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July 16, 1981 - Image 6

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1981-07-16

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Opion

Page 6
The Michigan Daily
Vol. XCI, No. 41-S
Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan
18% too steep
a tuition hike
IT IS ALL VERY painful indeed. With the
economic chaos that currently burdens the
University, finding a way out will inevitably
result in casualties.
The question is, where should the
changes-and the consequent suffering-take
place?
By proposing an 18 percent tuition hike, the
University administration has chosen studen-
ts to be the victims, especially low- and mid-
dIe-income students. Shelling out more and
more money each year makes an education
much more difficult for many, and impossible
for others.
As an alternative to skyrocketing tuitions,
we feel that deeper cuts are needed in Univer-
sity programs, cuts which would eliminate the
need for mammoth tuition hikes. We believe
that instead of forcing prospective students
out of an education here, it would be less pain-
ful to make such cuts deeper, and the trim-
ming more rigorous. There will be damage
either way; an accessible University should
be the main goal.
Unfortunately, students are kept out of
much of the vital review process, and denied
access to critical information concerning
University financial affairs. As a result, it is
difficult for us to propose specific targets for
further cuts. As painful as they would be,
wherever they would be, we regard them as
preferable to letting tuition costs go through
the roof.
Again, nothing will be easy-difficult
sacrifices will have to be made. But the
paramount goal of the University, the number
one priority, should be accessibility. The most
dreadful scenario to imagine-rather than a
University stripped of many attractive
programs-is a University filled only with rich
kids, unaffordable to the poor and middle
class.
Letters and columns
represent the opinions of
the individual author(s)
and do not necessarily
reflect the attitudes or
beliefs of the Daily.

Thursday, July 16, 1981.

The Michigan Daily

By Frank Browning
LONDON - Until last spring,
when the Battle of Brixton made
headlines around the world,.
Britain remained-for much of
the world-the land of "fair
play." Its friendly, unarmed
bobbies, in particular, seemed,
the very model of social toleran-
ce.
Now, as Britain reels from
some of the worst urban rioting in
its history, people everywhere
are wondering what has hap-
pened to British tolerance and the
social peace underlying it. The
answer, it appears, may lie in
what has happened to the British
police.
FOR DESPITE the legend of
the friendly bobby, many of this
nation's year-long series of social
explosions have been set off by
charges of police abuse,
especially in non-white neigh-
borhoods where unemployment
runs highest. For blacks-who
here include Africans, West In-
dians and dark-skinned people
from Asia-unemployment now
runs as high as 50 percent in some
districts.
Not all the outbreaks this year
have been simple racial conflicts,
by any means. Rioting in the Tox-
teth districts of Liverpool this
summer, and in Brixton last
spring, pitted young blacks and
whites alike against police. In
Brixton, tensions between the
police and the interracial com-
munity have been rising steadily
for two years. Those tensions
were only worsened when local,
uniformed police were pulled off
their beats and replaced by
plainclothes officers who ran
massive stop-and-search
operations throughout .the
district. During the first ten days
of April alone they- stopped some

1,000 people, springing from un-
marked cars, grabbing "suspec-
ts" for quick frisks and
questioning before releasing
them.
"If you're black, young and
wearing sneakers, they stop
you," said one seasoned social
worker who requested anonymity.
Or as the conservative financial
journal, The Economist, noted,
"Unemployment does not make
people throw bricks and firebom-
bs . .. But police harassment
makes people hate policemen."
TWO LAWS PERMIT these
wholesale roundups, both of
them enacted in the early 19th
century when London was first
organizing its professional police
forces. The first, and the most
hated, is the "sus" law (formerly,
the Vagrancy Act of 1824) permit-
ting police to detain and hold
anyone who appears
-"suspicious."
The Thatcher government has
promised to repeal "sus" this
year. But it does not plan to
change the Metropolitan Police
Act of 1839 which allows officers
"to stop, search and
detain ... any person who may
be reasonably suspected of
having or conveying in any man-
ner anything stolen ..."
Racial prejudice had no
bearing on the passage of these
laws. That is not the case,
however, with a new bill in
Parliament which many blacks
fear threatens their very existen-
ce in Britain-the British
Nationality Bill. Underlying their
current problems with police,
they say, lies a pervasive new
racism in Britain, which has
made serious inroads on police
operation and now threatens to
deprive blacks of many rights en-
joyed by other British residents.
THE BILL WOULD replace the
current single category of British

citizenship and create three
varieties of status: straight
British Citizenship, Citizenship of
the British Dependent Territories,
and British Overseas Citizenship.
Only the first category of people
would be permitted to enter and
live in Britain.
Initially even so-called
"territorial" or "overseas"
people born in Britain were to be.
denied full status unless one of
their parents was British; that
provision has now been
liberalized to grant such children
full rights if they reside in Britain
for 10 years.
More ominous, perhaps, is the
growing hostility toward blacks
within the police force charged
with protecting them. Last winter
the Lambeth Council (covering
Brixton and adjacent neigh-
borhoods) published its report on
police-community relations. Said
one magistrate, "As a Justice of
the Peace, I occasionally ask to
be taken around the police
operational field. I sometimes go
in police cars and get driven
around. They do their best to
provoke blacks by shouting at
them from cars. It is quite nor-
mal for a police officer to shout
obscenities."
An even more stinging
criticism came from the National
Association of Probation Of-
ficers: "One major effect of the
police tactics is that black people
feel they have lost the freedom to
walk the streets of Lambeth
without fear of arrest, and
several have claimed that they
have been told by a police officer
that if they wish not to get
"nicked" they should stay in-
doors.
Frank Browning wrote this
article for the Pacific News
Service, for which he serves as
an associate editor.

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