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November 13, 1976 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-11-13

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



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i -S
How To Evict Your Land-
lord, An Ann Arbor Tenant's
Primer, by Martin Porter and
the Michigan Student Assem-
bly Housing Law Reform
Project, $1.25, 55 pages, il-
VERA O'PREST stumbled
over the ragged carpet in
the hallway of her apartment
building, after a hectic red-tape
runaround with the university.
Picking herself up, she opened
th door and calmly wiped off
the paint chips that had float-
ed into her hair. On muggy
days such as these, her apart-
ment got quite stuffy, so Vera
opened the window for some
fresh air - Finally, Peace and
Quiet . . a gang of fruit flies
swarmed past the missing
screen. Flicking the light switch
and receiving her daily dose
of 220 volts, Vera slumped int
her chair to do some studying.
Studying is quite a feat for
most of us, but for Ms. O'Pres
it's more like trying to study
in Columbia recording studios
- her neighbor plays Davi
Bowie every afternoon and eve
ning. The music really isn'
that loud, but the paper-thin
walls give full meaning to th
essence of stereophonic sound.
"Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes .
Bowie rocks on.
Finally giving un on her
studying. Vera takes out he
Mrs. (sic) Paul's Fresh Frozen
Fish Filet which hasn't been
Frozenor Fresh For Four day
since the Freezer broke and
the Movntain High turned intoa
mountain stream.
Fed up with the entire sitna
tion, Vera pulled out her leas
to find her landlord's phon
number. On the lease, to he
surprise, was printed, "Th
landlord disclaims duty t
maintain or renair the prem-
ises." And if Vera wanted tc
contest this, according to hex
lease, she'd have to pav all o
her landlord's legal fees!
ENOUGH! Vera grabbed the
Phone and called her landlord
He listened courteously tq al


her complaints,' told her the
lease was the final word, and
threatened to physically move
Vera and her furniture out of
the apartment, if she "haras-
sed" him again. Vera, stunned,
finally gave up and sulked with
the cockroaches. Another dis-
mal day in an absolutely dis-
mal apartment, all in Ann Ar-
Although Vera's life may be
presented more dramatically
than ours, it is not unusual. A
recent study by the Center for
National Housing Law Reform
indicates that 90 per cent of
off-campus student housing is
in violation of the city and/or
state housing code. That means,
in effect, that 90 per cent of
those tenants have a legal right
g to be onarent strike. Most peo-
lations Vera exnerienced, such
e as the ragged carpet, the
° shocking light switch, the
freezer, the lack of screens, the
r cockroaches, etc.
t 1 0 W E V E R, most ten-
s ants are not aware of some
dother basic violations of their
-legal rights. For instance, it is
- the legal obligation of the land-
t lord to maintain the premises.
Tn addition, it is illegal for a
landlord to evict a tenant with-
out going through court nroce-
(iires, and even then, if the
r tenant obtains l gal beln: the
r eviction is unlikely. Tf, however,
n Vera's landlord tried to evict
n b-rhv use of force or thret
s f frce, Vera would be eligi-
d hie for trinle the amount of
a diniaes, including money for
time and inconvenience suffer-
- ed.
e Many homes in Ann Arbor
e were formerly one and two
r family houses. Recently, land-
e lords hnve divided them ~p into
o many little box-anartments and
-. rammed as 'nanv tenants into
O) tea.' as nossible. The bw"zinr?
:r codie affirms a tenant's rkigt to
f nrion'v, i e. reasonably sound-
nroof walls -Vera did not co-

Michigan Student Assembly, is
a long-awaited primer on the
basics of landlord-tenant law in
Ann Arbor, and better yet, how
to use it. There are sections of
the book which include land-
lord obligations and responsi-
bilities that most tenants were.
never aware of. At a recent Na-
tional Lawyers' Guild Confer-
ence on tenant organizing, one
attorney stated that most of
the clauses in a tenant's lease
are blatantly illegal; How To
Evict . . . summarizes many
such clauses and recommends
places for a confused tenant to
go, in order to check the valid-
ity of the entire lease.
More than just telling you
what's wrong with your apart-
ment and your legal rights, this
book also includes instructions
on how to fight back and ob-
tain decent living conditions.
There are sample court forms
and explanations of the "legal-
ease" that landlords try to
confound us with, and for the
first time I've ever seen, a ba-
sic explanation of the econom-
ics of the landlord - tenant sys-
tem which places us in the
crisis today.
Many people seem "satisfied"
with the present housing situa-
tion, yet that same content-
ment begins to dissipate when
one realizes the alternatives
available. We don't have to
live in squalid conditions, nor
do we have to put up with a
landlord who refuses to uphold
his end of the bargain (espe-
cially since that bargain is gen-
erally tipped in the landlord's
favor in the first place). We
all have our hesitations; it's a
vain to complain, it's not worth
the trouble, it'll waste precious
time, . . , and we'll continue
to pay outrageous rents for
little in return.
A lawyer once told me that
tenants have more rights than
they know about, and less than
they need; How To Evict Your
Landlord gives us the former,
and helps us obtain the latter. It
is a must for every tenant in
this city.

A SHARP RAP on my shoulder awoke me from my game-
saving catch for a touchdown. With great pain I rolled
over pnd smacked my hand on the cold concrete. Through
blurry eyes I made out the white uniform and cap of the
nurse. "Number 55, East Quad Block," she bellowed. "Yeah,
I mean yes I'm the block."
Red came over to me and said, "Get up .it's 3:15, and
we have to truck over to Hoover to get in line."
The pained and confused expression on my face seemed
to strike a chord of pity in Red's usually cynical heart. He
explained to me that this was the line for swine flue shots,
and that we had to go over to Hoover to get in line to place
our names on a sign-up sheet.
"What sign-up sheet" I asked?
By now it was obvious that he was getting impatient.
"Look turkey, don't you remember that tonight we have
to place our names on a sign-up sheet to enable us to stand
in line to place our names on a sign-up sheet so that we can
get senior-priority football tickets for 1979?"
"Want to run that by me one more time," I begged, The
next thing I remember was that we were running through
the Diag, or rather, Red was running and I was sort of
stumbling along behind them. I had this stabbing pain go-
ing through my entire right arm up to the shoulder as if it
had been severely yanked.
AS WE PASSED the Nat Sci building I came to a dead
stop. "Red, what are those igloos doing in front of here?"
"That's the ticket line for the Jackson Browne concert
next April."
"Oh yeah, want to go?"
"You dolt, would you wake up. We are going. Fred,
Geoff, Amy and Sue have been in line since November. Now
hurry up. If we don't get over to Hoover, they won't get their
seats either."
As we passed Pizza Bobs we ran into Bob who told us
that he already put all of our names on the sign up sheet so
that we wouldn't have to wait in line to sign the sign-up
sheet. He also told us that Mindy and Brian had just come
back from picking up our CRISP Tickets for next fall.
All we had to do now was go over to the Track and Tennis
Building for the 6:00 sign-in to get our IM basketball sched-
ule next week.
"Now I can go back to the dorm and start studying for
finals," he exclaimed jubilantly as he raised his arms to the
sky and let out a kind "eeeeeeeyyyyyhaaaaah".
"Speaking of finals Red, who do we have in line for
Michael Beckman is a regular Daily columnist.

Eighty-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Saturday, November 13, 1976 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Americans often take
Can ada 'for granted

sae a
f' n ded

1aas'[ witi, nlqvid 'Rnrvte
To F'-t Vour .iidn"",
by a grant from the

ON MONDAY the people of Quebec
will, go to the polls and will
most likely elect a separatist govern -
ment. You, like many of the rest of
us probably take Canada for grant-
ed. After all, Canada is our good
neighbor to the north, the nation
that supplies us with some oil and
provides us with bases for our 'Dis-
tant Early Warning System.
But Canada is not an extension
of the United States; itls a sovereign
nation with its own customs, lan-
guages and history. Furthermore .It
is growing resentful of American
domination of significant, portions
of its economy.
Canada did not go to war for its
independence. It received its Inde-
pendence peacefully and not until
after the guns of our Civil War were
laid to rest. Ties .with London are
strong,and Queen Elizabeth is given
the respect reserved for a chief of
The government is not federalistic
like ours - the powers of the govern-
ment are much weaker. The provin-
cial governments wield much more
power than do our state govern-
-ments and a substantial proportion
of the land is still governed by ter-
ritorial government as was our West.
before achieving statehood. A popu-

lation about the size of Califgrnia's
is. spread over an area" bigger than
any political land mass save theSo-
viet Union. And it speaks in French
as well as in English.
The French-English issue has been1
ahot one in recent years. Democratic
freedoms were suspended and mar-
tial law declared for several days
when this issue erupted into politi- !
cal kidnappings which shook all of
On Monday the Quebec Party may
come to power. And party officials
are talking independence within just
a few years.
Good idea or bad idea? It is a hot
issue in Canada. And before you dis-
miss it as insignificant remember
that Quebec is just across the river
from New York.
News: Bill Turque, Jeff Ristine, T i m
Schick, Mike Norton, Linda Willcox,
Martha Retallick
Editorial Page: Rob Meachum, S t e v e
Kursman, Tom Stevens, Mark Wag-
ner, Jon Pansius
Arts Page: Lois 'Josimovich
Photo Technician: Scott Eccker

Banana barons peel Third World

Pacific News Service
Philippines, U.S. agribusiness

to the

are caught in a simmering war with the
landless peasants of the Third World.
At stake is a large part of their $30 bil-
lion in overseas investments.
Over the last 15 years firms like Del
Monte, United Brands (formerly United
Fruit) and Castle & Cooke (which bought
Standard Fruit and Dole) have tripled
their investment in the rich lands of
the underdeveloped world.
But in the process they have driven
hundreds of thousands of peasants off
their land, sparking repeated waves of
And judging from disclosures made at
a recent Del Monte annual meeting, fol-
lowed up by a detailed study from the
North American Congress on Latin
America (NACLA), the tactics used by
American corporations to meet this re-
sistance have included intimidation, po-
litical pay-offs and a variety of subtle
methods to skirt the law.
One of the most recent controveries
surrounding Del Monte has come in the
Philippine region of Mindanao, where
Del Monte, United Brands and Castle
& Cooke - lured largely by the Japa-
nese banana market - are all expand-
Patricia Flynn is a freelance
Aritercan staffer at the North
American Congress on Latin

ing their. operations.
Avcording to Catholic priests on the
scene, Del Monte agents have threatened
small landholders that unless they lease
their land it will be encircled by Del
Monte and all access will be cut off.
The priests also report that local of-
ficials have facilitated the land-grab by
refusing to process disputed land titles
unless the owners agree to lease to the
company. Many who have resisted the
pressure have see ntheir lands fenced
in and cattle driven onto their fields by
Del Monte employes and armed guards.
"They bulldozed people right off the
land," said Father Ed Gerlock, who was
arrested for helping peasants resist.
Most of Del Monte's plantations in the
Philinnines are public lands leased from
a government corporation. For decades,
Philipnines nationalists have complained
that the agreement violates the Philip-
pine constitution, which prohibits for-
eign control of public lands in excess of
2,253 acres.
The nationalists almost'achie'ved their
goal in 1972, 'when the Philinine Su-
nreme Court handed down a ruling that
w"old have limited U. S. land owner-
ship. But almost immediately President
Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law
and cuickly rescinded the decision.
Del Monte has always been on friend-

ly terms with Marcos, hosting him sev-
eral times at its plantation mansions.
The most famous battle between
American agribusiness and Third World
nationalists, however, was the Central
American banana scandal - which
eventually led to the suicide of United
Brands President Eli Black.
In 1973 the banana companies were
fighting thehformhation of a cartel of ba
nana - exporting countries and the isn-
position of a $1-per-box tax on banana
exports. Publicly they threatened to cut
production and- tried to convince some
countries to pull out of the cartel.
But privately, United Brands paid Hon-
diran President Lopez Arellano a bribe
of $1.25 million. When it was discovered,
Arellano lost his job and Black jumped
from the window of his Manhattan of-
Meanwhile, demands for agrarian re-
form, aimed principally at foreign com-
panies like United Brands and Standard
Fruit, had accelerated into massive land
invasions, armed conflicts between grow-
ers and peasants and widespread arrests
by the government.
But the pressure from U. S. agribusi-
ness proved at least partly effective.
Only Panama went through with the
full $1 tax, though Guatemala imposed

a 44-cent-per-box tax after a bitter de-
bate in Congress.
Del Monte had its own "bananagate"
in Guatemala in 1972, when the com-
pany attempted to buy United Brands'
banana plantations there.
The Guatemalan government refused
permission for the ;;0 million purchase
for more than a year because of legal
limitations on foreign land acquisition,
then suddenly reversed its decision.
Under pressure from the U. S. Securi-
ties and Exchange Commission (SEC),
Del Monte was forced last year to ad-
mit it had secretly paid a well-connected
"consultant" - later identified as a man
close to Guatemala's president - half
a million dollars to change the presi-
dent's mind.
Corporate chairman Alfred Eames
contends the consultant fee was not a
bribe since it wasn't paid directly to a
government official,
And the SEC never brought charges
because Del Monte had been careful not
to violate the technicalities of the law.
But sources with ties in the govern-
ment in Guatemala have told PNS that a
large part of the consultant fee was
passed op to President Arana, as is
widely assumed in Giatemala.

U.S. Versus Soviet Foreign Aid


" j
Jf Vii
r/1f , ,
r .
, r
, >>
. 1 '
, ''
V - '
' - _
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$ ! ak

To The Daily:'
I WAS AMUSED to note, on
your editorial page of Novem-
ber 10, the assonance of Feif-
fer's cartoon and Doug Timms'
article, "Looking Back on The
Election." In the former, a
maninforms Jimmy Carter that
"40 per cent of the electorate
are functionally illiterate." The
latter offers an example there-
In the second paragraph, the
sentence reading, "In the end,
Carter not so much defeated
Gerald Ford because of the is-
sues, but due (sic) to a sus-
pected felt (sic) vacancy in
leadership," was meant to com-
municate something to us but
I have no clear idea what. In
the next sentence, we read:
Watergate to the contrary,
66 vetoes and a plodding
economy later, Gerald Ford
just did not excite the
A m'e r i c a'n electorate
enough, despite an emerg-
ingoconservatismato be re-
warded with four more

By The Associated Press
The Soviet Union has the
w o r 1 4~s second largest
economy, placing it next to the
United States. But surveys show
that Moscow gives a con-
siderably smaller percentage of
its wealth to the Third World
than Washington.
The Soviets point to steel
mills, power plants, dams and
irrigation networks that have
been built in the un-
derdeveloped countries with
their aid. But critics contend
this was done mainly to offset
the effect abroad of the United
States and China.
Western analysts cite the $650
milliongrant given last year to
Turkey. They recall that this is
more than half the total aid the
Russians have given the Turks
in more than two decades.
Turkey is a NATO member
whose access to the
Mediterranean has long been
looked on with tenvy by the
Russians. The 1975 grant was
used to, expand a Soviet-built

per cent as opposed to 0.3 $200 $425 $1,3001L$180 L41 $549 $750 $1,2632
percent for the MINA
United States. KwBANGQAOESK1
Afghanistan, NAM
India, Turkey ,known
and Egypt
are among
Cuba and / kow
Vietnam are Hi[ ENTINA] THIOPA SOMAUA ND0NESi1 Amounts show
UnKnown 'factors. $238 $245__ $104 1_$153 $114 millions of dollars
EASTERN EUROPE ....... ....... .......$131,000,000
CHINA U. ....... ... $272,000,000
SOVIET UNION. ...... .... ............$1,264,000,000
[ UNITEDSTATES ...$5,940,000,000





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