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March 22, 1983 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-03-22

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

OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday, March 22, 1983

Getting the picture of Colu

By Bob Wojno wski
Last month you probably read newspaper
reports that went something like this:
Criminal charges against two former
Michigan Daily editors were dropped today by
the City of Columbus prosecutor's office.
Charges against former sports editor Bob
Wojnowski and former photography editor
Brian Masck for gathering the news, being
students, and having first names that begin
with the letter 'b,' were finally, officially
dismissed here in this fine municipality in the
heartland of America.
Wojnowski and Masck, when contacted last
night, said they were back to "business as
usual" and were in the process of finding sum-
mer jobs. The Columbus police released a
statement that said they too were planning on
returning to "business as usual," and marked
the occasion by arresting an elderly woman for
taking two newspapers from a paper box,
hauling in a youngster for sticking his chewing
gum on a lamp post, and beating to death a
young man for crossing the street against the
light. In a statement released by Sergeant
Justin Doowright, the police explained their
rather severe actions.
"Safety in this fine country of ours has
become a joke," began the release. "We was
doing our job. We was protectin' the people. We
will do everything beyond our power to make
this city a safe place in which to live. I am
proud to say that our criminal justice system is
working just fine thank you" .. .
Yes indeed and whoopdedoo. In case you
missed it, justice finally worked its merry way

also interesting to note, th
find it surprising, that the
fully four weeks after
dismissed on February 15.
bus' finest contracted a t
which, in part, necessitate
So you see, we were r
wrong and everybody now
never doubted that aspect o
other things that still bothe
The complete release wa
lawyer until we promised,i
the billy clubs off the arres
will see, it was a reasonabl
on our part, though it wa
some regret.
Brian and I gained our
and inexpensively as the sy
If we had refused to grant
fice the release from liabi
gone to trial and faced th
more trips to Columbus an
tion. It simply isn't pract
naive to think that any cas
a court of law - especial
utter impracticality of a p
what made our choice the 1
Number one, you cann
city of Columbus, or the
You have to sue the arres
means they can be held a
actions while the police de
is absolved. Further, a la
long as five years, and a fa
undoubtedly bring abo
monetary settlement (tak
small assets as opposed
larger assets). The offic

A Columbus cop blocking freedom of the press.

through the Columbus, Ohio judicial system
last month. Our case drew mercifully to its
conclusion last week when camera and film
were returned intact.
The whole messy matter stems, you may recall,
from an incident the day of the Michigan-Ohio
State football game in Columbus last fall. Brian
was arrested on High Street when he refused to
stop doing his job and I was arrested when I
refused to stop arguing about Brian's arrest.
Specifically, Brian was taking pictures of
police beating hell out of a drunken reveler and

was arrested when he questioned the legality of
the order to stop. I was arrested when I
questioned the legality of Brian's arrest.
Apparently, legality meant little that night as
I calmly tried to explain to an officer the theory
behind the initial amendment to our Con-
stitution. The officer, no doubt perfectly
representative of the entire police departr-ent,
apparently had not read it.
The police will be happy to know that the pic-
tures are too few and too obstructed to give
their acts of police brutality true justice. It is

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCII, No. 134

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Open doors for Soviet Jews

HE PHRASE "you are free to
T-leave" was seldom heard by a Jew
living in the Soviet Union until about 12
years ago. Since that time, the Soviet
government has deplorably used that
phrase as a pawn in its relations with
the United States.
The Soviets use Jewish emigration
as a means of saying they are in-
terested in maintaining a "good"
period of relations by opening the exit
visa process. When relations with the
United States are good or the Soviet
Union wants them to improve, more
Jews are allowed to leave. In 1978,
29,000 Jews were allowed to leave. The
next year 51,000 emigrated-both
recod years during peak U.S.-Soviet
relations. W
But when relations sour, the doors
close. Last year, a low point for
relations, only 2,700 Jews left the
Soviet Union as the government made
obtaining an exit pass next to im-
possible.
Jews in the Soviet Union are par-
ticularly oppressed. Under repressive
conditions, tens of thousands of Jews
want to leave, but are being denied
that privilege. In addition, since the
chilling of U.S.-Soviet relations a
significant increase in the number of
anti-semitic incidents has been
tolerated by the Soviet government.
In response to the Soviets latest
crackdown, 1,500 delegates gathered in
Jerusalem last week as part of the
Third World Conference on Soviet

Jewry to look for ways to induce the
Soviet government to allow more Jews
to leave the Soviet Union on a con-
sistent basis. Some of the suggestions
delegates made merit considerable at-
tention from the United States con-
sidering the current Soviet policy is
largely dictated by relations between
the superpowers.
The U.S. government needs to bring
more diplomatic and economic
pressure on the Soviets to get the doors
permanently open. That includes a
recommitment to the Jackson amen-
dment to the 1975 trade act denying
Moscow and preferential trade treat-
ment unless more Jews get released.
But it also includes more traditional
diplomatic arm-twisting and per-
sistence which U.S. policy has lacked
in the past.
Equally important is the suggestion
that private citizens with relatives in
the Soviet Union step up their efforts
by writing new letters of invitation
which weigh so heavily in the
emigration process. These letters are
often the big outside push that helps
Soviet Jews begin the long journey
through Soviet bureaucracy leading to
freedom.
These efforts could bring the proper
amount of pressure upon the Soviet
government to let Jews out of yet
another oppressive country's grasp.
And what a better time to begin than on
the eve of Passover, the Jewish holiday
remembering the Jews' exit from an-
cient Egypt.

_+ i e w aZ

r1 v

The Michigan Daily
nbus police
ough you should not admonished and the department would go on
e film was returned with its illegal tactics.
the charges were Finally, we would be setting no legal
Apparently Colum- precedents, so the case would be neither impor-
ouch of the blue flu tant nor particularly newsworthy. For reasons -
d the delay. that should now be obvious, we did not think it
ight and they were reasonable to sue so, in reality, we gave up
knows that. I have very little in return for our release. The police
of the case - it is the know that, so they, in essence, asked for very
r me. little in exchange for dropping the whole affair.
is not secured by our And therein lies the problem.
in writing, not to sue The police did wrong and they know it. They
ting officers. As you knew it while they were doing it. Yet they did it
le enough concession because it accomplished what they needed to
is not made without accomplish. They clearly did not want any
reporters documenting what was happening
releases as quickly .that night, so, presto, they got rid of them. It's
ystem would permit. really very simple. Arrest the reporters, get
the prosecutor's of- them out of the way for the night, drop the
ility, we would have charges four months later and go back to
e prospect of a few business as usual. It's so shockingly simple one
nd a possible convic- wonders why it hasn't caught on everywhere.
ical to sue, and it's It is that scenario that haunts me. It is for
e is a sure winner in that reason that our release is a hollow one. We
ly in Columbus. The gained nothing and they gained everything.
otential lawsuit was They gained complete control of the press for
ogical one. that one incident and there wasn't a damn thing
ot sue the state, the we could do about it.
police department. But that isn't the worst of it because, you realize,
sting officers, which they will do it again. And what's to stop them? They
ccountable for their got away with it this time and they will get away
partment as a whole with it the next time. Victims have no viable
awsuit could take as recourse against such actions.
vorable ruling would It's a goddamn crime you know.
out a very small Someone should call the police.
en from the officers' --
to the city's much Wojnowski is a former Daily spos
ers would be justly editor.
Sh A

aCtion on tax hike
preserve the accessibility to, and going to be crucial for its
quality of, higher education in passage.
Michigan. Support for the tem- Believe it.or not, the mail that
porary income tax increase is the our state senators receive will in-
proper vehicle to do so. Michigan fluence the way they vote:
presently ranks 32nd in the per- Michigan students who are
centage of personal income paid drawn from across the state can
to the state in taxes. Although the be a potent force for the taxes and
income tax increase will ob- revenues needed for higher
viously mean an extra burden for education, if they just take a
the people of Michigan, that bur- moment to write their
den is slight in comparison to the "hometown" senator.
burden of rebuilding state in- The University has maintained
stitutions after they have collap- a worldwide reputation for ex-
sed through neglect. - cellence for 150 years. If we
It should be kept in mind that sacrifice that reputation now, we
even the income tax increase will will never recoup the loss.
not end the present budget cut- Micihgan senators will decide
ting. Even with the tax, higher upon the future of higher
education has been slated for a education in Michigan. Don't
$25 million cut this fiscal year. wait: Contact them today!
Obviously then, the tax increase Demand that they not sit idly by
is no cure-all, but it can stave off while our institutions of higher
a very real imminent disaster. learning collapse around us.
After barely squeaking through
the House, the tax measure is - Perry Bullaid
going to face an extremely tough State Rep., Ann Arbor
vote in the Senate. Every vote is March 1;
.

" '

=fl!'

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Bullard 's califor a

I

To the Daily:
The battle to pass Governor
James Blanchard's Fiscal
Recovery Plan temporary in-
come tax increase has moved to
the state Senate. Its passage or
defeat will decide not only the
fate of Michigan and the quality
of life here; it will also determine
the quality of our educational
system and the fate of The
University of Michigan.
As the Senate debates the pros
and cons of a temporary state in-
come tax increase, Michigan's
higher education system, once
recognized as one of the nation's
finest, continues to deteriorate.
Although the present deficiency
in funding for higher education is
hardly anything new (since 1972,
Michigan has ranked 49th
nationally in per capita
allocations to education), it is
clear that at this point in time, a
tax hike is necessary if we are to
save our educational system
from irreparable harm.
Over the past two years, fun-
ding for higher education has
been particularly inadequate.
When accounting for inflation,
there has been a $147 million loss

colleges and universities have
resorted to severe budget cuts
and previously unheard-of tuition
hikes. At The University of
Michigan, program cuts and
relocations have been painfully
widespread:
" The Department of
Geography and the Institute for
Environmental Quality have
been closed.
" Funding for the Institute for
Labor Relations has been chop-
ped by 50 percent.
" The School of Art and the
School of Education -are facing
cuts of 25 percent and 40 percent
respectively.
" The School of Natural
Resources has been slated for a
cut of between 18 percent and 33
percent, at a time when the state
is most in need of the expertise of
its graduates.
Tuition at the Ann Arbor cam-
pus increased last year by a
whopping 15 percent, allowing
the University to retain the
dubious distinction of being the
nation's most expensive public
university. Michigan State
University and Wayne State
Universitv also are amonngthe

& a~~m'u~niI -

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