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May 09, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1970-05-09

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

Seventy-nine years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Cultures different,

but very similar

420 Moynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.




'Liberation': A failure

IN ONE DECISIVE hour, the North Hall
ROTC building was "liberated" into the
"Peoples Liberated Center." This action
was accomplished by a coalition of vari-
ous groups which had only one objective-
the take over of the building. Of course,
the individual groups had different mo-
tives for taking over the building, but
t h e s e differences were inconsequential
while everyone was working toward a
common goal.
After ROTC personnel were informed
that the building was no longer their ex-
clusive domain, the coalition decided that
the building would become a day-care,
community, and strike center.
The University administration, taken
by surprise, issued a statement after ur-
gent conferences among its top officials,
warning of fire hazards and saying that
normal use of the building must continue.
A later statement said that "building oc-
cupancy' will be continually evaluated."
AND SO THE situation stood until last
night-the coalition in the building
and the administration continually evalu-.
ating the situation.
The administration knew that it could
not justify evicting people who were us-
ing North Hall for a good purpose, and
were maintaining it in good condition.
However, the administration anticipated
that the coalition would be unable to
keep the building in decent repair-with-
out trashing.
When it became obvious that there was
trashing and d a m a g e, the University,
armed with the sword of righteousness,
would proceed to evict the revolutionary
tenants of North Hall.
Yesterday, the administration's .prog-
nostication that the coalition would be
unable to prevent damage to North Hall
seemed to be coming true. In spite of an
official coalition position against trash-

ing, sporadic outbursts did occur, includ-
ing a fire on Thursday night which gut-
ted a large part of the sub-basement.
Although the coalition was united in its
goal to occupy North Hall, differences in
motives became increasingly visable, once
the primary goal had been accomplished.
As a result, there was no decisive plan as
to what should be done with the building,
and little by little, trashing and damage
Some people wanted to hold the build-
ing strictly as a political protest, in line
with other protests across the country.
Others wanted to make the building a
permanent day care and community cen-
THE COALITION, once in control of
North Hall, had the unique oppor-
tunity to use this building for something
definite and constructive, as opposed to
holding the building as a protest. A day-
care center, which had already been pro-
posed would have been an ideal use for
the building, since the Univei'sity had
claimed that there is presently no room
for such a facility.
If a decision to use the building as a
day-care center had been made, it is al-
most certain that the University would
not have taken steps to forcefully discour-
age such an activity, since there is room
in North Hall for other activities besides
ROTC. Also, the University wants to avoid
unftvorable publicity and trouble that
would accompany a move to ban a worth-
while activity from a 1 a r g e 1 y unused
By quarreling among themselves, the
coalition failed to a c h i e v e anything,
while a concrete goal was within their
grasp. But then, the entire operation was
not a complete waste-playing revolution
is really a lot of fun.

THERE IS SO much happening that it's
difficult to know where to start.
Death is crawling out of everything:
Cambodia, Kent State, Panther trials. And
those who try to protest it get killed them-
selves. It's absurd.
Those kids in New York who try to
bomb buildings get bombed instead.
Oil tycoons who cheat people daily ac-
cumulate millions and live comfortably. But
the poor who do their best to live honestly
and support a family are ignored, even hurt
by the System which the tycoons help run.
The poor remain poor for generations. Why
be honest?
Why live anyway? Who says life exceeds
death? Maybe we've been had; death is
where it's at. Someone told me the other
day that the difference between life and
death is really nothing, just the arrange-
ment of our nucelic acids. That's all we
are, anyway, acids; is that so sacred?
WHO KNOWS? Maybe it's all just a
battle between the life and death cultures.
That somehow seems to paint a childish
picture. Take Mayor Harris. By all reliable
estimates, he's part of the Establishment,
a liberal more interested in political ima-
gery than revolutionary reality.
Now Harris had made some mistakes.
but in his speech at Hill Thursday he was
hardly death. He sincerely wants a culture
based on humaneness, happiness and
He honestly believes that the best change
can come through the system. Maybe he's
wrong, but at least he's sincere. That is
more life than can be said for some of the
leftists who trash for recognition.
THEY'RE TRYING to portray life versus
death at North Hall. The life of a day care
center versus the death of ROTC. Well,
okay. But there are so many issues floating
around, that building: Cambodia, Kent
State, Bobby Seale, ROTC, War Research,
Women's, Gay Liberation, Reaching the
workers. To name only a few.
They're important issues, but you get
the idea at North Hall that there are
so many problems that you get lost in
There was a call for a strike and it won
big headlines, but then a few days later the
whole thing is virtually cancelled.'Now this
makes the Movement look silly; students
lose faith and radicals get bored.
IT'S DIFFICULT. How do you attack a
System, an entire System? You can work
within it, but that's depressing. You can
strike it, make it stop, but you need mo-
mentum and dynamics for that.
Or you can go to the streets. Peaceful
protests are silly; they put us all on history
as opposing something, but they neither
pressure leaders nor raise much conscious-
ness. And violence, while effective, can be
deadly. Indeed it's understandable that
everyone is surounded by issues, uncertain
jus where to go.

Of course, Jerry Rubin says we should
ignore rhetoric about goals and tactics;
just "be what we must be" and live the
revolution. Intriguing: Anything's legal.
The revolution is the goal and the way
to produce one is to be one. The laws you
break are irrelevant - because anything is
justified to bring about the change.
SOCIETY IS BASED on the idea that it
is better in the long run to obey the law
than disobey it. It produces more hap-
piness, etcetera. But what if the laws and
the society are wrong? What if those laws
and that society produce less happiness
than a society without laws?
Then breaking the laws is our goal. Any-
thing is legal.
Tempting. Yet it's like what Jeff Miller's
father said, on the death of his son at Kent.
The National Guard is young, he said; so
are the protesters. Kids fighting kids. Lords
of the Flies? What do you do?
Those Guardsmen are "kids" too. One
in Kent said he was anxious for his term
to expire this weekend. Most of those men
don't want to be in the Guard, they want
to avoid the draft. It's insane: we're fight-
ing our own culture, our own people.
If there is a new culture. I suppose it's
not as widespread as yippies believe, but
it's sprouting.
AT ANY RATE, there probably is a stu-
dent culture. You walk on the streets of
Boston and feel a cameraderie. All these
people are like you: they dislike the war,
racism and are encountering problems with
the draft, grades and relationships. A
gigantic extension of yourself?
Who knows? We students are united;
we feel sorry for the Kent State Four not
so much because they're people, or op-
pressed by the System, but because they're
like us: students.
We're united as much by our problems
as by our virtues. Sure, the fact that we
are reportedly more honest and life-
searching than other generations brings
out the positive among us. But the negative
serves to bring us together more. The draft,
working for an empty degree, struggling
with grades, studying for cheap tests.
Even at Harvard, which is more aca-
demic than mostyschools, students don't
seem to want to study. On a spring day,
who studies? We're all on the Diag, the
Harvard Yard, outside, growing stoned.
universities are partly to blame; require-
ments, grades, pressure. I was reading
Sumerhill, a story of a truly free school
in England, and the author mentioned that
children should have time to play. That
schools stifle play, curiousity; in element-
ary school, play is channeled in, a 45 min-
ute recess and you must only swing so
Play is healthy; so is freedom. You control
yourself and your own studies and develop
unfettered and naturally. You learn what
you want to learn and remember it too.
But we in America haven't played; we've

always worked, cranked out for the future
and we're tired. We learn because we're told
to learn, study because we have to. This
is no way to be educated and it's little
wonder we want to play for four years.
Perhaps if the socialization process was
changed, if we were allowed to experiment,
enjoy in school, if we weren't treated as
things to be taught and things to be train-
ed, as things. Then maybe we'd feel in-
clined to develop ourselves motivated to
study. Maybe.
ANYWAY, ARE WE A culture? We like
to think so. when Nixon accused radicals
of being bums, I felt incensed, or perhaps
I just wanted to be, just wanted to feel
part of the "bums" culture.
Are we going to set up new places to
live where we can nurture our civilization?
No. We'll live in the suburbs too; there
may not be defactos, but they'll be suburbs.
And maybe we'll act like the suburbians
now, adjust to our environment, become
8-5 men with slim brown ties who return
to work each day, convinced /t h a t you
can't fight city hall. Only we'll call it the
Establishment or something chic.
There've been other youths; I imagine
the youth in the 1940 was united too; vic-
tory in '45 was their Woodstock. The world
was not discovered in 1950, Russell Baker
noted once.
* *. *
IN BOSTON I MET some old h i g h
school friends and wondered how much
they'd changed. They'd become radical,
less inhibited, more mature, but basically
they were the same people.
One friend said he hadn't lost his am-
bitions to be president, had only "replaced
A girl, once with short hair, now wears
it high in a frizz, smokes pot and has re-
jected material values. She was a cheer-
leader in high school -and longed for A'

Everyone must pay the costs

THE UNIVERSITY administration's de-
cision to contribute to the educational"
costs of the children of University stu-
dents living in Northwood Apartments is
correct. Unfortunately, however, its deci-
sion to pass the cost on to the Northwood
tenants is far from correct.
Clearly, the city of Ann Arbor deserves
to be reimbursed for the cost of educating
the children living in Northwood Apart-
For too long, the University has sat se-
curely on hundreds of acres of tax free
land. This has resulted in driving the*
taxes on private property up to incredible
No one would dispute that the Univer-
sity has done much to enhance the life-
style of Ann Arbor in terms of cultural,
intellectual and athletic events. Finan-
cially as well, the city is known to make
substantial profits from the University
fire and police expenditures as well as
from parking fines.
But these are of little significance to
they many people who work in Ann Arbor
but are unable to live here because of
outrageous housing costs.
THE UNIVERSITY'S decision to pass the
cost of the school payment on to the
Northwood tenants is far less admirable
than the decision to make the payment
In a report released earlier this week

by a committee of the Office of Housing,
numerous a r g u m e n t s are presented
against propping up the Northwood rent
structure in order to cover the school
board allotment.
The report contends that if the Uni-
versity sees itself as responsible for pay-
ing school costs-a view which the report
itself opposes-then the assessment tax
-like all school taxes-should be levied
on all University p r o p e r t y, including
d o r m s, academic departments and the
ALSO, IF THE school cost were financed
by raising the rent at Northwood
Apartments, the University would have
the highest married-housing rates in the
If the administration proceeds with its
plans regarding the school costs, the Uni-
veristy would decrease rather than in-
crease the amount of low cost housing
available at a time when low cost housing
is badly needed.
The University, more than a n y o n e,
should be aware of the financial obliga-
tion that must be incurred by all mem-
bers of community. It is encouraging that
the University is facing up to its respon-
sibility to the Ann Arbor community. It
must not, however, pass this burden on to
only a portion of the University com-

Daily Guest Writer
(EDITOR'S NOTE: The author is an
associate professor in the biological
chemistry department.)
tory man is making massive
use of chemicals to defoliate and
kill large stretches of forests and
jungles, and to destroy food crops.
During the past 8 years the U.S.
has defoliated over 5 million acres
of Vietnamese countryside. This
would be equivalent to spraying
herbicides on the entire states of
Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illi-
nois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and
Over 500,000 acres of crops have
also been destroyed in an effort
to deprive the Viet Cong of food.
But it isn't the guerrillas who are
suffering. It is, as usual, the most
susceptible segment of the popu-
lation - the very young, the old
and the sick. In fact, Jean Mayer,
a wellknown Harvard nutrition-
ist, who has studied the situation
h a s accused us of deliberately
waging war by starvation.
Our defoliation program is rap-
idly and seriously upsetting the
intricate web of relationships that

efoliation is destroying

exist between plant and animal
life, the soil and the water. Birds
and wildlife are deserting the for-
ests. In short, we are converting
millions of acres of t h e once-
beautiful country of Vietnam into
a chemical wasteland.
This action I believe is immoral,
indefensible. Legally it is a fla-
grant violation of the 1925 Ge-
neva Protocol which prohibits the
use in war of all "asphyxiating,
poisonous and other gases and all
analogous liquids, materials or de-
vices and of biological warfare."
declared that the U.S. was re-
nouncing biological warfare and
that he would resubmit the 1925
Geneva Protocol to the Senate for
its ratification. Now the White
House and Pentagon announce
that this treaty did not apply to
the chemical herbicides and irri-
tant gases which we are using in
Vietnam. Even though the major-
ity of legal and scientific opinion
around the world considers that it
does. To underscore this point, a
group of 21 nonaligned states at
the United Nations General As-
sembly introduced a resolution de-

daring that the use in war of all
toxic chemical agents directed at
man, animals or plants is con-
trary to the Geneva protocol.
The resolution was passed by
a vote of 80-3, with only Portugal,
Australia and the U.S. in oppo-
THE CHEMICALS used in our
defoliation program bear the de-
ceptively cheerful designations
Agent Orange, Agent Blue, Agent
White and Agent Purple.
The C-123 aircraft which do
the defoliation each carry a 1000
gallon tank of defoliant. T h e y
fly about 150 feet a b o v e the
ground and spray at a rate of 3
gallon per acre which is, depend-
ing on the herbicide, 7-15 times
the concentration recommended
for use in the U.S. When the low-
flying aircraft come under attack
from ground fire they drop their
1000 gallon load in seconds and
fly away. This h a s resulted in
heavy local contamination of rice
patties and water supplies.
But now,rwhen scientists be-
gan to express concern over the
effects of the defoliation program,
the State Department and Penta-
gon reply "The herbicides used
are nontoxic and not dangerous to
man or animal life. The land is
not affected for future use."
It is already abundantly clear
that the State Department was
wrong on both counts.
Chief of the Corps Protection
Branch of the USDA, w e n t to
Vietnam to assess t h e ecologic
consequences of the defoliation
and crop destruction program in
He found that some kinds of
plant associations are not merely
defoliated but are killed. In the
Rung Sat area, southeast of Sai-
gon, 100,000 acres of Mangrove
trees have been sprayed at least
once. Each application of the de-
foliant, Agent Orange, killed 90-
100 per cent of these trees. Some
Mangrove forests had been spray-
ed as early as 1961 and h a v e
shown no substantial signs of re-
covery. It takes a minimum of 20

by bamboo. Bamboo is ti
plant to colonize any ar
the last to leave. You ca
bamboo with herbicides. T
reported that the prese
bamboo was t h e most c
feature of the deciduous fo
Vietnam that had been def
Ecologists have known
long time that the Ma
lining estuaries furnish on
most important evological
for the completion of t
cycle of certain shellfish ar
ratory fish. If these plan
munities are not in al
state, secondary effects
whole interlocked web of
isms are bound to occur.
years ahead, the Viet
sources of protein in the f
fish and shellfish may be
other possible consequence
tensive defoliation. Soil is
dead. inert mass but rathe
brant living community.
knock the leaves off tree
twice or three times you
the quality of t h e soil.
tropical soils - and it ha
estimated that in Vietnam
50 per cent of all the soils
to this category - are late
that is, they may be irre'
converted to rock as a re
the deprivation of organic:
If you deprive trees of leap
photosynthesis stops, organ
ter in the soil declines. Th
ural brick making proces
occur on a very extensiv
It is to be emphasized th
brick is irreversibly harde
cannot be made back into
tracted great attention, th
age caused by B-52 bomb
artillery raids is of consi
ecological significance. It
timated that there are in
Vietnam, a minimum of 5
bomb craters, 30 ft. deep;
ft. in diameter. As one Viet
put it. we are making thec
look like the surface of the
Most of these holes are fill(
water even late in the dry

similar community at Harvard football
Both people were fundamentally t h e
same, they had only channeled themselves
into different areas. The guy was still in-
dependent, and egotistical, and perhaps
more cynical. The girl was still happy-go-
lucky, unpressured, only more so.,
Now they wear wire-rimmed glasses in-
stead of regular one and smoke pot in-
stead of drinking Scotch.
Do we ever really change; perhaps a
significant change would be for an in-
troverted country boy to.dedicate him-
self to other people, to work for the move-
ment. But that rarely happens.
* * *
Cultures are so separated, yet so near.
Sorority women pass freaks and live next
to them. And at MIT, a talk with the ex-
ecutive director of the Draper Labs, which
does research for MIRV and Poseidon Mis-
siles, reveals he is worlds apart from stu-
dents like me.
He had done nothing immoral in his
life, he said, and regarded his work.as an-
other job. What the students were saying
is light years' away,though they have ap-
parently spoken feet away from him on
occasion. He even jokes about the corrupt
And just think, if these engineers could
use their intelligence for the Movement or
to improve society . . . But that's like par-
ents saying "if these hippies would only
work for society . . " It's the same prob-
lem: conformity to a norm, working for
the greatest good.
It's always the same universal problem:
relating to people, developing yourself, ul-
timately happiness. Only t h e situations
Maybe there are no answers; who knows
if a new culture will develop, whether we
can be motivated to study, if life is sacred.
Perhaps we should just assume affirma-
tives, throw up our hands'and enjoy.
he first ON FRIDAY NIGHT at the En-
ea and act Town Meeting, Ted Dohne,
n't kill president of Dow Chemical Com-,w
schirley pany, was asked to comment on
nce of reports that a herbicide used in
onstant Agent Orange causes b iir t h de-
rests in fects,
foliated. These reports stem from studies
for a carried out by the Bionetics Re-
.ngroves search Labs. For over six months
e of the the report of this study commis-#
n iches sioned by t h eNational Cancer
the life Institute to protect the public
nd mig- against chemicals producing can-
t com- cer and birth defects w a s un-
healthy available. *It was classified confi-
on t dential and was unavailable not
organ- only to scientists outside the gov-
In th4 enment, but many inside as well.
form of FOR THE PAST several months
gravely there have been newspaper stories
about deformed South Vietnamese
babies. Many of these reports
n-come from heavily sprayed areas
sof ex- and the peasants seem to sense
not a that there is a relationship be-
r a vi- tween their deformed babies and
If you the heavy spraying and jetison-
s once, ing of herbicide.
Certain Clement Markert, well-known
as beenYale embryologist, said that the
1sup to chemical in Agent Orange poses
fall in- "an unacceptable risk" to the peo-
rizable; ple of Vietnam. He added that0
versibly even if the heavy concentrations
sult of used did not cause overt malfor-
matter. mations in children, they could
ves and lead to hidden malformations
ic mat- such as a lessening of brain ca-
is nat- pacity.
ss may
e scale. IN SUMMARY, our program of
at this defoliation and c r o p killing in
ned; it Vietnam has brought terrible suf-
soil. fering to the Vietnamese people,
We have exposed them to massive
not at- quantities of poisonous substances
e dam- whose long range effects are still

er and not known. We have caused large
derable portions of t h e population, al- 4
is es- ready in a weakened condition
South from the ravages of war, further
million misery by depriving them of food.
and 45 We have caused massive disloca-
namese tion of the population by destroy-
country ing their farms. Furthermore, this
moon. policy has resulted in substantial
ed with and almost certain permanent al-
season. teration to the land and its plant



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