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January 27, 1976 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1976-01-27

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I'

arl Alr g'an P'4 4v1n
Eighty-Six Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Ml 48104

Spaniards shy away from

revolt

Tuesday, January 27, 1976

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at

the University of Michigan

ME~ BLACK< HAN D

By MIKE NORTON
Spain is now reeling under one of
the biggest wave of protest it has seen
since the establishment of the fascist
regime in 1939. Just what will be the
consequences of the strikes and demon-
strations that are sweeping the Spanish
cities?
The political vacuum left by the death
of Generalissimo Francisco Franco has
sparked conjecture here and abroad over
the future of this nation, so long under
the iron glove of dictatorship and now
so suddenly waking up. The recent
strikes by students and workers in
Barcelona and Madrid have added fuel
to observers' concern.
SOME WATCHERS see the present
situation as the prelude to a commu-
nist takeover a la Portugal, while oth-
ers fear another, bloodier repeat of the
Spanish Civil War.
What are the likely consequences of
Franco's death? Will there be a revo-
lution? It was Franco's personality
more than anything else that main-
tained the 36-year regime. And -now
that he's gone doesn't it seem logical
that some political struggling is bound
to begin?
The Spanish Communist Party is the
most well-organized underground in Eu-
rope. The Spanish people are tiring
of repressive labor practices. Doesn't
it seem probable that an uprising is
in the making?
BUT STRIKES do not make a re-

volt. A careful reading of Spain's politi-
cal and social nature suggests that sup-
port for the left is not so widespread
or vehement as a real revolutionary
movement. To 'conclude that an over-
throw looms is as reasonable as a
foreign observer judging from campus
demonstrations, urban riots and anti-
war actions here in the 1960's that a
revolution was imminent here.
There are several reasons why a
revolution of any kind, and especially
a communist revolution, is unlikely.
FIRST, THE GOVERNMENT is se-
curely entrenched; Franco had 36 years
to consolidate and provide for the con-
tinuity of his regime after his death.
He had no illusions about its popularity.
The men in power now were hand-
picked for their assignments and they
are experienced, hard men. Their po-
lice networks are intach; the mechanism
of graft and coercion that oil the Span-
ish state still works as well as ever.
Second, the army, which was the mus-
cle behind popular movements in Rus-
sia, China, and Portugal, is opposed to
any kind of rapid change. The same
goes for the Navy. If Franco can in any
way be said to live on, it is in the
ultra-rightist armed forces, where his
spirit rules. The same goes for the
Guardia Civil, the Spanish version of
the National Guard.
Third, the many opponents of the re-
gime are extremely fragmented and un-
likely to cooperate even in ousting the
present government, much less in form-

ing a new one. Most of them hate each
other nearly as much as they hated
Franco. There are, for instance, five
major parties of the left, besides the
two major moderate parties and three
main monarchist factions of the extreme
right.
TO COMPLICATE matters, there is
Opus Dei, a Catholic "service" organi-
zation of no precise political leaning,
whose members have quietly found high
positions even in the present govern-
ment, and there are the various sepa-
ratist movements (the Basques, Cata-
lans, and Galicians) who are worried
about autonomy for their own regions,
and unlikely to settle for anybody's
compromise short of independence.
Last, and perhaps most important, a
fairly large bourgeoisie has grown up
in recent years, relatively well-off by
Spanish standards. Many Spaniards have
televisions and autos; they pay to send
their kids to school. In short, they have
a vested interest in maintaining the
status quo,
Turmoil means economic trouble, and
economic trouble means all the bad
things of the past: hunger and illness
instead of healthy living standards, tanks
instead of cars. Unlike the gaunt work-
ers Marx knew, much of Spain's labor
class does have something to lose.
BUT IF REVOLUTION is doubtful,
what will happen?
More strikes, more demonstrations,
more brave talk can be expected. And

probably more scornful reaction from
the government for a while, too - un-
til something changes. Change is bound
to come; the long-suffering Spanish
economy will not take the strain of
labor troubles very much longer. The
government will be forced, sooner or
later, to concede some liberalization.
Signs of this are alread appearing.
The present prime minister, Carlos
Arias Navarro, has already promised
"free" elections for this coming fall.
That is at least a symbolic step in
the right direction.
KING JUAN CARLOS, unlike most
of Franco's chosen circle, 9, not a hard-
liner. It is well-known that he had orig-
inally intended to appoint a less con-
servative prime minister than Arias, but
bowed to pressure from the right. Pres-
sure from the other direction - and
economic necessity - could well swing
him toward the center.
In short, a gradual move toward con-
servative parliamentary democracy can
be anticipated in Spain this year as the
newly-legalized political parties, emerge
from outlawry and stretch their legs
for the upcoming election. That move
may not go fast or far enough to spare
Spain more heartache, but to Spaniards,
who still bear the bitter memories of
civil strife, delay is a small price to
pay.

Editorial Page staff
Norton has travelled
Spain's countryside.

member Mike
extensi'ely 1H

TENANTS' UNION CORNER:
Local tenants should- withhold rent

Council pay: Wise move

BEGINNING in April, City Council
will receive compensation for
their services to the tune of $5,000 a
year. This decision by the city Com-
pensation Committee has created an
uproar in the council chamber among
the sharply divided Democrats and
Republicans.
Republicans charge that the issue
of Council pay has already been
brought to the people in city-wide
elections, and ha's ben consistntly
votd down. Still, the public response
at open hearings at City Hall in the
last mnth has been favorable.
Another objection lodged by the
GOP is that the city budget won't
accommodate an additional $60,000
expense, the amount required to pay
ten Council members and the mayor,
who is to receive $10,000.
RUT $60,000 seems a small price to
pay in return for a system that
may allow poor as well as rich to be
represented on city council.
As the Democrats point out, Coun-
cil members should be paid in order
to attract candidates for the posi-
tion who could not afford to devote
their time without compensation.
TODAY'S STAFF:
News: Mitch Dunitz, Cheryl Pilate,
Cathy Reutter, Jeff Ristine, Tim
Schick, Bill Turque.
Editorial Page: Dan Biddle, Steve
Hersh; Jon Pansius.
Arts Page: Jeff Sorensen.
Photo Technician: Ken Finnk.

Currently, Council members have
no real incentive to work assiduous-
ly in the public interest, and some of
them make decisions based on scanty
or inaccurate information.
Council presently depends upon
the city administrator for more of
their information-thus a great deal
of power is vested in this single in-
dividual. It follows that constituents
in each ward are correspondingly
under-.represented.
By providing salaries, Democrats
hope that Council members will feel
an obligation to work diligently -
and with adequate information.
THAT IS our hope also. There are
few justifications for swelling
the budget in troubled economic
times, but money spent to make the
local government more representa-
tive,\better - informed and more re-
sponsible can hardly be considered
a waste.
Photography Staff
KEN FINK PAULINE LUI3ENS
Chief Photographer Picture Editor
Editorial Staff
GORDON ATCHESON CHERYL PILATUE
Co-Editors-in-Chief
DAVID BLOMQUIST.........Arts Editor
BARBARA CORNELL .. Sunday Magazine Editor
PAUL HASKINS .............. Editorial Director
JOSEPHINE MARCOTTY Sunday Magazine Editor
SARA RIMER.................Executive Editor
STEPHENSELBST[.................City Editor
JEFF SORENSON ............. Managing Editor

By ROBERT MILLER
At least 50 per cent of Ann
Arbor's tenants should be with-
holding their rent. According
to George Gardner, the direc-
tor of the Department of Build-
ing and Safety Engineering, 35-
So per cent of the buildings in
Ann Arbor have serious fire
and safety hazards, mainly in
common areas with electrical
facilities presenting the most
problems".
At the December 3 meeting of
the Fair Rental Practices Com-
mittee, Gardner added: "In al-
most every building, inspectors
find some code violations; al-
most no buildings are cleared
on initial inspection."
THE TENANTS' Rights Act
of 1968 gives the tenant the
right to withhold rent if the
landlord does not provide ade-
quate maintenance, violates an
agreement of the lease, fails to
maintain the premises in rea-
sonable repair, or fails to com-
ply with city or state housing
codes. Moreover, a tenant can
use any of these claims as a
defense against an eviction suit
for nonpayment of rent.
Another reason to go on rent
strike is if, for example, in-

adequate lighting, poor heating,
offensive odors, or loud noise
prevent you from using all or
even part of your apartment.
This is called a "constructive
eviction, and justifies withhold-
ing your rent. According to
Michigan law, "depriving the
tenant of the beneficial use and
enjoyment of a part of the
premises which has been leas-
ed" is a grounds for withhold-
ing rent.
The strike against Sunrise
management is a case in point.
Not a single tenant has been
evicted while rent has been
paid to the Tenants' Union
(TT) escrow account since the
first of December. And more
than 20 tenants in units owned
and managed by Dewey Black,
Ron Ferguson, and Tony Hoff-
man are expected to join the
strike in February.
IN ADDITION, there are sev-
eral buildings which have been
on rent strike for months and
others will begin to withhold
their rent in February.
The members of the Ann Ar-
bor Tenants Union who have
been on strike against Sunrise
management have already been
offered an eight per cent across

the board rent rebate. However,
this " proposal was overwhelm-
ingly rejected at last Mon-
day's mass meeting. The ten-
ants felt they deserved and
could get more money for the
damages they have suffered.
It would be easy to list the
complaints of Sunrise tenants
and the problems of their units.
However, it might be more in-
structive to discuss the prac-
tices of Sunrise and manager
Dewey Black. A source close to
the company told the TU re-
cently, "Black, as a general
practice, deducts more from the
security deposit than neces-
sary." Tenants, the source said,
can get this money back if they
go to mediation, but many leave
town when their lease expires.
In one instance, $40 was
charged to the tenant to fumi-
gate the apartment. When the
tenant moved out, no fumiga-
tion was done and the new ten-
ant was billed for having the
place cleaned.
LIKE OTHER landlords in
town, Sunrise owes the city
taxes. Research by the TU has
shown that Sunrise houses owe
at least $20,000 in property
tax.

According to Jonathan Rose,
a lawyer at Legal Aid, the
tendency is essentially a feud-
al relationship, characterized,
in his view, by the three C's-
Cash, Cockroaches, Coercion.
CASH SYMBOLIZES the fact
that the tenant's money buys
the property which the landlord
owns. But it also symbolizes the
various ways in which the land-
lord uses your cash to increase
his or her profit. For exam-
ple, included in your rent is a
certain amount of money which
is for payment of the property
tax. However, it is common
practice for landlords to invest
this money instead. They can
make . a handsome profit for
several years and pay a small
fine for late payment of taxes.
Cash is also used by those
"respectable" professionals who
have flocked to Ann Arbor in
recent years. They deliberate-
ly invest in old houses and let
them deteriorate while they
raise the rent. Meanwhile they
claim "depreciation allow-
ances" to reduce their taxes.
The cockroach symbolizes
the maintenance which the
landlord rarely does. And fre-
quently when tenants repair

their own apartments the land-
lord raises the rent when an-
other moves in.
COERCION is the restriction
of the tenants' lifestyle by the
landlord. He determines 'the
duration of your lease, may not
allow pets, or restrict the way
you decorate your apartment.
But it is easier to describe
the problem than remedy it.
The outrageous nine per cent
increase in dorm rates is an
invitation for every landlord in
town to raise their rents. The
TU), therefore, encourages stu-
dents in dorms to resist the
rate hikes and force the Uni-
versity to recognize its respon-
sibility to build more apart-
ments.
Through an activist group
like the TU, which. wants to
unite students in the dorm with
tenants in the community, there
is a chance to bring rents down
and upgrade the quality of
housing in Ann Arbor.
Robert Miller is a member of
the Tenants' Union steering
committee. This column ap-,
dears here regularly.

dorm dues
To The Daily:
Dorm dues collections at East
Quad are in trouble. The credi-
bility of the dues system is in
doubt. All East Quad residents
were told in September that
each of them owed $10 for dues,
though it wasn't till November
that a'the East Quad Finance
Committee formulated a budg-
et disclosing the specific, in-
tended purpose for the money.
A budget was publicized and
was seen bywmany as highly
inequitable, because it allocated
a total of $2,330 for the Resi-
dential College Players, the
Residential College Singers and
the Residential College Dancers
while decreeing that absolutely
no money was to be returned

Letters
to residents for use as hall
funds.
MANY EAST QUAD residents
are protesting that the budget
for the entire dorm should not
subsidize the activities of the
Residential College, (RC),
which is a sub-section of the
dorm.
About midway through the
Fall term, ballots were distrib-
uted asking all East Quad resi-
dents to authorize the Repre-
sentative Assembly to collect
dues for the dorm.
The ballot was not secret. The
name and room number of each
voter was requested immediate-
ly below the space indicating
a "yes" or "no" vote. The in-
tention was to prevent duplica-

to

The

Daily

tion of votes, but other dorms
have used different systems
which prevent duplication of
votes and maintain secrecy.
AS A RESULT of the vote,
a letter asking for hold credits
as penalty for failure to pay
dorm dues was sent to top Uni-
versity officials. It stated that
the authority for the Assembly
to collect dues "was supported
in a heavy vote by a majority
of approximately two to one."
The letter failed to mention,
however, that the two to one
ratio referred to a vote of
203-88. Over 700, people either
did not vote or lost their vote
by invalidation. Translated, this
means that about 800 people
either failed to vote, had their
ballots tossed out or else voted
against dues, whereas only
about one fifth of all eligible
voters decided in favor of dues.
This is scarcely a decisive ma-
jority. (The request for hold
credits was turned down.)
There are other questionable
items in the approved budget,
including the allocation of $800
for treasurer and secretary
salaries. It is amazing that-the
Representative Assembly is de-
manding dues so that it can
pay a treasurer to administer
a controversial budget conceiv-
ed by a small assembly given
its governing authority by only
a minority of eligible voters.
STUDENT RESPONSE to the
situation has been generally
negative. Many students are not
paying dues and others who
have already paid are request-
ing that their dues be return-
ed.
Besides being the home of
Residential College students,
East Quad houses engineering,
LSA, Inteflex and other students

nor is it unique to East Quad.
Last year it was an issue at
Markley and Couzens. Some-
thing is definitely wrong with
the present system and it de-
mands greater scrutiny by all
dormitory residents.
Stephen Kursman
January 23, 1976
vegetarianism
To The Daily:
We are at a position in his-
tory when the act of animal sac-
rifice is no longer needed to
support human survival. All re-
sponsible individuals should stop
the continuance of this butmod-
ed and karmically restrictive
form of behavior, by refusing
to eat meat products, and by
refusing to buy clothing made
from animals.
The human species, as well
as other forms of life, live with-
in complex ecological systems.
It is a fact that the taking of
life, within the structure of a
food chain, facilitates survival
and balance of the ecosystem.
The biological necessity of eat-
ing makes this a conspicuously
noticable act within a culture.
From the earliest writings of
mankind to modern times inges-
tion of food and the subsequent
transformations of that material
into the human body, energy,

and waste products has occu-
pied a position of major signifi-
cance.
ALL CONSTITUENTS needed
for healthy bodily functioning
may be derived from non-meat
sources. Proteins, iroti, and cal-
oric energy exist in ample quan-
tities in many plants, nuts,
grains, dairy products, and coa-
binations of these foods. At this
unique point in history, distrih'u-
tional structures exist, provid-
ing meat alternatives to con-
sumers, often at lower costs. In
addition, natural and synthetic
fabrics may replace clothing of
leather and fur.
The first step involved is in-
formational. 'After realising the
effects of animal ingestign, both
ethically and nutritionally, seek
alternatives. Diet for a Sinall
Planet, by Lappe, or Recipes
for a Small Planet, by Ewald
may provide ideas, while food
cooperatives carry nearly all re-
quired foodstuffs. If. the change
is a gradual process, bodily,
economic, and ecological bal-
ance may be maintained. The
necessity of animal eacifice
for nutritional purposes no long-
er exists. It is time for re-
sponsible individuals to demand
change.
Thomas H. Patten
January 23, 1976

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Contact your reps--
Sea: Phillip hart (Dom), 253 Russell )Mll., C601 itlHl,
Washington, E.C. 20515.
Sen. Robert Griffin (Rep), 353 Russell Bldg., Captol Hill,
Washington, D.C. 20515.

I

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