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December 12, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-12-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

'1

By DANIEL ZWERDLING
MY TRAIN pulled into the Algiers
station at 11:30 p.m. just below
the Square Port Said .and I thought
I was in Paris.. Even in the dark, sit-
ting in an all night cafe under 19th
century globe lamps and manicured
trees, I could see the long shopping
columnades like on Paris' Rivoli;
above them, apartments with iron
grille balconies stretching toward the
beaches, past the, classy hotels and
the center of town, past the villas and
the Parc de la Liberte which Andre
Gide called "the most beautiful park
in the world"
The boy who pulls the levers on the
cafe espresso machine told me that
the Algiers casbah was only a hun-
dred- yards away. Have you seen the
movie, The Battle of Algiers? I was
scared by the dark, explosive pos-
sibilities of this revolutionary Arab
city. l
SoI;slept two hours on a stone
bench in the Third Arrondissement
of the Algiers gendarmerie (I figured
these cops were socialists), and then
sat until dawn in the cafe, listening
to the espresso boy babble about Arab
women (they're untouchable), war,
truth, and John Ford.
When the sun rose I walked to

to

the

tiers

Daniel Zwerdling, Daily Magazine Editor in 1970-71, currently writes for the New
Republic. This is the third in a series of five articles he is writing for The Daily on con-
temporary life in North Africa and the Middle East.

the center of Algiers and understood
why the French struggled to possess
it. If you can imagine Paris: Shrink
the city to one-fifth its real size, turn
the fetid Seine into a warm, sweep-
ing blue Mediterranean bay, bleach
everything breathless white. Then,
lift this new Paris in your palm and
nestle it gently at the foot of North
Africa's hills. That's Algiers.
THE ALGERIANS fought for eight
years, from 1954 to 1962, to seize
control of their own country from
the French, but the French character
is so indelibly stamped on the nation
that Algeria looks more French than
Arab. Even in the countryside-from
the moment I crossed into Algeria
from the Moroccan border town of
Oujda, which struggles like a stub-
born plant in the burning hills and
dying earth of eastern Morocco, I
knew it was a different world. The
townspeople wear robes, yes, but the
architecture . . . the tidy houses with
their shutters and iron grill work, the
green parks with stumpy trees, the

old churches, the French town halls
presiding masterfully on the town
square, all look like the red tiled vil-
lages of Provence in southern France.
But the French influence slaps your
face hardest in Algiers, the paradox
of the revolution. Here is the tradi-
tional Arab casbah, which nourished
the most heroic acts of the revolu-
tion, side by side with the Colonial
French quarter which must symbo-
lize the savage French resistance.
From the buttery Parisian croissants'
in the patisseries to the avant garde
theater, Cahiers du Cinema, Algiers
is France.
I joined young men and women
wearing styled bellbottoms and lace
shirts, strolling on the long, elegant
boulevards: We looked at new fa-
shions from the House of Dior, drank
imported beers in expensive cafes, or
fruit juice concoctions at the Milk
Bar. Just as Paris has Le Printemps,
the aristocrat of department stores,
Algiers has Les Galleries Algeriennes
where shoppers buy imported goods
(mostly French) on four tiers with
sculpted mahogany balconies.
RUT I ALSO wanted to see the
source of the revolution-the
casbah. More than any other period
of the revolution, the 1957 Battle of
Algiers, between the FLN terrorists
and the French paratroopers, pro-
claimed to the world the inevitable
bloody fruits of colonialism. I left the
French quarter one afternoon, climb-
ed long steps which lead to the en-
trance of the casbah on the hillside
above the bay, and peeked inside. I
walked cautiously up a few alleys, far
enough to lose myself in the intricate,
claustrophobic maze which hid the
terrorists and swallowed the enemy.
You can't find your way unless you
were born and raised here. The
houses, two and three stories of thick

casbsh
white plaster, are glued side to side,
topple over each other; sometimes
the houses on opposite sides of the
alleys join together above the door-
ways, forming a continuous roof
which turns the casbah into a sort of
vast, enclosed structure with tunnels.
The French whisper: Don't go into
the casbah. I met a young Algerian
who befriended and protected me.
"The French are not disliked," Ah-
med said. "But they don't enter the
casbah. They're afraid. The Arabs in
the casbah don't hate them, but they
remember." He showed me the ruins
of the house which French para-
troopers blew to bits, killing the revo-
lutionary hero Ali La Pointe and his
wife and little boy. Remember the
movie? Two adjacent houses were
also destroyed. Now a large hole gapes
suddenly from a dense row of houses.
The community never cleared the
rubble, in reverence for the brothers
and sisters who died there.
Ahmed took me to the roof of his
grandmother's house, and I saw that
the whole casbah is a vast plain of
white rooftops. Terrorists hopped
from roof to roof, as on giant steps,
to evade the French soldiers search-
ing for them in the alleys below.
AHMED REMEMBERS the revolu-
tion. His father can't work; he
suffers chronic nervous fatigue and
stomach ailments: French police ar-
rested and imprisoned and tortured
him three times, during their periodic
sweeps which netted 60 percent of the
casbah's men. Ahmed's brother-in-
law was an FLN terrorist at 16,
which means he first murdered a
French cop to pass initiation rites.
He also was arrested, and tortured.
"He wakes every few nights,
screaming in his dreams," says Ah-
med. "He relives his tortures." Other
men in the casbah eat with their
left hands-an Arab taboo, but their
right hands were chopped off.
Has the Algerian revolution
worked? Few people agree. The news-

I

4

* iri$gun Baiti
Eighty-one years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
420 Maynard St, Ann Arbor, Mich. News Phone: 764-0552
Editoriats printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints

paprs bulge with revolution and so-
cialis: New indutries under con-
st ructon, w o m e n ' s emancipation
(cet ym women still wear the
ve and traitional Arab roles),
all e t rehrenes to the im-
. ir gessors and
- is c rt (t which don't
ng accounts of the
Apolo suce roaram), and fervent
arte abt dm ments in the
-~r -o~d Tbcco shop carry
Tr--Mth hu tey also display
e- Debry, and
}FTHlE NATION is movIng, it's mov-
ing ca utiouslv. The Algerian
leaders dn't want anyone to shake
their fracile society. Think of the

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12, 1971

NIGHT EDITOR: CARLA RAPOPORT

:m. ,:

Alternative
HE RISING COST of tuition is a very
real problem facing students at vir-
tually every college and university
throughout -the land. Attempts to cope
with the problem range from standard-
ized financial aid for especially needy
students to innovative "graduated" and
"deferred" tuition programs.
Yet the'University, obviously the prime
candidate for adopting a plan to alle-
viate its own tuition problem, has man-
aged. to come up with nothing more
substantive than several years of con-
secutive hikes in both in-state and out-
of-state tuition.
Each institution must analyze its pe-
culiar position and develop a method
that best copes with the problem. What
works for one college or university might
not work for another. However, the Uni-
versity is in sad enough financial shape
that it could well afford to devote more
time and effort to the examination. of
alternative methods of dealing with the
tuition problem.
A variety of " plans have been develop-
ed by institutions around the country
with many more in the works.
YALE UNIVERSITY, for example, has
instituted a plan of deferred tuition,
which requires the students themselves
to bear more of the cost of- their educa-
tion-but at' a time in the future when
they are -in a better :position to do so.
Under the Yale plan, . the student
agrees to repay a long-term loan with
a specified amount of his future income.
At Yale, this amounts to a rebate of .4
per cent of post-graduate income for
every $1,000 borrowed. -
itorial Staff
ROBERT KRAFTOwITZ
Editor
JIM BEATTIE DAVE CHUDWIN
Executive Editor -Managing.Editor
STEVE XOP AN-Editorlax Page Editor
RICK PERTLOFF . .:A-:0cl.ate "Editorial, Page Editor
PAT MAHONEY-...Assistant Editorial Page Editor
LARRY LEMlP1l?'r; k-. -~ Associate Managing Editor
YNN WEINER-Associate Managing Editor
NITA CRONE-. - ..........-Arts Editor
1M IRWIN-Associate Arts Editor
ROBERT-CONROW---------........Books Editor
JANET FR;Y--------------------Personnel Director
JIM JUDKH! -- -Photograr'-v Editor
NIGHT EDITORS: Pat Bluer, Rose Sue Berstein,
Lindsay Chaney -MarK Dillen, Sara Fitzgerald,
Tamny :Jacobs, - AIa-n enhoff, Arthur Lerner, Hes-
ter Puling, Canrl Rapoport, Robert Schreiner,
WE.Schrock, Gt Sprung.
COPY EDITORG: Ltia D:eeban, Chris Parke, Gene
Robinson, Paul Trav ,
DAY EDTORS: Robert Barkin, Jan Benedetti, Mary
Xramer. John Mitchell, Hannah Morrison, Beth
. berfeider. Tony Schwartz, Gloria Jane Smith,
Cha;rIs stein, Ted SteinI Marcia Zoslaw.
ASSISTANT NIiGHr EDITORS: Steve Brummel, Dave
I Buritcnn,- Jaiet Gordon, Judy Ruskin, Lynn
Sheehan, Sue Stephenson, Karen Tinklenberg.
BlI,(ss Staff
A , 1 F S STOREY, Business Manager
RICHARD RADCLIFFE-Advertising Manager

tuition plans
Tiny Beloit College - President Flem-
ing's Alma Mater - has a graduated
plan, which assesses several different
tuition rates, scaled according to the in-
dividual student's family income.
Another plan is a sweeping proposal
presently in the Ohio legislature, which
involves the state assuming the full cost
of the schooling for all of the 182,000
students in the state's four-year public
universities.- After graduation, once the
student's income reaches the $7,000 level,
he or she would begin to repay the state.
For one reason or another, University
officials find all of the above plans im-
practical for its own use.
The Yale plan supposedly would fail to
get off the ground at the University. Fi-
nancial officials say that it is only the
large endowment of a private school such
as Yale that can enable; an institution to
borrow enough money to support the tre-
mendous costs of getting the deferred
plan off the ground.
But while the University's endowment
is not as large as Yale's, its resources are
easily sufficient enough to support a de-
ferred tuition program, albeit perhaps on
a lesser scale at the outset.
ADMINISTRATORS CITE that the Bel-
oit plan, while theoretically possible,
would be impractical due to several fac-
tors. First, they cite that the State Legis-
lature pressured Michigan State into
cancelling a similar plan a few years ago,
because irate well-to-do citizens com-
plained that a graduated plan relying on
family income effectively taxed them
twice - once by the state and again by
the University. Secondly, Beloit has a
problem of under-enrollment which is not
present here. Thus, Beloit can increase
its funds simply through an absolute in-
crease in enrollment, which the Univer-
sity cannot do.
The most strenuous objections are to
the Ohio plan, because University offi-
cials say it places the total burden of the
educational costs on the student.
This might be true in essence, but prac-
tically speaking, many college students
would probably rather pay all of the cost
of their education at a time when they
can afford it, if it would permit them the
time to pursue their education now. The
University should press the legislature to
consider such a program.
Even if one accepts that none of the
above plans can be effectively implement-
ed here, the University owes it to both its
present and future students and their
families to try harder to come up with a
tuition plan that will cope with rising
costs.
T SEEMS THE UNIVERSITY could make
a major contribution on a- national

tensions: from colonialism to inde-
pendence, from underdevelopment to
development, from feudalism to so-
cialism, from traditional Arab society
to modern liberated society.
If anybody can shake the country,
the youth will, and the government
is handig them nwith iron tongs.
LonY hair is tabo Durin the sum-
mer months you'll see fashionably
long hair in the cafes of Algiers, but
during the school year, especially
in small towns, men must cud their
hair short. 1ere's what happens to
a longhair: Your school expels you,
the police arrest you and shave a
cross on top of your head.
The government censors the press
and the cinema heavily. Any explicit
scenes with drugs or sex won't
nass the borders. Easy Rider never
made it. That's not the stuff of revo-
lution,
When I looked at the nosh villas on
the hillsids above Algiers, I asked
whether there was any revolution at
all. But my friend Ahmed said, "In
Aleeria revolution does not mean we
don't have any rich; it means we
don't have any poor." I saw much
poverty in the countryside, and in
mountas and was unconvinced.
But I'm teling you only vignettes of
eria. not a detled analysis.
A HMED REMINDED ME: "The
French inaded and -destroyed
our country in the i'. After more
than a century of 'colonialism, in
which the broke our spirits and
bodies, now we are free, but for only
a few year. You Americans have
my problems," med said. "And
you have been independent for two
hundred years."

.

2

rainbow bridge

-..Ycaa.Yt° ..y..... .., _.,... .. ._._ . ... _..,, . E36:..L.. _ u .._,_.. __-,. .... ...<< .. -r. ., ,..ar., L . , - - r. .. , y -

Toward a revolutionary c

I I

l
s

Ci y & n s inela J l 3Mi t! I

JACKSON PRISON - I don't
mean to keep stalling you off
on what I set out to talk 'about
in this series of columns, but
it's important to me to try to
lay a foundation for what I want
to say about our immediate situ-
ation here in Ann Arbor, and I
came across another document
you probably haven't seen before
which might help you under-
stand where I'm coming from.
This column is taken from a
statement written by my com-
rade Pun Plamondon, who is be-
ing kept from his work and his
people in Ann Arbor by the fed-
eral government in their peni-
tentiary at Terre Haute, Indiana.
It starts with the quote I left
off with last time:
"A community is a compre-
hensive collection of institu-
tions that will deliver our
whole lives, provided that we
can reach most of our goals
within it. It serves us and we
create it in order to carry out
our desires."
In building a "comprehensive
collection of institutions that will
deliver our whole lives," as Huey
P. Newton says, we must base
our work on the concrete needs
of the people; the institutions
we create must serve us and
fulfill our needs and desires.
what are the concrete needs
and desires of the people of the
Rainbow colony? But first: Who
are the neonnle of the Rainbow

w stern, post-industrial, post-
Euro-Amerikan Rainbow People.
We aren't "white," or Euro-
Amerikan, people-our parents
represent the last generation of
western people, and their death-
ly culture will die with them. We
have entered a new stage in hu-
man history, the Rainbow Era,
and our first historical task as
a new people is to bring an end
to the old order once and for all,
so the whole of humanity will be
free to develop its human poten-
tial as high as it can. Our rain-
bow culture is the harbinger of
the New Age, and the cultural
revolution we are experiencing
now is a powerful weapon of the
social revolution which will put

we've adapted many elemens
including post - industri e
nology, from the Euroiaria
culture.
Our political . teachers are
Marx and Engels, Crary Hore.
Mao, Huey P. Newton, Zapota,
Lenin, Kim Il Sung, Bobby 'eale
Nkrumah, Fidel, Sitting Lull. Ho
Chi Minh, John Coltrane, Che
Guevara. We are a raino
ple with a rainbow culture
we live in a rainbow o-ny
We are a colony becn e we
are controlled and ep
by forces foreign to our
ple, our 'culture and our c
munities. The peo:h
rainbow colony share in '
of the economic weh ..

ral remices our raw materials.
e ar e expited through our
cinen To rnany eople, this
eskpl Pn of or culture, which
we cal "oestc imnenialisa
S not sem vey important,
it is ef mar importanoc.
ecs o st-industrial tech-
-yv, beause of automtIon
a cy etics, people will 'oon
e atd from long grueling
rs of meaninsless work qnd
theinusrial control cul re
ho goes with ii.
AS l'E-OPLE GET more and
moe "free time' "culture will
play an increasingly central role
in their common life; they will
be fre to develop their human-
ity, as Marx and Engels pre-
.ted a hundred years ago, "The
history c-f humanity is that of a
entinuail progression from the
realm of necessity to the realm
of fi-"cdom' <Mao Tse-tung). Our
ulture l'rares us to lives in
he clas-sless, communal, post-
scarcity society of the future, and
s ohe peer le who participate in
and uractiee the new rainbow
(-ohme engage in struggle to
:-in c~ ntr 1 over our lives, the
(ulture begins to take on an even
in e Progr'ss"ve cast. In time
t bcomes =ighte.usly anti-im-
ierialist, anti-racist, and anti-
oex-st: it becomes the deadly
tnemy of imper-ialist cultut'e and
m thent-re imuperialst system.
If the imur eriolists control our

agan 4 us as they do now
he overal prssing need
of the peole of the rainbow
e 'P ny is f r natk'nal libera-
tian and th~e creation of a
whole new sci:l order, which#
we call the Rainbow Nation,
ca en sustain us during our
strgle and which will re-
place the imperialst order
wien it is ~Tally defeoted. The
ned is for self-determination,
t determine for ourselves our
own de ies, otir own eco-
non system, or own politi-
e structure and our own cul-
ture, Our need is to build a
comunity, "a cprehensive
collectin of institions that
will delver our whole lives."
We start whee wre are to be-
emn buid the New Order, the
Ran Nion which will de-
liver u om the paUt and which
wi ve us the colective
strengt w oe need to carry
through cur sim-uggle to victory
<A er the imperialists We need
fod sp we ccate and control
the Ar Arbor Peoie's Food
Cc eneed information, so
Se ca our own newspapers
ho teAnn Am-ben Sun. We need
educatin, so we cate -the
' chool. We need mu-
sic so we e' a the Community
Pa-k Pi-am and the People's
Lalmroat We need health care,
so we ieate the Free People's
Hea Ctc. We ned drug, edu-
ce ad h so we create
" , n-n Iv

I

Our political teachers are Marx and E, ek
Crazy Horse, Mao, Huey P. Newton :j
Lenin, Kim Il Sung, Bobby Scale, Nkrlm 5
Fidel, Sitting Bull, Ho Chi Minh, Jon ( a.
trane, Cie Guevara. We are a rainbo. . -'

'-I

with a rainbow culture
bow colony.

and we lire in ra

an end to the imperialist order
WE CALL OURSELVES "rain-
bow people" because we are all
colors: we are red, black, brown,
we are yellow and "white." The
r inhnw ri+mt.n c- cnlfi c mt ,r,

produce. Our rr
and natural res
stolen from us by
Amerikan ruling cais rel--
in its factor.es ad '
to us at exorbitai
share in nena of teh'

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