 to 1. Now they're only
99 to 1. -
The effort may also lead to pri-
son once again, but this doesn't
frighten him after his sojourn in
"Being locked up, you're not ne-
cessarily unfree," says D a v i d
Harris. "You're just free in a
smaller area."

He sums it up in a
- "I don't believe in

single line

THIS IS HARRIS. He rejects
formal structures, definitions
formulations - they get in the
way of action. "Anyone who can't
put his politics in four sentenc-
es has got to go back and think
for a while," he says.
"We have to escape the funda-
mentally ideological way of deal-
ing with questions." So he doesn't
use the noun socialism -- he talks
about sharing. And he spends
time, as hehas in recent months,
working for land reform in Cali-
fornia, putting a referendum on
the ballot to enforce a redistri-


Graduate Federation's flaws

Letters to the Editor

THE LONG-EVIDENT need for a repre-
sentative body for all graduate stu-
dents is not being adequately responded
to through the recent efforts to estab-
lish a Graduate Federation.
Th.i is because Graduate Federation,
under, its proposed constitution, will be
an unrepresentative body of questionable
Currently, there exists no group to
speak for all graduate students. Individ-
ual governments operate within most
graduate and professional schools, but,
understandably, these voices are weak
alone. In addition, Student Government
Council serves graduate and undergrad-
uate students, but, as SGC president Re-
becca Schenk admits, there have been
no efforts by SGC to speak specifically
for graduate concerns.
Last spring, Rackham Student Govern-
ment was established through the vote
of students in an all-campus election.
Yet again, the government applied only
to a portion of graduate students.
if Glauate Federation is ever to meet
this recognized need for graduate student
government on a broader scale, partici-
pants must make several changes in their
fledging organization.
ONE OF THE main problems currently
facing the Federation is a question
of definition.
Federation organizers now claim that
the federation will "nct be a government"
arid yet they are simultaneously propos-
ing that the federation be constituted as
if it were a government.
A ccoding to the proposed constitution
the federattion will "represent the gradu-
ate student &rganizations, aporopriate
fund, ':dmnrt and perform matters
of conc ern t graduate students."

These are clearly the aims of a gov-
ernment, especially in view of what gov-
ernments are commonly defined to be on
this campus.
The proposed constitution also states
that the federation will "appoint gradu-
ate students to Senate Assembly Commit-
tees and other University-wide commit-
This claim allows for a position of
power not common among purely lobby-
ing entities.
It appears that federation organizers
have already decided that the federa-
tion will, in fact, act as a government.
And if this is true, then attempts must
be made to create a good government.
This has not been accomplished, since
the constitution and the means by which
the constitution has been drafted illus-
trate various ways in which the Federa-
tion will not be a good government.
ONE OF THE first, and most basic prob-
lems with the constitution, in this re-
spect, is the lack of individual student in-
fluence. Students have not been asked to
decide on the primary question of whe-
ther or not to even begin plans for a fed-
eration. Students have not had a voice
in the writing of the constitution. And
students will not have a direct influence
of the activities of the -federation, once
formed, through recall and referendum.
A second flaw in the federation is its
lack of proportionate student representa-
tion. Each school will have one vote,
with the exception of Rackham which
will have four votes. What this means is
that as few as twenty students in the
school of Architecture and Design will
have the same influential power as as
many as 2,000 students in Rackham.

Baez tickets
To The Daily:
IN REFERENCE to Phylis Ke-
hoe's letter concerning the sale
of tickets to the Joan B a e z
concert, the U of M Folklore So-
ciety wishes to offer its apologies
to the community.
The concert was organized in
only two and a half weeks by a
group inexperienced in such mat-
ters. We were therefore unprepar-
ed for the rush on tickets, and this
being our first concert, not famil-
iar with the regulations concern-
ing sales. We naively believed that
the few large blocks that w e r e
sold were for organizations.
When we realized our mistake
we did try to help rectify the sit-
uation. The primary reason for
offering the obstructed view tick-
ets at $1 was to discourage scalp-
ing by unscrupulous people. By
then we had learned our lesson
and a limit of four per person was
placed on these tickets.
Also, with regard to her letter.
the long wait in line. was due not
to largetransactions, but to the
fact that there were over 300
~people in line by 8 a.m. There were

only three transactions
tickets and by noon we
ganized ourselves enough
any further attempts.

of 100
had or-
to block

FINALLY, THE primary concern
of our society is to bring the com-
munity good performers at rea-
sonable prices. We did not sell
the large blocks of tickets to make
more money, but because we were
not thinking. We are sincerely sor-
-Sidney Strickland
-Stanley Werbin
-Nancy Katz
The Folklore Society
Oct. 26
To The Daily:
JIM BEATTIE'S editorial (Daily,
Oct. 19) on the Moratorium was
rathed distorted, in that it tended
to dismiss the substantial gains
of the anti-war movement. A ma-
jority of the public opposes the
War - largely through the efforts
of the anti-war peopleand their
Moratoriums. This about-face is
significant because it has contri-

buted to a similar (hough slower)
about-face in the one body which
can end the War, Congress.
This is not the only area of dis-
tortion. Beattie's "reasons f o r
Vietnam" are not reasons, they are
assumptions. I am not being per-
jorative when I say that l e f t-
oriented people naturally assume
that all capitalist countries are
inevitable exploitative, as well as
that capitalism is the sole motivat-
ing force behind the foreign pol-
icy of capitalist nations. But v)s
there are no "sole motivating forc-
es" in history or international be-
havior, and b) Communist nations,
given the opportunity, exploit as
ruthlessly as capitalist ones - ask
The comment about "bull-head-
ed militarism" is simply untrue.
Why do we participate in t h e
SALT talks? In the Paris talks?
In the Mideast talks? In the UN?
Because of militarism, or an in-
terest in replacing it with diplo-
Finally, though racism has help-
ed us to ignore the plight of the
Vietnamese civilian, I should won-
der is the massacre at Hue was
somehow more "moral" than that
at My Lai. There, all participants
were of the same race. It is the
murder, the warfare itself, which
is immoral.
Despiterthe distortions, Beattie
made some good points, most
notably the one pointed up in the
headline. The real weakness of
the Moratorium is that it is an
anachronism - useful in its time,
but now out of its time. We do
not need educationaltseminars at
a time when most people are al-
ready against the War.
Beattie's suggestions for remold-
ing consciousness are good as long-
range goals, buttheykwill not end
the War- they take too long.
What can the movement do?
First, it can "stop dilly-dallying
around with huttons, bumper

U.S. apathy grows
in Pakistani crisi
"I COULD 'NEVER believe that I would see this in my lifetime-
- the number I've already seen die and the multitudes I know
will die when winter sets in. I could just scream when I realize how
many people seem riot to want to hear about it . ."
The voice is Alan Leather, who has been working for the Oxfam
relief program among some of the nine million East Pakistan refugees
now in India; he doesn't scream. He talks somberly and quietly about
what he has seen and what might be done. He is a dark-haired,
handsome, 30-year-old Englishman, a compositor and typographical
designer by trade, who became involved in the rescue operation, met
Sen. Kennedy during. the latter's tour of the refugee camps and
came here last week to testify before Kennedy's Senate subcommittee.
One listens to him with a mingled sense of horror and despair.
What he is saying confirms and elaborates the TV fragments and
the intermittent dispatches from the scene; the new dimension i
the intensity of his plea and his warning, and his awareness of ho
much harder it is to dramatize the agony of nine million people thar
of nine.
HOW DOES ONE keep th e
world's eyes focused on a con-
tinuing story of mass tragedy so
vast that it transcends imagina-
tion? Slow death inflicted on a
massive scale - whether called
genocide or by some gentler word
- lacks the d'ama of a flash fire.
What is worse about this disaster
is that, beyond the question of
emergency assistance, there are e} F
political steps that could be taken;'
in Washington to reverse the tide
But Pakistan is far away; how
many Americans even know that
this anguish began last March 4
when Yahva Khan's ruthless re-
gime set out to destroy the move-
mrent for freedom and autonomyf:
in East Pakistan, and so m a n y
millions started to flee massacre?
Some days ago I learned that
Allard Lowenstein had gone to
New Delhi, along with Michael Sen. Robert Dole
Harrington and the Rev. Homer
Jack and a few others, to attend an international conference dealing
with the emergence of Bangla Desh, East Pakistan's independence gov-
ernment, and continued U.S. subsidy for West Pakistan. The trouble
is that there are too few people around willing to hear distant
cries for help. In this instance the sponsors of the conference felt
it was especially urgent to have the presence of a former Congress-
man with, wide contacts on Capitol Hill and in other areas.
The conference adopted a resolution urging the U.S. to abandon
its support of the Khan regime and to grant recognition to ,Bangla
Desh. It cited the paradox of the American commitment to the avowed
goal of self-determination for South Vietnam and our military and
economic links to West Pakistan's rulers "engaged in destroying the
freedom of the people of Bangla Desh."
WHEN LOWENSTEIN returned he told me of his meeting with
Alan Leather and arranged for my talk with him. They are strikingly
similar in demeanor, and one was reminded anew of a certain
universality of values and concerns that brings together human beings
of disparate backgrounds.
Leather could document in detail the wretchedness, desperation
and danger that Lowenstein had glimpsed. But there is an aspect of
futility in its reiteration, as we agreed at the end of the conversation.
For the facts have been set down on the record in many places, and
things will get steadily worse unless there is a decisive political re-
versal. At present Leather estimates that the flow of refugees into
India is still more than 30,000 a day and even larger international
efforts than any now projected can only bring minimal mercy as the
peril of disease and malnutrition rises.
In the U.S. Senate last week, Sen. Robert Dole (R-Kan.), the
GOP national chairman, rose to discuss "South Asian relief." Much
of his speech was a thinly-veiled attack on Ted Kennedy's journey
to Calcutta as he intoned:
"We are all subject to the emotional pressures generated by human
misery on this scale. But let us try to put these emotions in perspec-
tive and try to leave politics aside.",
DOLE PROCEEDED to defend the Nixon Administration's rela-
.tion's with Pakistan, discount the significance, of the military aid we


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