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September 20, 1973 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-09-20

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1;e fAir4an Dail
Eighty-three years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

1 420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

News Phone: 764-0552


An unwarranted crackdown

WITH THE ARREST of several persons
on charges of illegally posting hand-
bills, the police have added yet another
offense to the ever-growing list of vic-
timless crimes they have seen fit to crack
down on.
The harsher policies were first demon-
strated in the police bust of the sparsely
attended "marijuana melee" in late Au-
gust. Following that butt Police Chief
Walter Krasny and Mayor James Steph-
enson issued thinly-veiled' threats of
large-scale drug arrests at the Blues and
Jazz Festival. Fortunately those arrests
never materialized.
Bicycles were the next target of the
men in blue. Illegally parked bikes as well
as those committing the heinous act of
travelling the wrong way down a one-way
street were issued traffic tickets.
AFTER EACH wave of arrests, Krasny
has denied that his department has
changed its enforcement policy. The
chief's comments not withstanding, the
people of Ann Arbor, particularly stu-

dents, can feel the heat.
Just why the department has decided
to waste its manpower on these harmless
violations is unclear. Quite possibly the
budget squeeze at City Hall has put addi-
tional pressure on the police to generate
more revenue.
And what better way of raising reve-
nue than imposing a series of fines that
will discriminate heavily against the stu-
dent community. Taxing one's enemies
is of course better politics than taxing
ones friends.
WHATEVER the motivation, the change
in police priorities is a reprehensible
development. Police would do well to
spend their valuable time trying to stem
the rising tide of serious crimes rather
than chasing errant cyclists.
With their concentration on victimless
crime enforcement, the Republican pow-
ers that run this city have added a hollow
ring to the cries of law and order that
brought them to power.

Budget crisis must be faced

CITY HALL officials have finally rea-
lized Ann Arbor is in the midst of a
financial crisis which will rock that
building to its very foundation.
Over the past several years, the offic-
ials looked the other way as the city op-
erated at a deficit, but now the debt has
hit the $1 million mark and is simply too
large to ignore any longer.
Some indications that the city budget
was very ill have surfaced recently. The
Republicans made "fiscal responsibility"
a campaign issue last April, yet have not
offered concrete solutions.
Perhaps, though, nobody knew just how
grave the fiscal condition actually is un-
til last Monday when the administration
presented City Council with a report
warning of the distinct possibility of
"payless paydays" for municipal em-
ployes come next April.
WHILE CITY Administrator Murray
urged action aimed at alleviating the
mess he inherited a month ago when he
took over the city's top post, the council-
looked for somebody to blame. The vari-
ous council members took turns blaming
the other political parties for the prob-
lem or accusing the administration of
lying about budget information.
Admittedly, council probably has not
been adequately informed on the city's
financial status. Furthermore, although
the reasons and responsibilities for the
budget condition ought to be determined,
this should not be done at the expense

of concrete solutions to the problem.
Looking back and finding a scapegoat
will not pay city workers next spring.
COUNCIL members talked tough about
demanding more accountability and
a closer watch on all future expenditures.
Fine. That will keep the situation from
getting worse. However, a definitive pro-
gram to reduce the debt is needed imme-
diately and is already long overdue.
Under state and city law, Ann Arbor
cannot operate in the red. When the pres-
ent budget was, drawn up, the Michigan
Municipal Finance commission mandat-
ed more money be ear-marked for debt
reduction. Moreover the state could, if it
so chose, step in and completely design
future city budgets in an effort to im-
prove the fiscal outlook.
Such a possibility seems extremely re-
pulsive, but even more upsetting is the
thought that council with its conserva-
tive majority will set policy on solving
the money crisis.
OBVIOUSLY, personnel cutbacks and
consequently a reduction in city
services must be expected. Unfortunately,
the Republicans will probably starting
trimming social services such as drug
help programs, low income housing, and
the Human Rights Department charged
with enforcing local anti-discrimination
Cuts could better be made in the police
and refuse collection departments. The
Republicans, however, hold law and order
and superior garbage pick-up dear to
their hearts. As a result, the police and
refuse departments will in all likelihood
continue to prosper while social programs
get the axe.
Ultimately, whatever specific debt re-
duction proposals are instituted they
should reflect the city's best interest _
not partisan political concerns.

"I am ready to resist .
even at the cost of my life .
as a lesson in the ignominious
history of those who have
strength but not reason." -
Salvador Allende Gossens, Pre-
sident of Chile, Sept. 11, 1973.
A FEW minutes after he spoke
these words, Allende did in-
deed pay with his own life. His
death marked the end of an epoch,
the end of any belief that social-
ism can be built within the belly
of the monster without armed
struggle. Allende believed deeply
that a different road to power than
that of Cuba was possible in Chile.
He was wrong.
In one respect his assassination
had a meaning similar to the as-
sassination of Martin L u t h e r
King. Now, as then, those who con-
tend that fundamental change is
possible without physical conflict
are faced with a severe contradic-
tion to their belief. Those whose
power is threatened by change are
willing to respond with less than
total violence as long as that is suf-
ficient to protect their privilege.
When it' ceases to be sufficient,
more drastic action is inevitably
HOWEVER, we must be clear
that the revolution in Chile is not
over, that resistance has not stop-
ped. Allende was a key person, to
be sure, but not an irreplaceable
Indeed, he may have been ir-
replaceable to the left if electoral
politics were to be the forum in
which the next period' of struggle
was to be joined. Allende is a
magnetic figure at this point and
probably the only one who could
have united the factions of the left
enough to win a presidential elec-
However, electoral politics will
not be the forum in the coming per-
iod. The generals, after all, stag-
ed the takeover precisely because
the class interests they represent
had been betrayed by popular elec-
tions. They are not likely to make
the same "mistake" again. Thus
the reports now coming out of Chile
indicate that the generals plan and
have begun total liquidation of left
leadership; party leaders, intel-
lectuals, student leaders.
SINCE THE challenge of the next
period will be primarily to devel-
op and begin to implement a stra-
tegy, certainly including armed
struggle as a major component, Al-
lende probably would have been
more a symbolic figure in an v
case. And that function he fulfills
by his death as much as by his
living. His very death presents a
living contradiction to those who
suggest in the future that revolu-
tion should depend on the forms
of the old order for change.
Several myths now being created
by the establishment press's ana-
lysis of Chile need to be answered.
This can be done by responding to
several key questions/ charges from
that source: 1) Did Allende go
"too fast," thus losing the support
he would have otherwise had? (The
implication here is that his Popu-
lar Unity (UP) Coalition did not
in fact have popular support.) 2)
What were/are the principal con-
tradictions resulting from t h e
movement toward socialism: That
is, which classes were benefitting
and which were losing? 3) What
forces were behind the coup?
Largely in response to the Viet-
namese war, the position of the
"liberal" press in this country has
in recent years changed from anti-

communism to one of saying "peo-
ple should be able to choose any
kind of government they wantas
long as they do it democratically."
(This has never been the real pol-
icy of the U.S. government, of
But we soon saw that the liberal
media were still able to reject a
constitutionally elected revolution-
ary'government in Chile by discov-
ering that that government had
"lost the support of the people. '
And they have an explanation for
this loss of support: The govern-

Chilean National Police round up suspected snipers after Allende's overthrow. Snipers and armed
workers have protested the coup.

ment wasn't willing to compromise
and it pushed socialism by uncon-
stitutional means; consequently, it
lost the support of the middle class
(presumably a unified group, pre-
sumably the only force opposed to
the UP, presumably the people that
really matter in Chile.)
THE FACTS do not support any
of this analysis. The UP not only
had not lost popular support, but
had demonstrably gained consid-
erable strength recently.
Allende was elected with a plur-
ality of 36.3 per cent in 1970. In
the congressional elections of
March 1973, after many months of
severe strife, shortages and long
lines, rapid inflation, etc., the UP
gained about seven per cent more
of the popular vote (43 per cent),

ple would just not have allowed
that to continue. The Congress, con-
trolled by the opposition, voted un-
animously to nationalize the mines.
THE PROBLEM, therefore, was
not the pace of the change but
the fact of the change of control-
as is seen from the attempt to
overthrow Allende by ITT after his
election but before he was even
in office.
The UP did move quickly on
agrarian reform, taking over the
very largest farms and re-distribut-
ing the land within two years. In
the industrial sector, the govern-
ment took over management of
some of the biggest industries, such
as textile mills, because they were
underproducing at a time when
redistribution of income had giv-

"The myth propagated by U.S. news reports from
Chile has been that the "middle class" represents
the majority, of a very large number of

an unprecedented upsurge in off-
year elections, and totally unexpect-
ed in view of the difficulties fac-
ed by the government.
A public opinion poll in July,
1973, in Santiago, showed Allende
with the support of '51 per cent
of the eligible voters. In Santiago
in July, 1973, over 400,000 workers
publicly demonstrated in support
of the government. (Metropolitan
Santiago has roughly the popula-
tion of metropolitan Detroit - one
wonders how the press would ex-
plain a rally of that size in De-
troit for Richard Nixon or Hubert
A RELATED charge about going
too fast is that the government
should not have nationalized the
multi-national corporations like the
Kennecott and Anaconda copper
companies, ITT, and so forth, for
tactical reasons, but simply taxed
them and "controlled" them.
To do that would have been to
abandon any serious attempt to
take control of the Chilean econ-
omy. Moreover, it would be a
pipedream to believe that the small
Chilean government could control
what the powerful U.S. government
For example, Kennecott expat-
riated from Chile an average pro-
fit of 52 per cent on investment per
year from 1955 to 1970, in spite of
a Chilean law that prohibited ex-
patriation of more than 12 per
cent per year. The profit rate was
212 per cent the year before Al-
lende took office. The Chilean peo-




News: Penny Blank, Charlie
Gene Robinson, David Stoll
Editorial Page: Marnie Heyn,
Schiller, Eric Schoch
Arts Page: Diane Levick
Photo Technician: Steve Kagan,


en working people considerably
more buying power than ever be-
fore and demand was very high.
This was legal under Chilean sta-
The government won control of
the banking system by purchasing
stocksokthat the ruling class was
suddenly confronted with the fait
accompli that their key control
over the economy had been lost.
This tool was entirely legal. Like-
wise, multi-national corporations
were always reimbursed forina-
tionalized property under Chilean
IN OTHER important areas, the
government needed to move quick-
ly but could not, and this failure
to win control of significant sectors
of the economy was disastrous. A
prime example was the transporta-
tion network.
The vast majority of goods in
Chile are transported by truck.
Yet over 70 per cent of that net-
work was in private hands, and
these owners were able to strangle
the economy by strike or by diver-
s ion of goods, especially food,vbe-
fore they reached the markets.
Indeed, the truckowners exercis-
ed this power with the publicly-
avowed intention of overthrowing
the legitimately-elected govern-
ment (i.e., sedition). Yet J o h n
Knight of Knight Newspapers in-
sisted that the reason for Allen-
de's overthrow was his unwilling-
ness to compromise.
In fact, Allende's fatal weakness
was his inability, due to the econ-
omic boycott from the U.S. and
the internalcopposition of the con-
gress and courts, to effectively
take control of the key apparatus
of the economic system. Thus a
terrible black market in goods was
created, hoarding and profiteering
by the rich was rampant, 'and
chaos was the outcome.
Any serious analysis of w h a t
happened in Chile has to be ex-
plained in terms of the fundament-
al conflict between the interests of
the working class and the inter-
ests of the upper class and the
petty bourgeoisie. The myth pro-
pagated by U.S. news reports from
Chile has been that the "middle
class" represents the majority, or
a very large number of Chileans.
By implication readers are led to
conclude that the real conflict
of interests was between this "mid-
dle class" and the working class.
In fact, there is no "middle
class" in Chile that is any kind
of a unified entity. Those w h o
would correspond to what in the

versity and editor of The Chilean
Road to Socialism: agricultural
workers (25 per cent); industrial
workers and miners (20 per cent);
marginal workers (20-25 per cent);
white collar workers (minor bur-
eaucrats, clerks, etc., 20-25 per
cent); and upper class and upper-
middle class (less than 15 per
It is the latter two, groups that
have formed the implacable op-
position to the movement toward,
socialism, so that at most this
opposition amounts to 35 per cent.
In fact, sectors within the white
collar category have supported the
government, and sectors of +he
working class have supported the
Christian Democrat Party (but not
a reversion to the capitalist mod-
The visible sectors of the opposi-
tion have come from the w h i t e.
collar workers and the petty bour-
geoisie (truck-owners, small shop-
owners and businessmen, doctors,
lawyers, etc.). These groups saw
a threat in the movement toward
socialism to their favored position.
But they, are not the economic
heart of the opposition.
Rather, that is the very small
traditional ruling class of Chile
composed of a few hundred fam-
ilies, who have controlled bank-
ing, land, any major industry,
newspapers (e.g., El Mercurio, one
of two Santiago newspapers per-
mitted by the new regime, is own-
ed by the Edwards family, which
has important ties with the Coca
Cola Co.) It is this class above
all that was being hurt by t h e
measure and direction of Allende's
It is this class, combined with
the multi-national corporations and
the CIA that almost certainly bank-
rolled the crippling strike of last
October (Stage I of the plan to
overthrow Allende) which destroy-
ed the agricultural sector and in
turn led to the shortages and re-
cent economic chaos, and t h i s
year's strike as well.
It is this class that comprises the
military elite, which by State De-
partment admission, directly com-
municated its coup plan to U.S.
officials several days before it hap-
pened. It is this class that recog-
nized the writing on the election
wall, and it moved ito take control
before the 1976 elections when the.
UP may well have takenmajority
control and dealt the death-blow
to traditional upper class hege-
And it is this class that repre-
sents the interests of the U.S. cor-
porations in Chile. Let us have no
doubt that the U.S. government
had close ties to events of recent
months in Chile.
At this writing very little is
knowntabout the individuals direct-
ing the coup. But inferences are
not difficult. They represent t h e
most fascist elements of the mili-
tary: Complete repression and to-

tal violence directed against work-
ers is evidenced by reports of Air
Force strafing of the poblaciones
(ghettos) and factories, the report-
edly enormous number of casual-
ties (15,000-20,000 deaths), the ex-
ecution of leadership such as
Jacques Chonchol, Clodimiro Al-
meyda, Mara Harnecker, and Al-
lende himself, and the threat to
"eradicate Marxism."
An equally important index, pro-
bably more important in terms of
long-term consequences, is the
move to kill or send back to cer-
tain death, more than 10,000 exiles
from the brutal repression in Bra-
zil, Bolivia, and Uruguay, who
were given refuge in Chile under
Allende. This is a counter-revolu-
tion bent on destroying not only
the revolution in Chile, but in all
Latin America. The direct col-
laboration of the Bolivian and Bra-
zilian governments would be evi-
dence enough that this will be the
severest possible repression.
Spend two dollars today to send
a telegram to either Sen. F u 1-
bright (D-Ark.) of the Senate
Foreign Relations committee or
your senator, demanding: 1) no
recognition of the military govern-
ment, 2) immediate cut-off of all
military assistance to same; and
3) maximum pressure on the dic-
tatorship to grant free passage of
foreign exiles to a country of re-
fuge (probably Argentina or Mex-
ico, possibly Peru.) Or a tele-
gram to one of those embassies
in Washington asking for refuge for
these political exiles.
Longer-range financial and other
aid will be needed to aid the strug-
gle, which will be protracted. Re-
late to the organizing work around
this issue being done on campus.
Talk with friends about the issue.
The Archdiocesan Commission on
World Justice and Peace (Detroit:
963-3680) as well as others will
have speakers, slide shows and
literature available.
The workers of Chile have de-
veloped ahigh state of conscious-
ness in the last seventy years of
struggle. Their revolution is n o t
Charles Rooney, a member of the
Conunission on World Justice and
Peace of the Catholic Archdiocese
in Detroit, is a Ph. D. candidate at
/he University and a lecturer at the
University of Detroit. He returned
in July from seven weeks in Chile
and Brazil studying politics and
conducting interviews.
The Editorial Page of The
Michigan Daily is open to any-
one who w is he's to submit
articles. Generally speaking, all
articles should be less than 1,000


J ice President and Mrs.p..,A9wew
coria/y invile yoe. Ia r
home /fordinner on a date
w~iC4 is convenieni A ryou




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