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October 28, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-10-28

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qe 4--Friday, October 28, 1977--The Michigan Daily
~Ile Sirb!WEn ?tUIIQ
Eighty-Eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
SA needs new fuel to
i change things at the 'U'



7 ERE ARE MANY times when, as
Sstudent, one is filled with a son-
se o frustration over the inability to
solve those problems which affect stu-
den tsmost. Too often, the helpless feel-
ing imunnecessary.
Rules can be changed, people can
bo convinced, and lo, even this Univer-
sty ycan alter its objectives. The pro-
cess of bringing this about is a rela-
tively simple one - it's called demo-
cracy, and it is fueled only by people.
A government exists on this campus
which functions for the benefit of
students and only students. It is called
the Michigan Student Assembly.
( (MSA). Whether it operates with or
without, any degree of efficiency, it is
the only group at this University recog-.
nized as the representative of the tu-
ition-paying person.
I n recent.years, student support for
1SA has 'dropped to levels so low that
people wonder whether the group can
aetur lly claim it represents anyone.
There is, in fact, an energy crisis going
on in MSA right now. Perhaps it's
bec ause the wrong people are in
power. Perhaps the problem can be at-
tributed to apathy.
What really matters is that fall
, elec ins to the assembly are ap-
prahing, and if you want to change
the ay things are around you, student
. govenment is just about the only way
yoU n do it.
M 1 day, October 31, is the deadline
' .

for becoming 'i candidate for MSA.
Think about what you could do with the
time you do nothing with now, and then
contact the MSA office.
What MSA really needs is new
blood. It needs serious students who
are just a bit more concerned with
events at the University than they are
with themselves. It's a tough challenge
to inflict on yourself, but if you can
wade through all of the muck which
goes with the job, you can make a
mark on this campus.
All you need to qualify for office is a
good complaint.
e3in ai




LOIS JOSIMOVICH.............. ..... ... Managing Editor
GEORGE LOBSENZ .......Maanaging Editor
STU McCONNELL ....................Managing Editor
JENNIFER MILLER .................Managing Editor
PATRICIA MONTEMURRI ............... Magaging Editor
KEN PARSIGIAN. ....................Managing Editor
BOB ROSENBAUM........... .......... Managing Editor
MARGARET YAO ...................Managing Editor
Sunday Magazine Editors
Associate Magazine Editors
Arts Editor
STAFF WRITERS: Susan Barry, Richard Berke,.Brian Blan-
chard, Michael Beckman, Lori Carruthers, Ken Chotiner, Eileen
Daley,'Lisa Fisher, Denise Fox, Steve Gold, David Goodman,
Elisa Isaacson, Michael Jones, Lani Jordan, Janet Klein, Garth
Kriewall, Gregg Krupa, Paula Lashinsky, Marty Levine, Dobilas
Matunonis, Carolyn Morgan, Dan .Oberdorfer, Mark Parrent,
Karen Paul, Stephen Pickover, Christopher Potter, Martha
Retallick, Keith Richburg, Diane Robinson, Julie R~ovner, Dennis
Sabo, Annmarie Schiavi, Paul Shapiro, R. J. Smith, Elizabeth
Slowik, Mike Taylor, Pauline Toole, Sue Warner, Jim Warren,
Linda Willcox, Shelley Wolson, Tim Yagle, Mike Yellin, Barbara
Mark Andrews, Mike Gilford, Richard Foltman
Weather Forecasters

'I was worried when plans for
last Saturday's rally at Kent
State were announced. Worried
for fear that it would be a disap-
pointing anticlimax after the
rally of September 24. But I
wasn't worried about police.
When I arrived, my initial re-
action was amazement at the
number of cops. It was beyond
anything I had ever imagined,
much less experienced. In com-
parison, the number of protesters
seemed woefully small. We were
dwarfed by the immensity and
extensiveness of riot equipped po-
For me, violent confrontation
was a relic of the past. It was a
reality in the sixties but it was
alien to my generation. We were
in grade school during the protest
years, and were left un-scathed
by the bitterness of the sixties
radicals. Getting 'gased and
busted' were removed from our
reality. We could joke about it
because it was science fiction.
But it became real.
Saturday's really became a
hostile confrontation between 150
law enforcement officers and ap-
proximately 800 students. It was
both unprovoked and unjustified.
The shootings at Kent State oc-
curred over seven years ago. Re-
percussions continue to echo
through the deceptively peaceful
Ohio campus and throughout the
When university officials un-
veiled plans to build a gym-
nasium on the site of the shoot-
ings, a coalition formed to pre-
vent construction. Throughout
the summer, the May 4 Coalition
held rallies. One hundred and
ninety-three protesters set up a
tent city on the proposed site and
lived there for two months. They
were all arrested.
In the course of five months,
over 300 people were arrested for
demonstrating against building
the gym.
The Coalition obtained a court
order that halted construction
and advanced a legal battle to
permanently stop construction of
the proposed facility. But Ohio
courts ruled at the end of August
that construction could start once
In the beginning of September,
crews began to raze the hill. The
tall, old trees were chopped down
and the topsoil was carted away.
Nearly 3,000 people attended a
national rally at Kent on Septem-
ber 24.
It was calm and peaceful. Par-
ticipants came away feeling
strong and unified. There was an
unending flow of energy; sud-
denly I caught a glimpse of what
was happening in the sixties.
Thousands of people gathered for
a common purpose - it was ex-
hilarating and exciting.
The majority of the protesters
viewed that demonstration large-
ly as a symbolic gesture opposing

Dejal vu-seven

construction. It was a last effort
- admittedly futile, but neces-
sary. Nobody believed that Kent ;
officials would heed the voice of ;
3,000 demonstrators. At the same
time it was very necessary for
those to voice their opposition. 1
Since the September demon-
stration, no additional clearing or
construction has been undertak-
en. The university threw its ener-
gies, al'ong with $30,000, into
building a ten foot tall fence
around the area. They built a fen-
ce around a hill of bare soil and
scattered bricks.
For last Saturday's rally, I an-
ticipated more of those feelings of
unity and hope. Bret Eynon had
attended the September demon-
stration and he too was taken by
surprise at the reception on Sat-
urday. We stood next to each
other in the column marching
away from the police before the
descent of the tear gas. "My
God," he said. "I never expected
this." Laughing ruefully, he ex-
plained, "We brought two bottles

demonstrators attempted to meet
on the Commons, an open, grassy
area close to the construction
site. They were greeted by police
dressed in riot gear and carrying
shotguns, teargas cartridges and
billy clubs. Mounted officers
moved into the edges of the
It was impossible to turn
around without seeing police
armed and ready. For what, I
couldn't say. They looked in-
congruous and out of place amid-
st the youthful protesters gath-
ered on the gentle slopes.
The police twice relocated pro-
testers by prodding with their
batons. The scheduled rally was
begun on a third site and after
about an hour, the police moved
in again. The protesters prepared
to move.
The protesting groups' tactics
were to move in an orderly
fashion to another spot. Everyone
wanted to avoid any type of con-
frontation. That was stressed.
The group formed a column eight

"My God, " he said. "I never ex-
pected this. We brought two bottles
of wine, some cheese - I was ex-
pecting a picnic."

Demonstrators pulled handker-
chiefs up over their faces to make
breathing easier. It was reminis-
cent of childhood's masked out-
laws, but it wasn't a game.
Finally the sky cleared -
although the acrid, acidy smell
still hung about. I felt untold re-
lief just to be able to sit and
breathe freely.
"You should be grateful," said
Bob Malone, the chief of Kent
State Security, as he surveyed
the scattered protesters. An am-
bulance stood nearby and one of
the wounded protesters was
being taken away. "You can only
be thankful that the law enforce-
ment officers have had a lot of pa-
tience. You should be thankful
that you weren't arrested."
It was at that point the shooting
of four students in 1970 became
real. "Four dead in Ohio" emerg-
ed from a bizarre horror tale at-
mosphere into the glare of
present day reality. The
shootings were no longer distant.
I could picture the array of 1970
and. could envision a recurrence.
Scattered groups began to reas-
semble and confer. People milled
around discussing what had hap-
pened and what had to be done
next. Nobody wanted to confront
the police, but at the same time
nobody wanted to stay hidden in
their little corners. To reassem-
ble was to say "we are still here
and we are-together,"
The rally that never really
began ended soon afterwards.
I came away from Saturday's
experience filled with a bewilder-
ment that I can't shake off. It still
seems incomprehensible that the
police would take such action
against us - incomprehensible,
but not impossible. I cannot ac-
cept a logic or frame of mind that
leads to such violence.
We are an idealistic group. In
many ways I feel betrayed by my
own naivete. We are soft in our
hardness and express a willing-
ness to trust. What happened Sat-
urday will probably happen again
and again - because we are not a
bitter group.
Perhaps we view the world
through rose colored glasses.
Perhaps we are being unrealistic.
But our nature precludes the bit-
terness and hatred that charac-
terized so many of the activists in
the sixties.
More shocking than the use of
violence against us at the rally
were the comments of a small
number of Kent State students.
There were anonymous voices
yelling from a dormitory window.
"Hey, you got them. That'll teach
you. Get off our campus. Next
time shoot'em!"
That last phrase echoes in my
mind. The horror is no longer
Pauline Toole has cov-
ered the events surrounding
the construction of a new gym
at Kent State for the Daily.

of wine, some cheese - I was ex-
pecting a picnic."
On Friday, October 24, the Kent
State trustees obtained a court
order against members of the
May 4 Coalition and up to 2,000
protesters. The four-day injunc-
tion made the next day's demon-
stration illegal, and provided for
the presence of police on the cam-
Tony May, Kent State director
of communication, explained the
police action. "The primary re-
sponsibility of the police was to
carry out the court order and
prevent the demonstration," he
said. "Their action - the use of
tear gas - in retrospect seems
good. It was successful."
May's explanation for armed
officers displays a paranoia on
the part of Kent officials. "In the
past, police have not always car-
ried firearms," May summized.
"There was no communication
this time. The local leaders of the
May 4 Coalition were in jail or not
on campus. The leaders of this
rally could not be identified. The
police had no idea how the crowd'
would react."
Upon arrival Saturday, the

abreast and hundreds long and
started to move away from the
police. There was no violence in-
tended or expressed toward the
police. The idea was to get away.
The police blocked the move-
ment and began to fire gas into
the crowd. They gave no orders to
disperse. They just began
charging at the crowd, firing gas.
Confusion reigned as protesters
were herded toward no place in
particular. Everyone was run-
ning and coughing and those who
knew screamed, "Don't rub your
eyes. Don't touch your face." The
advice was picked up and repeat-
ed again and again as those in
pain tried to fight their hands
from rubbing.
Clouds of tear gas billowed in
the air as students ran about
trying to escape. Disorder. I
grabbed the hand of a friend and
ran, trying to get away. Trying to
find the peace of trees and a sun-
ny fall day. My face burned and
my eyes itched. I felt that no mat-
ter how far we ran, those cotton
candy soft, lethal clouds would
still be there. There was no place
to go, but we ran, following the
others, trying to get away.



ast your vote

to ease



used to see a lot of work toward
pr,,) L - iegislation in Ann Arbor,
bu 1s all grinding to a halt. The Demo-
era -. re less apt to fight for reforms
now tm they were in recent years -
they " ,aid of alienating the middle-
of the er. And the Human Rights
R rt* P I is all but wiped out.
Ibis so? It's because students
dc C; their voting strength in city
d ?ousands of them don't reg-
Sism x i Ann Arbor, and many of
th w do register don't show up at
th = p x booths on electiondays.
Ti - E IS now a very close balance
M ks n ^" -M ahtlnm .M- -

But with large numbers of students
staying out of city politics, what's been
happening is that progressive issues
have been left untouched - and re-
forms already scored have been over-
turned. Recall what happened to Pref-
erential Voting, the voting system
which kept HRP alive. The Human
Rights Party, the city's once-active
third party, did a good job of repre-
senting student interests, and it influ-
enced the Democrats to do more for stu-
dents than they had ever done in the
past. But HRP and the Democrats ten-
ded to split the liberal-left vote -
throwing some elections to the Republi-
cans. Preferential Voting helped solve
that nrnhlem. Tt was u nlan annroved by

out was poor in student areas and other
places where Democratic and HRP
support was strongest. Preferential
Voting was discarded, and that began
to push student interests off the list of
important concerns in city politics.
LOW VOTER turnout has hurt the
Democrats on City Council in the past
couple of years. A Michigan Daily polit-
ical writer reported in April of 1976 that
"Republican Wendell Allen crashed in
on an off year (and) an appallingly low
student turnout" when he scored "the
first GOP victory in the First Ward sin-
ce 1960." If Allen had not won his City
Council seat, the Republicans would
not now be enjoying a majority on coun-
cil. And a Republican majority on coun-
cil has tended to mean a moratorium on

City Council's sluggishness in moving
for improvements in housing can only
be explained by the fact that the council
majority doesn't care enough about ten-
ants to do anything for them. There is
an abundant supply of ideas which have
been presented to council on how it
could help the city's tenants. Shortly be-
fore last April's election, the Mayor's
Fair Rental Practices Committee drew
up a list of recommendations for
changes in the law which*would im-
prove housing. The Committee
suggested that the city take the follow-
ing steps:
- encourage the University to house
more of its students;
- enact a "repair and deduct" law,
which would allow tenants to make any

get legal advice on landlord-tenant
MORE recommendations for the im-
provement of housing were made in a
study. done for the city by the Commu-
nity Planning and Management Pro-
gram. That study was commissioned to
examine why virtually no new housing
is being built in the city despite a severe
housing shortage. It examined ways to
encourage the building of more
housing. The study proposed that the
city do the following:
- create the position of City Ombuds-
person for development to facilitate the
process of getting permission for con-
- shorten the procedure for City

show that they want such action. And if
the voters are to show more support for
housing reform, the extra support will
have to come from students and other
people who either don't usually turn out
to vote, or who aren't registered to vote
in Ann Arbor.
Since students live in the city for at.
least two-thirds of the year, Ann Ar-
bor's laws affect their lifestyles and
their bank accounts. If you want cheap-
er and better housing, one of the most
effective means at your disposal is the
An MSA-sponsored project is about to
kick off a voter registration drive, with
an eye toward the city election this
coming April. If you're not registered to

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