SLATE Summer ConferenceJuly 28-30, 1961
On July 28-30, Slate will once again sponsor a conference for groups and individuals interested and active in student politics. The conference will be held in Berkeley this year.
Four major areas of student activity and concern will be on the agenda: civil liberties, civil rights, farm labor, and peace and disarmament. Each will be discussed in turn.
Registration for the conference will be held Friday, July 28, from 6:00-12:00. (Specific place will be given in next mailing)
So that each of the areas may be discussed as fully and fruitfully as possible they will be broken down into a number of topics each to be dealt with by a discussion group which will meet at the same time as the other discussion groups within the same area as given in the timetable above. Breakdown of topics is as follows:
- HUAC and the state committees
- Academic Freedom
- the position of foreign students
- Compulsory ROTC
- Freedom of Campus Press
- Student political action and the administration
- Public law 78
- Social and labor legislation
- social security and old age survivors and dependent children
- minimum wage
- working conditions
- unionization and collective bargaining rights
- c. Social conditions
- standard of living (incl. wages and unemployment)
- Political status of farm workers
- Migrant workers
- general description (causes of migrantcy, proportion of total farm labor force, special problems of migrant)
- state efforts toward migrant workers
- transportation and housing
- standard of living
- The Freedom Riders
- The Sit-Ins
- Northern discrimination
- on campus
Peace and Disarmament
Peace and Disarmament
- Nuclear arms test ban
- The spread of nuclear weapons
- Economic consequences of disarmament
- CBR (Chemical, Radiological, Bacteriological warfare)
- Arms control
- U.S. foreign policy and the problem of peace
- Civil defense
- Total disarmament
- Survey of Student Peace Groups.
A working-paper will be written for each topic, to serve as a starting point for the discussion group on that topic. The working papers for the whole conference will be mailed to those participating before the conference whenever possible, but those who have missed copies of the working papers will be able to pick them up when they register.
So that the rest of those participating in the conference may know what happened at the discussion groups they did not attend, there will be a conference secretariat, whose task it will be to distribute dittoed reports from each group within a few hours after its meeting. We hope that in the fields of civil liberties, civil rights and farm labor, the discussion groups dealing with each topic will be able to arrive at both policy "recommendations" and suggestions as to the political tactics which might be used to implement these policies. Such recommendations and suggestions will be brought before the conference as a whole at the Sunday, General Meeting. When a discussion group's report is adopted by the conference as a whole, it shall then constitute a "recommendation" made by the conference to the decision bodies of each of the participating groups, which it is assumed, will be brought up before these bodies for consideration. In cases where the participant comes from a school with no active groups, the recommendation may serve as the basis for his starting action on his campus.
The objective of the conference, to make yet more firm and articulate the consensus of the student movement on the questions at hand, will have been reached if the policy recommendations are adopted by a significant number of groups. At the same time, such tactical suggestions as are similarly agreed upon will constitute an important step toward a united and co-ordinated student movement. To give but a few examples of what we think might be accomplished in this manner, we may cite the problem of compulsory ROTC. This past winter, SLATE continued its campaign against the retention of such a program at the University of California. As is well known, there was a good deal of similar activity on other campuses in regard to such programs. There is, it seems to us, little or no reason why a coordinated and united campaign could not be carried out at a number of campuses simultaneously. The conference as it is now conceived is designed to facilitate just such possibilities. So too, it is hoped that we can arrive at plans for a united and coordinated campaign on HUAC, Fayette-Haywood, for support of the union organizing drive in California and so on. The possibilities along these lines are enormous.
In our estimation, there is far more confusion and disagreement among politically active students in the area of peace and disarmament than in any other area under discussion. In this field, therefore, the conference will not seek to arrive at the same type of specific policy recommendations and tactical suggestions as in the other three fields: we feel any effort to do this would be very premature. We hope, however, that the conference will provide a valuable arena of discussion in which students and groups who are working with theseproblems will be able to establish better contact with one another. If the conference can help to clarify the issues involved, we will have taken a long first step towards an eventual consensus.
If you plan to attend the conference, please fill out the form below and mail it to us immediately. We will forward copies of the working papers to you as soon as you let us know you will be coming; if you send your reservation at once, you will have time to go over the papers thoroughly before the conference starts, and to write a working paper of your own if you or your organization should so desire.
There is a cost of $3.50 for participating in the conference. We will provide sleeping accomodations. (please bring your own sleeping bag).
Enclosed are the working papers for most of the discussion groups to be held during the Slate summer conference, You will receive, hopefully within a week, the additional papers. These papers, as we said in our initial invitation to the conference, are designed merely to get a discussion going. We would like have all those who desire to write a paper along these lines to do so. In this way we hope to get something of a dialogue going, so that all of us may have some notion as to what others are thinking, before the conference begins.
In line with what we hope can come out of the conference, we would like these papers to cover three aspects of each of the topics to be discussed: (1) a statement of the factual situation and problem, (2) a formulation, explicit or implicit, as to the policy position you would like to see student groups adopt as regards the problem, and (3) suggestions as to what types of political action student groups should pursue in an effort to realize these objectives. As was mentioned in the invitation, there is good reason to believe that there is a great deal of consensus on the part of student groups as to the desirable policy and objectives in the areas of civil liberties, civil rights and farm labor. This is especially the case if such policy positions are phrased in a minimal fashion. If such consensus is, indeed, reflected in the working papers, the discussion groups based upon them should be in a position to move rather quickly to a discussion of the strategy to be pursued. The recommendations arrived at by the discussion groups will be presented to the conference as a whole on Sunday afternoon. In those instances where the conference reaches agreement as to policy and strategy, such agreement will constitute the recommendations of the conference to the decision-making bodies of the participating groups. If a fair number of such policy and strategic agreements are reached, agreements allowing and calling for united and coordinated action, the student movement will have taken, we think, a great step forward.
As was mentioned in the invitation, Slate feels that in the area of peace and disarmament the student movement has thus far not arrived at the level of consensus as is evident in the other areas to be considered. While we may be pleasantly suprised and find that this is not the case, we feel at this moment that any attempt to reach the sort of agreement we hope to reach in the other instances would be premature. The conference can, however, provide an arena where the areas of agreement and disagreement within the peace movement may be identified and discussed. In this way there is reason to believe that by the time of the next conference such a consensus will have emerged.
Should you, or the student group of which you are a member, wish to write a working paper for the conference, we suggest the following procedure. Because our facilities for duplicating papers are, at the present time, seriously strained, it will be necessary for those who do write a paper to also duplicate that paper. We would suggest that at least 300 copies be made. If you find it possible to write and duplicate your paper and mail it to Slate (c/o Mills) by July 23, we will make a mailing of such papers to all of those who, at that time, are planning to attend the conference. If this proves impossible, either mail or bring such papers to the conference and they will be distributed at that time. We realize that this will pose something of a problem for you, but, as always, we're behind schedule. Finally, it should be mentioned that any literature which you fell should he brought to the attention of the conference may be circulated.
For those who arrive in Berkeley on Friday, July 27, the day before the conference begins, housing arrangments may be made at Mike Myerson's, 2125 Blake Street (Th 5-5400). Those who are not, at that time, registered for the conference may do so at the same address. So, also, literature which it was impossible to mail out will be available there. For those arriving Saturday morning, the conference headquarters is at Stiles Hall (University YMCA) which is located at the corner of Bancroft and Dana Streets. There will be someone there from 7:00 A,M. onwards. For those who did not receive the initial invitation, the registration fee for the conference is $3.50.
As for the "social" side of life, there will be several parties on Saturday night. Slate will host the conference to a picnic on Sunday also. Finally, on Sunday night at 7:30 Slate is sponsoring a testimonial dinner for Prof. Richard Drinnom, its faculty advisor, who is leaving Berkeley to take a job at Leeds University in Great Britain. While this dinner is not a part of the conference itself, all who do attend the conference are more than welcome. The price of the dinner is $2.00. Tickets for it may be secured either at the conference or by writing to Mike Miller, 2111 Cedar, Berkeley.
Herb Mills, Conference Chairman
P.S. For those interested in the problems of farm labor, we have remaining from previous activities a set of writings published by various groups working with this problem. The price of each set is $1.00.
Final Details for the SLATE Conference - July 28-30, 1961
For the location of all buildings and houses to be used during the conference, see the map attached and the key to it.
The "reports" of the various discussion groups on civil liberties, civil rights and farm labor will be available within two or three hours from the time that those discussions end. The reports from the civil liberties and farm labor discussion groups may be obtained at Stiles Hall. Those from the discussion groups on civil rights may be obtained around midnight Saturday at either Robin Room's or Mike Miller's (2330 Warring or 2111 Cedar). Such reports will also be available at Tilden Park on Sunday. The reports from the discussion groups on peace and disarmament, as well as of the discussion of the general meeting of the conference on Sunday afternoon, will be mailed to all persons participating in the conference within two weeks.
Schedule for Conference - JULY 28 to 30
Fri.: 6:00 - 12:00 P.M. - Registration and Housing Mike Myerson, 2125 Blake St. Th. 5-5400
Sat: 7:00 - 8:00 A.M. - Registration and Housing Stiles Hall, Dana and Bancroft
8:00 - 8:30 A.M. - General Meeting of the conference Welcome by Slate and last minute details.
8:30 - 11:30 A.M. - Civil Liberties
- HUAC and the state committee -- Plymouth Aud.
- Academic freedom -- Plymouth Lounge
- The position of foreign students- Westminster House
- Compulsory ROTC -- Stiles Aud.
- Freedom of the campus press -- Plymouth class room
- Student political action and the administration Lutheran Student Center
11:30 - 1:00 P.M. - Lunch
1:00 - 4:00 - FARM LABOR
- Legal & political status of the farm worker Stiles Aud
- Social conditions of farm labor- Stiles Aud.
- Migrant farm workers -- Lutheran Student Center
- Farm labor situation in Calif. (inc. discussion of CSO initiative campaign & a minimum wage for farm labor) Westminster
4:00 - 6:00 - Dinner
6:00 - 9:00 P.M. - Civil Rights
- Freedom rides and the sit-ins Stiles Aud
- Fayette-Haywood and the Registration drive Lutheran Student Center
- Northern discrimination Stiles
Sun; 8:30 - 10:30 AM - Peace panel & general conference discussion
10:30 - 11;30 A.M. - Discussion groups
- Nuclear arms test ban Spread of nuclear weapons, CBR, arms control
- Economic consequences of disarmament
- Civil defense
- U.S. foreign policy -- total disarmament
11:30 - 1:00 - Conference Picnic
1:00 - 4:00 P.M. - General conference meeting - discussion of the reports to the conference by the discussion group.
Section I: Civil Liberties
The House Un-American Activities Committee and the State Committees
THE PROBLEM--the mandate of the HUAC authorizes it to make investigations of " (1) the extent, character, and objects of un-American propaganda activities in the United States, (2) the diffusion within the United States of subversive and un-American propaganda that is instigated from foreign countries or of a domestic origin and attacks the principle of the form of government as guaranteed by our Constitution; and (3) all other questions in relation thereto that would aid Congress in any necessary remedial legislation."
The first amendment to the U. S. Constitution reads in part: "Congress shall make no law. abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..."
The argument against the constitutionality of the HUAC mandate may be summarized as follows: that even if it is possible to define the meaning of "un-American"--a dubious possibility--investigation of propaganda must necessarily mean investigation of what is written and spoken, and the first amendment specifically prohibits this, since where Congress cannot legislate, it cannot properly investigate. The Supreme Court, in 5 to 4 decisions, has repeatedly rejected this argument and has upheld the Committee's mandate.
SLATE's STAND--there are roughly two stands taken with regard to changing the role of the Committee. One demands its abolition on grounds that it violates the first amenment--the argument sketched above--and the other asks for changes in its proceedings to provide for due process of law protection. This second position notes such things as the fact that subpoenees are not allowed to confront and/or cross-examine their accusers, and usually suggests as a remedy that HUAC be made a sub-committee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is authorized to investigate areas of treason, sedition, etc.
In the spring of 1961, SLATE passed the following resolution on civil liberties in general: "SLATE's activities on issues relating to civil liberties will be guided by the following principles:
'SLATE' defends the rights of all individuals to engage in political activity and to enjoy the freedoms of speech, assembly, press, petition and all the other rights such as those guaranteed by our Constitution."
"We support the similar efforts of people throughout the world to acheive a society within which the dignity and worth of the individual are recognized and protected."
In keeping with this resolution, SLATE has gone on record as asking for this abolition of the House un-American Activities Committee on the grounds that its mandate violates the rights guaranteed under the first amendment of the Constitution as well as other rights which are or should be guaranteed to the individual.
PROPOSED RESOLUTION--it is suggested that this conference draft and pass a resolution asking for the abolition of the HUAC on the grounds that its mandate does violate the first amendment, Supreme Court decisions notwithstanding.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TOWARD ABOLITION--there are a number of means by which abolition of the national and state un-American Activities Committees may be advanced. Such proposals are important, not because they will get the various committees abolished, that will be done by the court or by Congress, if ever, but because they can keep open those channels of expression the committes seek to close and because they can change community behavior enough to render ineffectual the work of the committees.
Proposals for abolition need not take only the form of public resolutions; they may take the form of picketing, when appropriate. If the Burns Committee (California) is typical of the state committees, it has to be dealt with somewhat differentlly than the HUAC,, since it seldom has hearings. When a committee doesn't hold hearings but does issue reports, it can't be picketed and has to be fought through such means as press releases, speaking engagements, petitions, and the like.
MATERIALS FOR AN ABOLITION CAMPAIGN--although students in each community will have to deal in their own way with specific problems raised by the appearance of a state or national un-American Activities Committee, the experience of students in the Bay Area with this problem can be of help, and information of the Constitutional objections to such committees are always applicable.
As a start, the following sources are recommended for such information
The Un-Americans, Frank Donner, Ballantine, 1961.
Contains recent history of the HUAC and a good bibliography. paperback, 60 cents
The Loyalty of Free Men, Alan Barth, Cardinal, 1951.
Contains more of the Constitutional objections, paperback, 35 cents
- The Sounds of Protest, distributed by SLATE. The record is cut from radio tapes of the San Francisco hearings and demonstrations of May 1960. Send check or money order of $2, to SLATE, box 893, Berkeley l. Also available at the conference.
- many Supreme Court opinions, relevant speeches in Congress, newspaper editorials and other educational naterials are available from the Bay Area Student's Committee to abelish HUAC, 1732 Francisce St. Berkeley. Literature list available on request.
author of the paper is a graduate student in Political Science at Berkeley
The House Committee on Un-American Activities
RESOLUTION: As students, we reaffirm our opposition to the existence of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. The mandate of this committee and it activities, which, in most cases, exceed its mandate--present an immense danger to the democraticvalues upon which our society is based. The committee serves no legislative functionbecause it s primary function is intimidation and exposure--a function expressly denied to Congress by the 1957 Watkins Decision of the Supreme Court. It threatens the free exchange of ideas and the freedoms of political discussion, association, and activity-- the backbone of a democratic society. It disregards the cherished notion that the people are sovereign and the state the people's servant. The House Committee's existence is irreconcilable with the First Amendment to the Constitution; is has degraded the spirit of the Fifth Amendment; and it denies to those it chooses to persecute the rights guaranteed to all of us by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We reaffirm that The House Committee on Un-American Activities has no place in a democratic society and and should be summarily abolished.
HUAC AND ITS OPPOSITION: Operation Abolition must be the focal point in any discussion of the present status of the House Committee and the struggle to abolish it. The film has received remarkably wide circulation and has served to reintroduce the issue of the Committee and to polarize opinion about it. On one hand, liberals and radicals have been forced to realize, from the impact of the film in their own communities, that the danger of HUAC can not be ignored. On the other hand, the film has contributed greatly to the growth and consolidation of various grassroots, right-wing movements, such as the John Birch Society and the Young Americans for Freedom, which support the House Committee. On campuses, the effect of the film has been, on the whole, salutary. Even unpoliticized students are predisposed to sympathize with the San Francisco students, and the film has provided an introduction to real politics and has introduced as well the issue of inquisitorial committees and the broader issue of civil liberties. This politicization is bound to spresd to other issues presently of concern to more politically oriented students. The Meisenbach acquittal, if its ramifications are properly publicized, should sound the death knell to Operation Abolition and allow us to return to the basic issue: the unconstitutionality of HUAC. The recently released paperback The Un-Americans by Frank Donner, should be helpful in this new phase of the abolition battle.
STRATEGY: Considering the recent domestic drift to the right in the United States, and the intensification of the Cold War in the field of foreign policy, I think the possiblity of leadership of any significance in the abolition struggle within the House of Representatives itself is highly unlikely in the near future. Liberal, Congressmen are on sufficiently tenuous ground with their own constituencies to prevent very many public commitments to abolition, or to reform for that matter. "Operation Abolttion" has been to our disadvantage from this standpoint. The Dixicrat and the Northern conservative coalition--which included Francis Walter-- can be expected to give the Committee its solid support, as it has in the past, because the forces represented by this coaltion are the first to benefit from HUAC's activities, especially in the case of its invasion of the Southern civil rights field and its harassment of progressive labor movements. Francis Walter's power within the House itself also works to the disadvantage of Representatives initially predisposed against HUAC. The present administration certainly offers no potentiality for leadership in the civil liberties or civil rights field. The only possible source of leadership within the federal government would be a Supreme Court with a new personnel. Unfortunately, any change in the Suprem Court's personnel will, in all liklihood, be for the worse. Of necessity then, the abolition drive must focus on the grass roots level, where the emphasis must be educational. The hope must not be for immediate, but for eventual results.
In regard to the student scene, the abolition drive and increased political awareness among students should go hand in hand, and each can benefit the other. The issue of civil liberties has been purposely confused by HUAC's supporters as if the issue were not intrinsically complex to begin with. The intellectual appeal of the issue makes it especially interesting to students. For the widest appeal to the student community, (1) the major ideological approach to the abolition struggle should be civil-libertarian. This is the main issue, and from this vantage point we can all feel a part of the mainstream of American political institutions and their evolution. However, I don't think we should disregard theimportance of the strictly political aspect of the issue. (2)The Committee does represent reactionary tendencies in its struggle with the Left and liberalism. This aspect should not be under-rated because the student movement will continue to be oriented toward theLeft. However. we must avoid an important pitfall in this regard: the proclivity of the Left to match the Committee's Red baiting with Fascist baiting. This is intellectually and politically improper, and equally important, it places more emphasis on (2) than on(1). As an example-- not necessarlly from a left-wing source--note the use of "guilt be association" against the Committee in Chapter Three in The Un-Americans.
The San Francisco demonstration, as Donner correctly acknowledges was the beginning of a reactivation of the abolition struggle, especially in student circles, but the demonstration, by itself, will not obtain recruits for the abolition drive. Our numbers can be increased only through intensive education, especially among students. We need more research on the House Committee and civil liberties oriented specifically toward thestuden community. We need a much wider distribution of the wealth of material available on these subjects. The distribution of Sounds of Protest and the work of the Bay Area Student Committee, in distribution of thousands of pamphlets on thedemonstrations, the film, and the House Committee, have done much more to abolish HUAC than did the demonstration. In fact, if he follow-up campaign had not been intensive, the demonstrations in San Francisco would have been an unequivocal victory for the House Committee and the partially salutary effect of Operation Abolition, would have been much less a reality.
I think one of the great tragedies of the last year-and-a-half has been the inordinate amount of time wasted on premature "organization" of students who are politically aware to some degree and the tendency to ignore the fact that organization can succeed only when it follows education and an intensive introduction of the issues. The formation of the California Inter-Campus Co-ordinating Committee and its abortive petition is the classic example. As a corrolary, there are entirely too many student "activities" in the Bay Area who enjoy warming themselves with the idea that they are part of a student movement, but who are unwilling to spend the time
Ogden, August Raymond. The Dies Committee. Catholic University of America Press, Washington D.C. 1943.
Carr, Robert K. The House Committee on Un-American Activities. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 1952.
Donner, Frank J. The Un-Americans. Ballentine Books, Inc., New York. 1961.
On Civil Liberties:
Chafee, Zecharin, Jr. Free Speech in the United States. Harvard University Press, Cambridge. 1946.
Douglas, William O. The Right of the People, Doubleday, Garden City. 1958.
Douglas, William O. A Living Bill of Rights. Doublday, Garden City. 1961.
Meiklejohn, Alexander, Political Freedom. Harper and Brothers, New York, 1960.
For a list of over forty shorter items on the San Francisco demonstrations, Operation Abolition and the House Committee, write to the Bay Area Student Committee, 1732 Francisco Street, Berkeley 3, California for its list of available literature.
* The author is a graduate student in the English Department at Berkeley.
Place of Student Politics in the University
The contemporary University, in the context of modern industrial American society, is under great pressure to produce the men who will administer, service and protect the system as it is. But there is another concept of a University: it ought to be a place where both an intellectual and a citizen is trained for participation in a democratic society. It is to this latter concept that student politics is directed, and it is part of a fulfillment of that concept of the University that motivates those who participate in student politics. The notion that the University is solely a place to train technicians, professionals and administrators is generally rejected by all university administrators, but in practice most of them behave as if this were their view. In another working paper for this conference, Mike Myerson has outlined some of the background and reasons for this kind of behavior by administrators and he has given the basis for a response to their reasoning. It is the purpose of this paper to establish a reison d'etre for politics on the campus--for an autonomous student government which will speak for the student on issures of campus life and on issues of national and world concern.
In a speech to the USNSA, 10th National Congress, then President of CCNY, Buell Gallagher, after presenting findings which indicated the apathy and conformity on campus, said, "If these things are true to any degree, and to the degree that they are true, the profile of the American student and his college is not a promise. It is a portent. It portends the coming of Orwell's world of intimidated and controlled little brothers, a condition brought about not through totalitarian revolution but through the creeping paralysis of herd-mindedness. It portends a world in which all the little lemmings scuttle to their fate, seeming to believe that they must run with the crowd because the crowd is running. In such a world, any person who spoke his mind out would get his brains bashed in."
Student politics is the implementation of the alternative to these words by Gallagher. It is no accident that students started the sit-ins, led the demonstrations against HUAC and against American intervention in Cuba. The student, because he is in an institution that is relatively insulated from the day to day pressures of a commerical society, because he is in an institution that pays at least lip service to liberal values, and because he is generally financially and intellectually free from immediate control can participate in politics. Because he is not a direct participant in the power-structure, with personal, social and political commitments which restrain his criticism of it, he can observe and act according to the values in which he believes.
These two facets of the political role, observation and action, are the necessary complement to a meaningful liberal education. Our courses in the social sciences heightens our perceptions to the society around us. Our courses in the humanities, give us an appreciation of the capabilities of the human spirit. If we partake of what these disciplines have to offer us, we become human beings sensitive to the problems of people around us, aware of both the complexity of social and individual life and of the need to make decisions in the face of this complexity. If the University is concerned with the teaching of these things, then it must face the fact that we are going to observe the society around us and compare what exists to what is promised in the democratic ideals that are constantly preached in university handbooks, commencement day exercises and freshmen welcoming speeches. If our education did not lead us to examine the society around us then it would, indeed, be a sterile education.
Once the examination of society begins, the discrepancies between the ideal, daily proclaimed and the real become evident: liberty vs. HUAC and its public counterparts, equality vs. racial discrimination, fraternity vs. a society of status-seekers blandly climbing up the hierarchy of the organization. And as the awareness of what to look for comes from the combination of a committment to values with the intellectual tools of analysis which we gain in the University, so the desire to change thingswill come from this same combination, for like it or not our products, as intellectuals and students are of use in the society. The University produces the sociologists who will either study significant areas of social life or will sell their talents to Madison Avenue. Physicists will either work on the bomb or they will attempt to find a setting in which their work may be put to peaceful purposes. Thus, the problem occurs for persons of all the professions. The alternative of withdrawal becomes increasingly barren and bankrupt as we see the shadow of the bomb looming larger and larger. Students come to the University, they learn more and more about the world around them, the freedom associated with life around a University campus gives them the time to discuss what they have learned. The nature of the institution, if they are at all serious in attending it, motivates the discussion. Can we then imagine, after all this has taken place, that the student will not desire to put his ideas to the test of action? Further, can we imagine that he will not want to act with those with whom he has carried out the discussion of ideas, that is, his fellow students and teachers? Because there is a uniqueness associated with his fellows--and this actions is the natural outcome of a serious concern with what goes on in the classroom. To frustrate it, as University administrators constantly try to do, saying, "it is alright to listen to political ideas and debate them but not to act on them" is to frustrate the very purpose of liberal education, for if liberal education it effective is will develop men and women so concerned with the world around them that they will demand a right to act in it so that they may act upon it.
Just as students, awakened to concern by their education, will be concerned with the world around them, so will they be concerned with their own institution--their student government. And if University administrators attempt to control the student government, to make it an administrative adjunct which provides for some social, recreational and cultural activities but which is emasculated of any power to act according to the desires of the students, then they will find either an apathetic student body (which they will lament at the proper public occasions) or they will force students to find new forms of expression for their interests and concerns. That these new forms can be found is apparent--we are participating in one of them in this conference; but it is also apparent that the student government is the proper place for the expression of the opinion of the student body. If we are being trained to participate in a society which requires democratic citizenship, then we ought to find out what democratic citizenship means. One thing it does not mean is government controlled by administrators who are not responsible to those governed.
The argument that student government ought not to be democratic has not been frequently used by administrators. They have continued to present us with the facade of a democratic student government. Representatives are still elected, not appointed. As long as that is the case, we ought to present our point of view for the consideration of the student body as a whole. We ought to have the confidence that we can convince a majority or a significant proportion of students to our view. We ought to participate in the student government as the vehicle for the expression of student interests and concerns, and we ought to act independently of the student government when we feel so moved and find a recalcitrant student government. But we must defend our right to act and constantly point out that it is not only our right as citizens but an inevitable consequence of liberal education.
--The author is a graduate student in sociology at Berkeley.
Freedom of Expression for Foreign Students
Working Paper for the Workshop in the Civil Liberties Section of the Slate Summer Conference, July 28-30, 1961.
I. The basic legislation on immigration matters is the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, commonly known as the McCarran-Walter Act. Under this Act, the Attorney General of the U. S. is charged with full control of matters related to this field. In practice, however, while all powers are concurrently reserved by the Attorney General, most are delegated to the Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) of the Department of Justice. He, in turn, concurrently reserves them and re-delegates them to his subordinates, the Regional Commissioners, and their subordinates, the District Directors.
Under the 1952 Act, foreign students are classed as "nonimmigrants", and a "foreign student" is defined as "an alien having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning, who is a bona fide student qualified to pursue a full course of study and who seeks to enter the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of pursuing such a course of study at an established institution of learning." ( Sec. 101a (15) (F) of the Act.) A foreign student is admitted subject to the general conditions of admission and deportation for all nonimmigrants: he must maintain the nonimmigrant status under which he was admitted or which he may subsequently have been accorded; he must depart from the U.S. within the period of his admission or any authorized extension; he must not engage in employment or activity in the U.S. inconsistent with his status unless permission is first obtained; and he must fulfill any other conditions imposed by the admitting immigration officer to assure his maintenance of status and timely departure. He must comply with the requirements for registration and periodic reporting; and he may be required to post a bond of at least $500 "insuring that he will not overstay the time of his authorized stay in the U. S. and will not violete his authorized status." (This last provision has rarely if ever been invoked for students.) The spirit of these conditions is summed up in a section of the Act ( Sec. 214 b) which declares that every alien is presumed to be an immigrant unless he established to the satisfaction of the INS that he is entitled to a nonimmigrant status.
A foreign student's permit to stay will not be renewed for longer than a year at a time. The regulations no longer spell out what is meant by a "full course of study": unless its decision is manifestly unrealistic, the INS will normally not question a school's determination that a foreign student is pursuing a full course of study. The student must apply for and receive permission from the INS in advance to accept part-time employment permission to take a summer job can normally be given by the student's school.
Like other nonimmigrants a foreign student who fails "to maintain status or to comply with the conditions of such status" must be expelled under the 1952 Act (Sec. 241 (a) (9)). The regulations provide that a decision by an officer of the INS either granting or denying an extension of stay is final. If an extension of stay is denied a nonimmigrant, the INS may extend him the privilege of voluntary departure within a specified time (if he fulfills certain requirements), which will not prejudice any future applications for entry, Otherwise the INS will obtain a deportation order against him, which makes it difficult for him ever to enter the U. S. again. The Supreme Court has ruled that deportation is not a punishment, and Congress has specifically exempted INS hearings from the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act requiring a fair hearing; therefore, the only methods for challenging a deportation order in the courts (and these methods are only available when a final administrative ruling has been made) are a writ of habous corpus, challenging the legality of detention, which can only be issued when the alien is taken into custody on the eve of deportation, and an action for declaratory review, which can be brought only upon the grounds that the deportation proceedings were not conducted fairly and in conformity with statutory requirements. Over 90% of court challenges to immigration orders fail.
Some foreign students are classified under the 1952 Act in the special status of "exchange visitor". These students must have a sponsor in the country, and must be on a program approved by the Dept. of State. They are under generally more stringent conditions on length of stay and employment than those which apply to regular foreign students. They also agree as a condition of entry not to try to return to the U.S. within two years after their departure. One restriction for exchange visitors not mentioned for regular foreign students is that they may not engage in political activity "detrimental to the U.S. or in activities non-consistent with the security of the U.S." ( Sec. 201(a), Act of Jan. 27, 1948; Sec. 402(f), 1952 Act; Act of June 4, 1956). This at least implies that other political activity is permissible. The laws provide that the deportation of visitors shall be summary and that findings of fact by the Attorney General will be conclusive.
Senator Fulbright has introduced a Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Bill (S. 1154) in the current session of congress, which codifies the various laws in this area and is one of the few immigration bills introduced which has a good chance of passing. Among other provisions, the bill places Exchange Students as a new class of nonimmigrant under the 1952 Act. The "Section-by-Section Analysos" of his bill which Fulbright has had prepared and printed for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee notes that "the additional special provisions [of the Act of 1948] calling for the expulsion of students and others in these programs are not included. For the more serious offenses, the existing immigration laws are clearly adequate. The special provisions calling for expulsion in case of `activities of a political nature detrimental to the interests of the U.S.' is unnecessary and seems to have on occasion been interpreted as restricting public expression of political views by visiting scholars. This is so much in contradiotion to the aims of the program that it seems better to omit the provision and rely on the general requirement of the immigration laws that nonimmigrant visitors be deprted if they advocate communism or dictatorship for the U.S., or if they advocate, write, or teach the overthrow of the Government by force or violence (e.g. Sec. 241 of the 1952 Act)." This passage clearly shows that Fulbright believes that foreign students have by law and should have full freedom of speech. (Note that the Supreme Court ruled in 1941 that First Amendment guarantees apply to non-citizens: 314 U.S. 252.)
II. It is true that the wide discretionary power given to the INS under the 1952 Act gives a desirable flexibility to the sometimes picayune provisions of the laws-- the Service, for instance, does not generally hold foreign students to the requirement that they report their address every three months and every time it changes. But it is also true that this power gives the INS wide latitude for arbitrary action. The INS can, of course, simply apply the letter of the law in a particular case, where it would normally have made an accomodation-- this may have happened in the MacIntosh case at Berkeley. More disturbingly, under the Act the INS can decide ex post facto in each individual case which comes before it both what the requirement for maintaining status should have been, and whether the student has fulfilled such requirements. There is no appeal from its decision, and it may, and does, refuse to disclose even to the student involved the reasons for its decision. A recent series of cases at Berkeley, in which the INS denied extensions of stay to foreign students on the grounds that they had compromised their status as "bona fide students" by engaging in political activity, has served to emphasize the possibilities of arbitrary action under the present laws and administrative code.
The most disturbing case was that of John Johnston, a normally non-political British graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, who had taken part in the orderly and lawful student picketing of the San Francisco House Un-American Activities Committee hearings in May of 1960. The director of the private school at which Johnston's wife taught had been subpoenaed to these hearings, and Johnston's house had been used for a meeting of interested parents of children attending the school. Fullilove, the acting District Director of the INs, ruled that Johnston "did not maintain his status as a bona fide student," telling him that picketing "is not the sort of thing a foreign student or visitor to this country should participate in." The INS claimed that "a number of other factors were considered" in the decision, but that it was not at liberty to discuss these even with Johnston.
Johnston did not release his story to the press until he was about to leave under voluntary departure, and it was only a delay in issuing him a Canadian entry permit which enabled him to stay in this country long enough for protest on the decision to become effective. Immediately after he issued his statement to the press, an ad hoc committee, with broadly-based liberal support on the Berkeley campus, was formed to fight the decision. A ten-page mimeo reprint of all the facts and documents in the case was quickly made up,' soon to be followed by: a two-page summary fact sheet; a statement by the Program Vice-President of the National Student Association, who happened to be in Berkeley at the time, deploring the bad effect upon other foreign students of such arbitrary decisions; a statement by foreign students at Berkeley backing this up; a sheet headed "suggested points to be made in letters and telegrams on behalf of John Robert Johnston," with a list of "suggestions
Johnston's "victory" thus did not answer the very substantial questions which his case had raised about the rights of freedom of expression available to foreign students. The San Francisco Chronicle summed it up in its editorial after the INS changed its mind:
Not only has the INS never given prior warning to any student that he was endangering his status, but it has also never issued any official guide as to what activity is consistent with maintaining "bona fide student status", insisting that it must judge each case on its individual merits. This not only leaves the students confused, for example as to whether activity which would be considered proper for foreign students in their home country is allowed here (American students have taken part in the Aldermaston nuclear disarmament marches in England); it also lays the INS open to pressure which can be applied in specific cases, particularly since the INS has such large discretionary power. The INS, like other administrative branches, is dependent upon the goodwill of Congress for appropriations, and particularly upon the Joint Committee on Immigration and Nationality Policy, which under Sec. 401(a) of the 1952 Act was charged with the duty of making a continuous study of the administration of the Act. It is perhaps significant that the series of recent cases in San Francisco all involved students active in protesting against the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings. The Chairman of this committee is Rep. Francis E. Walter, who is a senior member of the immigration Joint Committee, and also chairs the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration & Naturalization. Although the report was later denied by the Director, Johnston claims that the San Francisco INS District Director told him that he was "under pressure" from Congress to get him out of the country.
We... agree with director Ernest Besig of the American Civil Liberties Union, who said he felt that aliens, including foreign students, have the right of freedom of speech under our Constitution. At all events, their rights should be clarified.
Both Besig and Chancellor Glenn T. Seaborg of UC have called upon the Government to say what is tolerable and what is not in the conduct of foreign students. Hundreds of foreign students in the Bay area alone have been disturbed by the threat to their own liberty implied by the order deporting Johnston; they will welcome the Immigration Service's stay of the order, but even more they would like to know the rules that can keep them out of trouble.
III. The crux of the problem of what the limits upon a foreign student's freedom of expression should be lies in what is considered maintaining "bona fide student status." Regrettably, though understandably, in the absence of any public definition by the INS, many foreign students have accepted a far more drastic ourtailment of their liberties than was ever implied in the INS decisions. Certainly, the official and unofficial attitude of both INS and State Department men has on occasion been far from libertarian, implying a very limiting definition of legitimate student activity. This attitude is tied to the narrowly nationalistic argument that foreign students should not try to change U.S. policies when they won't have to live with the results. However, since many foreign students, like Johnston, are in this country for four or five years or longer, during perhaps the most politically aware period of their lives, it is not surprising that they come to take a personal interest in the affairs of the U.S. The argument also shows a very possimistic estimate of the gullibility of the American voter-- it is the voter, after all, who makes the final decisions. Foreign students, in exercising freedom of speech-- and the Supreme Court has ruled that direct action such as picketing is an exercise of free speech-- are only serving in the role of contributors to the market-place of ideas, contributors who, nurtured in another environment, and thus seeing the commonplaces of the American scene with fresh eyes, can often provide a new and valuable viewpoint. De Tocqueville is the classic example
More important than the effects upon the U.S. of a liberal definition of foreign students' rights, however, is the effect upon the students themselves. Many of the future leaders of the nations of the world are now studying in the U.S. In the past, foreign students have very often stuck to their formal academic studies, taking no part in the political life of their campus. Many seem to have gone back to become leaders in their own countries apparently unaffected by the American political milieu. One wonders what the effect upon Nkrumah, Swart, and Trujillo, Jr., for instance, all of whom spent time in this country in their youth, would have been if they had been encouraged to take an active part in the American "marketplace of ideas". For it is certainly true that the functioning of the democratic process, the methods of maintaining a working political dialogue, can be learnt only in action. This very point is the rationale behind a project officially approved as an exchange program by the State Department, the Foreign Student Leadership Project, under which about 15 student leaders from African, Asian, and Latin American countries are brought over by the U.S. National Student Association to observe and participate in political activities on the campuses they are assigned to. Participants last year for example, included the former presidents of the student unions in Ghana, Basutoland, and India, and of the Japanese Women Students Association, and a member of the executive committee of the Zengakuren. They take the minimum load of courses to qualify as full students at whatever college they are attending, and have in the past been very closely involved in both campus and off-campus situations at many campuses (e.g., lobbying at Wisconsin). The announcements of the program specifically state that there will be the fullest degree of political participation possible. Yet the State Department has approved the plan, and it is run through the Institute of International Education, which is subsidized by the government.
IV. A permanent and clear-cut solution of the problem of assuring freedom of expression for foreign students would be for Congress to amend the 1952 Act to specify that non-resident aliens are entitled to full civil liberties, and to grant them at least the same administrative safeguards as are at present granted to resident aliens. The present temper of Congress, however, is such that such a bill would be unlikely even to get out of committee: most amendments to the 1952 Act have been restrictive rather than liberalizing.
Even within the present Act, nevertheless, the Atty. Gen. could do much by an appropriate ruling to the INS to ensure the protection to foreign students which is necessary before they will feel free to participate in American political dialogues. (1) The Attorney General should rule that a nonimmigrant is entitled to all such freedom of speech and action as does not break the laws of the land, both those dealing with violence, and those dealing with subversion. Thus a full-time student could not be deported because political activity automatically compromised his status as a nonimmigrant or as a bona fide student, as was claimed in Johnston's case, but only because his political activity transgressed bounds on the action of non-citizens in general set specifically within the 1952 Act. This ruling would comply with the spirit of Fulbright's analysis of his S. 1154 cited earlier. (2) The Attorney General should require the INS to acquaint foreign students upon entry to this country with his ruling on freedom of expression. (3) The INS should be required to warn, wherever possible, any foreign student who is engaged in activity which could lead to his being required to leave the country, that he is endangering his continued stay. (4) The Attorney General should set up machinery whereby a non-resident alien can request an open departmental hearing on renewal of his permit to stay, at which any reasons for non-renewal must be stated to him.
V. We propose that a skeleton intercampus organisation be set up, which could be activated in short order in the event of future cases like Johnston's, and which would keep tabs on any difficulties of foreign students with the INS. Since many, if not most, decisions on renewal of permission to stay are taken in the summer months, the organization would have to be year-round. The organization for Johnston was only beginning to jell when the decision was reversed, and, of course, it was only by pure luck that Johnston was able to stay in this country for long enough for his case to be of more than academic interest. If an intercampus mailing list were readily available, and if foreign students knew there was a student organization to which they could turn if they should get into trouble with
We would also propose a concerted effort by the "student movement" at various campuses to get the Attorney General to make a ruling on political activity for foreign students, & to, ensure that that ruling is a liberal one. The Administration cannot be expected to make a move -- not until considerable public interest has been expressed in the problem. Pressure could be exerted through Congressmen, but this is always a risky business, as it is likeley to bring counterforces to bear. Letters to the Attorney General seem a better bet. Any such drive could be coordinated with other groups interested in the problem: the National Student. Association, the Institute for International Education, the National Association of Foreign Students, Advisors, national ACLU, the Friends Committee on Legislation, and such campus groups as the legal research group at Columbia and SCLU at Berkeley. We propose that this effort be directed toward gaining a ruling similar to the four points enumerated above.
-- Emil Berk and Robin Room, Berkeley.
(The factual basis for this paper was provided by research done for the Johnston case and in the followup by the Berkeley. Student Civil Liberties Union. Further information and coordination for Berkeley through: Emil Berk, 2706 Haste St., Berkeley 4, California.) The literature on Johnston and later SCLU literature will be on display at the Conference.
Legal situations: (a) texts:
(1)Charles Gordon & Harry Rosenfield, Immigration Law and Procedure, Banks & Co., 255 Orange St., Albany, NY), 1180 pp.
(2)Frank L. Auerbach, The American Immigration System, An Outline, Bobbs Merrill, new ed., 1961. ( chap. 23 is on students-- we have not yet seen this book.)
Legal decisions are cited in these books and in the Guild article and Interpreter Releases (below).
(b) laws: (1) Public Law 414 (Act of June 27, 1952, 66 Stat. 163): there is a 1952 Senate Judiciary Comm. Comparative Print with earlier laws. (2) Code of Federal Regulations, vol. 8.
(c) proposed laws: Interpreter Releases (below) keeps track of these: a free copy of each will be sent if you ask for it by number from the Senate or House Document Room(s), Washington 28, D.C. Important at the moment: H.R. 6300 (Walter); S. 1154 (Fulbright).
Background: (a) Hearings: (1) on 1952 Act: Joint Hearings before the Subcommittees of the Judiciary March-April, 1951; Hearings before the President's Commission on Immigration and Naturalization, Sept.-Oct. 1952. (2) on current bills and bills since 1952, there have no doubt been public hearings, but we have not yet tracked them down (S. 1154 had Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings last March 29. (3) "Section-by-Section Analysis of the Act S. 1154 Committee on Foreign Relations, March 10, 1961.
(b) articles: (1) Charles Gordon, “Judicial Review of Immigration Decisions” , Interpreter Releases v37, #39 (Sept, 20, 1960), 289-298. (2) “Political Deportations in the U.S” . Lawyer's Guild Review, XIV, 3 (Fall, 1954), 93-128, (3) Laurent Frantz. “Deportation Delirium” , Nation, 180 (March 26, 1955), 258-264. All contain excellent historical material on non-students: foreign students are only part of the broader problem of deportation.
(c) Interpreter Releases, pub. by American Council for Nationalities Service, 280 W. 40th St. N.Y. 18, N.Y. This comes out on occasion (abt. 40 issues a year), contains up-to-the minute reports on everything to do with immigration: Congress, courts, administration speeches by significant individuals, etc. Subscription reportedly $15/yr.
July 13, 1961.
In the Fall of 1960, some 278,000 male undergraduate students on American college and university campuses participated, generally without choice, in the Reserve Officer's Training Corps of one of the branches of the United States Military. This event occurred despite the loud protests of the students themselves and despite more strident action by the students against the compulsory feature of the ROTC program.
Basic objections to Compulsory ROTC:
The discussion of the ROTC question can be conducted at several different levels; from the mere expression that the uniforms are hot to profound disagreement with the underlying principles of military training.
First, the legal status of ROTC is, under the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, mandatory on the campus but not mandatory for all students. Under a 1930 Attorney General's ruling, a voluntary ROTC program is satisfactory fulfillment of the obligations of the Morrill Act. Furthermore, in a 1960 letter to the Trustees of Michigan State University, the Assistant Secretary of Defense stated that the Defense Department found no basis for favoring a compulsory program. Instead their policy is one of "Freedom of Choice" for the university or college. This means that the question is thrown squarely in the laps of the regents or trustees of the institution.
Substantial objections may be made to the ROTC course as academically inferior to the poorest of the remainder of university courses. The instructors are not properly qualified teachers. The material studied is an insult to the intelligence of a college student. The material presented in no way contributes to the broadening of the students' educational background. It is biased, incomplete, and demonstrates a remarkable lack of understanding of the forces at play in modern society and state-craft.
The two-year, lower-division course which every male student must take under the compulsory program is amply covered by one week of intensive basic training. Since it takes several months of intensive training even in time of extreme emergency to prepare men for combat, it is readily observable that the ROTC course does not provide, as it once claimed to, a reserve force of officers ready for immediate call into active duty in time of emergency. This means then that the only ostensible reason for maintaining the program is as a recruitment program for producing highly-motivated and well-educated officers.
Can any student be highly motivated in a course he is forced into taking and abhores? This question is raised and answered in the Lyons & Masland report Education and Military Leadership, which in defending what it considers to be the much-benighted ROTC program states that ROTC will produce more officers with better attitudes, more comprehensive military background, and with a likelier chance of becoming career officers under a voluntary program than under a compulsory program.
Under most compulsory programs (Cal excepted, at least on paper), there is no provision for those of religious or pacifist bent who would, in the regular military service, be conscientious objectors. These people are denied an education at the state university because of their beliefs.
Further, the ROTC program does have a class bias. The state university by-and-large gets the student from low to middle class financial background. Since those of the upper classes frequently attend private schools where the program is voluntary, the situation mitigates against those of the lower and middle classes. (This is for any Marxists in the crowd.)
If ROTC no longer serves as a pool of emergency reserve officers, and if the forces can meet their quotas for officers despite a voluntary program, why does the Army -- the Air Force and Navy will acquiesce to a voluntary program -- wage such a bitter fight against a voluntary program? What purpose does the compulsory program serve? It has been possible to observe the answer to these questions on the Cal campus first-hand through the remarks made this semester by Colonel John T. Malloy. Colonel Malloy stated that the purpose of the course was to teach "patriotism, duty to country, and the proper wearing of the uniform." Notice that his purpose was not to train officers, or even recruit officers, but rather to instill the student with those ideas which the Army considers to be patriotic or conducive to learning one's proper duty to country. In other words, the military is in the business of selling on the campus those ideas which keep it in business. While J. Edgar Hoover must write articles for This Week magazine in order to establish the FBI as a permanent institution, the military is in the fortunate position of having all male undergraduates handed them for proper education in military values.
The Military Mind and Liberal Education:
In the end, the root of the problem is that the goals and aims of the university and the ideals and methods of the military ROTC program are incompatible. The effective military program produces men who have an unquestioning acceptance of authority, who are restricted, and who accept a sharply-defined code of officer behavior. The university should properly produce men whose attitude can be well described as "dynamic skepticism." A rigid attitude, an unquestioning acceptance of authority, are usually enemies of the new and original idea, the breakthrough. The basic military ideas of the supremacy of force over ideas, the inevitability of war, the impracticality of total disarmament, must remain unquestioned by the officer. Yet simply because they do lie at the heart of military values, they must be questioned by the scholar.
Basically the ROTC program is a propaganda program. It presents a biased, limited curriculum, the intent of which is not to educate but to sell an idea. To the university which aspires to liberal education the idea of propaganda is repulsive. This whole concept may best be summed up by the words of U.C. Professor John Searle, who said (I quote from memory): "The aims and methods of the ROTC program are subversive to the proper interests of the university."
Points to Consider:
If the basic objection to compulsory ROTC is the presence on the campus of a program subversive to the interests of the university, then we might seriously question whether the problem is resolved by making the program voluntary. You still have remaining on the campus a force attempting to propagandize as many students as possible. The university would soon take the place of agent in encouraging students to enroll in the course, or giving them orientations material intended to entice them into the program. It may be that a switch to voluntary ROTC would solve the problem, but more consideration should be given to whether our position should be no compulsory ROTC or no ROTC on campus.
While voluntary ROTC might solve the problem temporarily, the much larger problem remains that the universities and colleges are highly dependent upon the Defense Department for military contracts. The Federal Budget for projects at the University of California runs into the millions annually. The problem in education today is not the balance between keeping the alumni happy and the football team successful, and maintaining a superior academic program, but rather that the military can constantly hold over the university the threat of removal of contracts, etc., if officials take stances contrary to those desired by the military.
Finally, we come briefly to a consideration of strategy. I still have, as I had before it, substantial doubts as to the effectiveness of last semester's picket line. But that picket line is a proper topic for a paper in itself. Each step from here on in should be carefully weighed. My own feeling is that success is possible on this question and that such a success would do more for a nationwide student movement than anything else we have going. I would presume that the first step, through Ex Com, is to force the Regents to bring the question up for consideration again.
The major complaint against compulsory ROTC is the incompatibility between military values and liberal education. This raises two further problems: 1) whether we should have an anti-ROTC stand rather than an anti-compulsory ROTC, and 2) the larger problem of the military control or pressure on the university. Perhaps when these questions are resolved we can go on to discuss strategy at greater length.
I especially recommend the following pamphlet as the most comprehensive of reports:
Brick, Allan, The Campus Protest Against ROTC, Peace Education Committee, available through any branch of the American Friends Service Committee
This is supplemented by a short article:
Brick, Allan, “Why Have ROTC on Campus?” available from AFSC
Other materials include:
Lyons, Gene, and John Masland, Education and Military Training, Princeton University Press (1959)
Mills, C. Wright, The Causes of World War III, Simon and Schuster (1958)
*The author is an undergraduate at Berkeley and the Chairman of the Slate Committee on ROTC.
Freedom of the Campus Press Meaningful Alternatives
The student press involves us in the same two considerations which are present in every issue confronting these who are in the student movement. One is the desirability of a given goal. The other is the practicality.
Since the question of practicality can only follow a discussion as to what is desirable, I will discuss what is desirable for the campus press. The paper is divided, then, into three parts. The first discusses the role and the function of the student press. The second part presents alternatives for the control of that press. It is hoped that the conference will be able to accept the functions of that press as here outlined and then be in a position to select the method of control most compatible with those functions. The third part of the paper will discuss the relationship between the student press and the student movement.
A. The desirability of the various alternatives for the control of the student press should be related to and based upon a notion as to the function that such a press should perform. These functions should be based upon a fundamental premise regarding the role of the communication media in the implemenation and realization of democracy. There are three basic functions of the press in a democratic society. The first of these is the presentation of diverse points of view and ideas. The second function concerns the relationship between the news and the information presented by that press. and its presentation of diverse points of view. A proper relationship between these two aspects of coverage, of ideas and of information, the citizen (student) is provided with the widest possible range of viewpoints and information to aid him in forming an opinion on the questions at hand. The third funtion of the press in a democratic society is that of social criticism and the stimulation of discussion and greater insight into society.
B. With the above as the broad outlines as to the function of the press in a democratic society, there are the following alternatives as regards meaningful and tenable control of the student press:
- Editorial policy - should it be controlled by the editor, an editorial board, student government, or a publishing board?
- News policy - should it be detrmined by the managing and city editors, the editorial board, student government or a publishing board?
- Appointments - should recommendations be made by the staff, an editorial board, student body, publishing board, or student government? approval by the student government, student body, or publishing board?
C. Relationship of the student press to the student movement. 1) Carrying out the function of democracy will coincide with like attempts of the student movement. Does the student press have the obligation to crusade for students' rights, liberties and welfare? 2) What danger is there of an imbred philosophy - perpetuation of political cliques, liberal or conservative, in the press? 3) Is there a danger that loyalty to principles of the student press will conflict with the loyalty and obligations to the student movements? If so, what should be the position of the students who are members of both?
* The author is a reporter for the Daily Californian.
Freedom of the Campus Press
Mary Ellen Rose
On a Friday in October, 1960, the staff of the Daily Californian endorsed a Slate candidate for the student body presidency at the University of California. That afternoon, the student Executive Committee held a hearing to consider revising the paper's constituted by-laws to quell this legal action and other journalistic actions by the paper's staff which to them seemed not in keeping with the college community. The staff decided and warned Executive Committee it would resign if changes were made to the by-laws which would deprive the editors of their journalistic power of judgment. They believed the students who actually produced the Daily Cal were the ones who could best judge what editorial, news and staff hiring policy should be. That weekend, Ex Com and the staff met, jointly and separately, in an attempt to work out the differences which through several years had existed. The always touchy relationship between Ex Com, which is the "publisher" in the student's name, but is also a main target for editorial criticism as the governing body, and the staff whose function was to watch and criticize the actions of that same government, had worsened. Often personal animosity between members of the two groups heightened the already unnecessary and annoying antagonism. That Sunday night Ex Com met again and debated and moved for passage a long series of stringient by-laws which would, the staff believed, effectively emasculate its powers over editorial, news and staff policy and subject them to the fluctuating whims and petty likes and dislikes of members of Ex Com. Led by Editor Dan Silver, the staff resigned in protest.
Ex Com's recruitment of a new staff and the old staff's production of the Independent Californian are chapters already a part of campus history. They do not shed light on the actual campus climate that allows such a controversy to arise in the first place, allows a resignation and further deterioration of the Daily Californian's quality and tradition, and allows a naive and petty Executive Committee to charge the many opinioned staff with having "an inbred philosophy." The climate is perhaps one that exists on many state Universities or college campuses--one of fear. Fear for the funds which must come form a usually conservative and often disapproving state legislature, sensitive to very vocal conservative elements within the state. Fear for the "image" of the University; an image many officails think is harmed if too much student political or social protest is expressed where it really ought to be--on the campus. Fear that public reaction will demand the removal of high University officals who "allow" students to behave in such disapproved ways--just as the recent criticism aimed at Clark Kerr for "letting" Frank Wilkinson speak on campus.
In this climate, the campus newspaper plays a vital role. It is either a means of expression through which the many and diverse elements on a campus may all find recognition if they do something which is judged "news-worthy", or it is a means of covering up and ignoring or trying to justify what does happen on campus which embarasses the University. Social and political criticism and protest is passed off as activity of "liberals" or "radicals" or "Communists", all three of which are much the same to the disturbed public. As long as the student press is under the control of student officials who are in turn influenced by the Administration, it will be subject to the kind of treatment it received in October, 1960.
Alternatives to the present set-up in which Ex-Com acts as the publisher (even though the Consultative Board exists it is completely ineffectual) have been suggested. Operating from a trust fund as does The Harvard Crimson would be the ideal solution to the editor-publisher conflict. The securing of funds is the unknown factor in such a proposal. Operating under a Publications Board, as does The Michigan Daily, has the same inherent difficulties as operating under the weak Consultative Board as political
- The author is a former staff member of The Daily Californian at Berkeley.
The Campus Press
by Jerry Mandel
On many campus' throughout the nation the university paper has been a "problem". As campus' everywhere become more politically involved students will make demands that their paper become interested in and take positions on political matters. When the campus press deals with real issues the chances are that the paper will be too radical or "left" for the tastes of the administration (and the pressures behind the administration) and the authorities will attempt to "guide" the paper.
As disputes occur we can expect certain arguments to constantly appear. Arguments for a free and autonomous press will clash with claims of press irresponsibility and tyranny of the minority. In the past year a classic case of the problems of the politically concerned campus press versus the entrenched bureaucracy occurred. From this experience certain problems and procedures for guaranteeing an ideal solution can be stated.
The Daily Californian is the only Berkeley campus student newspaper, supported almost entirely by student fees, yet up to 1960 virtually autonomous but for a technical advisor. In recent years it has been getting more and more political. In the summer of 1960 the administration instituted a faculty-administration-student consultative board to watch over and to advise the Daily Cal. Still the paper had much autonomy, though not so much as before. Big brother was indeed watching. In the fall of 1960 the Daily Cal supported a SLATE candidate for office. The Executive Committee of the ASUC, representing predominantly non- and anti-SLATE types, manuevered to completely emasculate the Daily Cal. The staff quit in protest hours before they were fired de facto. Ex-Com, with the aid of "volunteers" and paid professionals, continued turning out the Daily Californian while the old staff unsuccessfully launched a private paper. The Daily Cal staggered through the year, no less political that previously, but with a sub-par editor (who climaxed his career by coming out for the FLN in Algeria and Moral Re-Armament in the same week, and with the same sophomoric passion).
When the old staff quit, the campus was in turmoil and student groups heatedly raised the issues of free press and the censorship of unpopular views. First, the re-instatement of the old staff was demanded since they has quit under fire. After this met deaf ears, they suggested the implementation of a faculty-administration-student consultative board to guarantee that Executive Committee would not treat the Daily Cal as its right arm. The administration remained silent through it all, understandably so, for the new staff was far more conservative. Ex-Com claimed to represent student opinion -- they were elected and, in fact, sanctioned the paper.
Using this as an example, and it is probably fairly common in broad outline, what about the arguments of the free press, and what suggestions can be made to implement them? First, freedom of the press in this day and age, and especially for monopoly press' (such as the student press at the University of California and most campus') refers to freedom of the publisher of the "people" (in this case students), not the writers of a particular paper. The University administration, pursuing sound educational
In order to separate the executive and the press, may called for an autonomous press, yet since the Daily Cal was the only campus paper it is clear that a handful of journalists-activists could gain control of the paper and hand it down to compatriots year after year. The press would be captured, not free. This fear is real, especially in the coming years of hot political debate on campus.
To call the administration or the faculty in as consultants is death to student freedom of expression. Who will appoint the faculty? How much power will they have? Experience indicates that if students do not choose faculty members we can usually depend on "conservative" faculty members who try not to rock the boat. The argument against administration influence rests ultimately on the purposes for a student newspaper, and I claim the administration rightfully hands over the control to students so long as the paper represents students and is responsible. However, the word "responsible" is often used arbitrarily by administrators. So, following a Communist Party line, whatever one's intentions, is likely to be deemed "irresponsible", and, in the not so distant past, a socialist line was probably considered similarly irresponsible. Proposals for a campus press must find a way to get around the administration's one hold on the student press -- the paternalistic vise.
In the Daily Cal dispute last year the plans offered by students seeking freedom of the press did not avoid all the problems of tyranny of the entrenched student government, of capturing of the press by an unrepresentative handful (even if this capturing is only for a year), and of administration paternalism. What is needed is 1) an autonomous press, 2) representing student majority opinion, 3) providing ample space for minority voices.
Following is a broad set of proposals to achieve this aim. First of all, the way to attain autonomy is to have the editorial staffs elected by the student body (not the technical staff, but the editorial staff). Secondly, space must be allocated to minority positions. This can mean either more than one campus-supported paper, or else space in the paper for minority views -- space which is guaranteed a fixed minority. Yet how to determine who is the majority and the minority, and how much should be allocated to each? I propose yearly elections of competing editorial staffs. The winning staff gets control of the large paper (or the lion's share of one paper), the second most popular staff gets certain other guaranteed space. (If desired, three or more staffs can be cut in on the pie.) Possibly the money or space allotted the competing editorial staffs can be based on popular vote. If many staffs compete, the two or three most popular can engage in a run-off election.
Such an election policy guarantees the right to space of a large minority voice. A very small minority voice may again be forced to use private means to propagandize, but once it becomes large enough it gains access to the campus press.
Such an election policy makes meaningful the place of political organizations on campus in order to form broad coherent policies. Education on campus would leap beyond the classroom to where students wouldform positions translatable into real and responsible power.
I have stated the problems which came up last year in the case of the Daily Cal's suspension, and the alternative solution which I believe should have been proposed but never was, propably because the heat of the crisis demanded that any proposal be able to alter a miserable situation immediately. Since on campus heat will precede light on the subject of the campus press, it is essential that proposals for the student press in an era of political controversy be made before the crisis arrives.
Student Political Action and the Administration
by Mike Myerson
In recent years a conflict of interests and goals in college education has become more and more evident. One conflict exists between the college administration and the political active student. Briefly stated, the goals of the university administration are, first, administrative efficiency, which includes "good" public relations with the outside community, and the production of technicians needed by that community. Both of these goals are all too frequently pursued at the expense of more creative and imaginative thinkers. The second of these goals, that of maintaining "good" public relations with the outside community, results in the effort on the part of the administration to remove the university from conflict and controversial issues. Such an attempt leads to concerted efforts to discourage both faculty and students from engaging in politics and concerning themselves with the issues of the day. The methods used in this effort to discourage political activity are as numerous as they are clever.
Such efforts to discourage student political action run directly counter to the now emerging student movement, to say nothing about the very idea of a university. As for the goals of that student movement, the most comprehensive statement of them is reducible to a desire to work for and live within a democratic society. This would imply an active student community working within the student government, in the university community and within society at large. It is such desires as these that the university administration is all too frequently anxious to frustrate and suppress. As to how widespread that desire on the part of students is, one indication is to be found in a survey made by the National Student Association in 1955. The NSA survey found that 92% of a sample of some 400 campuses had a functioning student government. Since the emergence of the "student movement", the desire of students to participate in politics has grown in both breadth and intensity. As regards politics within the framework of student government, a framework whose existence is testified to by the NSA survey, the outstanding question concerns the purpose of such governments. While there is a good deal of very healthy debate on this question within the student movement, the Administrators of American universities are pretty much agreed. Some administrators apparently feel that a strictly controlled student participation in such organizations is an efficient way in which to "channel" what ever energies the student does display in this area in a manner which will not affect any policy of the administration. Perhaps a somewhat more baldly paternalistic attitude is even more widespread among university administrators. As Buell Gallagher, an expert in such matters, has written, "perhaps the dominant method of college administration... is that of the despot... sometimes benevolent, but typically despot."
That such attitudes may be effectively combatted it is necessary to form a base for an active and aware student political community. For the most part, active student communities are still centered around living groups (fraternities and sororities, especially), and/or athletic programs. The reasons for this are two-fold: (1) athletics and living group activities are part of an ongoing collegiate tradition and (2) more importantly, such activities, except for an occasional hazing incident, can be effectively used in the administration's effort to establish a pretty image of the university for the benefit of a society that constantly needs reassurance that the men and women of the academic community are not really
Let us now return to a consideration of the immediate goal of the liberal student, i.e., the formation of a politically active liberal student community. Perhaps one of the best ways of forming such a group is through participation in student government and student body elections. The student government should be more than a disburser of services and a somewhat ineffectual guardian of student welfare. It should give voice to student interests and opinions on issues such as discrimination, academic freedom, and domestic and international problems. Student opinion, like that of any other group, will not be heard unless it is voiced in concert. And this is what student government provides: an organized channel for a student voice.
It is at this point that the student political party should be introduced. The importance of student government is that it provides an arena--a medium-- through which substantive issues can be raised and adherents to a liberal view won. The campus political party is the most effective instrument to raise the issues, to organize around them, and to conduct a campaign in the elections to the student government. Student body elections, like no other event, lend themselves to a discussion of issues and recruitment to a program. In this manner the student political community can eventually emerge and develop. It is such a community as this which, among students, can develop a sustained program of political activities within the community at large as well as on campus. Such efforts will, of course, be viewed with alarm and anxiety by the ever-alert, nevertiring administration. When Slate, for instance, secured such voting strength as to elect the president of the student body as well as a number of other student body officers, a large part of its voting support, the graduate students, were removed from student government administration by administrative fiat. Two years later, after having built up an undergraduate constituency which threatened to vote heavily for Slate candidates, Slate iteself was removed by administrative fiat. Under such circumstances the campus political party will have trouble surviving on the campus itself. The broadside attacks of the administration can really be met successfully only if the cooperation and support of a substantial portion of the faculty, as well as of the liberal groups in the community at large, can be secured.
Campus Civil Rights Groups and the Administration
The campus civil rights groups at the University of California face the problem of any student protest group on that campus: that of survival. Any student group dedicated to political action finds itself subjected to administrative restrictions, censure springing from off-campus sources and, all too frequently, the withdrawal of recognition, if, indeed, recognition has ever been granted by the administration. The civil rights groups, significantly more sensitive bec ause of their usually limited size, can be buffeted about at will and their activities entirely controlled by the administration in a negative sense simply by forcing them to become entirely involved in civil liberties: those civil liberties connected with the very existence of the group. This problem, faced by all student groups, is, perhaps, especially serious for those concerned with civil rights sice such groups are peculiarly influenced by the interest and moral support which school officials can offer them. Unfortunately, the posture of the campus officials at Berkeley appears to be peculiarly hostile to such groups.
Several events in the recent past point to the veracity of this last statement. One case in point is the now defunct group, Students for Racial Equality. This group, originally formed in order to raise money for scholarships for Sit-In students who were expelled by Southern Universities, decided to expand their activities by a campaign for the civil rights fight centred in Fayette-Haywood counties in Tennessee. Having sponsored a jazz concert early in their history for the raising of money for scholarships, the group decided to have a similar concert for support of Fayett-Haywood. At this point, the group ran into the opposition of the administration and was told that, not only could it not hold a concert but that, indeed, the the group had never been anything but an arm of the ASUC and that for this reason it had no independent existence. The organization, after costly and time-consuming resistance, finally succumbed to administrative pressure. The ignorance, arbitrariness and utter lack of moral responsibility which the administration displayed in this matter are deserving of note.
The experience of Students for Racial Equality was the first instance in the spring of 1961 of a civil rights group under administrative attack. The second instance of such pressure was, if anything, even more absurd and, perhaps, even more revealing as to the future such groups may expect on this campus. It concerned the campus NAACP's invittation to a Black Muslim, Malcolm X, to speak on campus. In May, Malcolm X was invited to speak on campus on the subject of the emergence of the Black Muslim Movement in the Negro community. Five days before the group planned to host the speaker, the leaders of the group were informed that permission to speak on campus could not be granted to such an "inflammatory" person. After inquiry, the administration argued further that, because of the clause in the state constitution forbidding state university facilities from being used for religious purposes, such a speaker could not be brought to campus. This was argued despite the fact that such speakers as Rev. Roy Nichols, Billy Graham, Rabbi Fine and Bishop Pike had previously spoken on campus. Indeed, the last-named churchman spoke on campus the very afternoon that Malcolm X had originally been scheduled. It only needs to be added that Malcolm X thereupon continued his speaking tour, a tour which had already taken him to such institutions as Harvard, Boston, and Columbia Universities.
The final instance of such administrative action which may be cited arose over a picket line held on campus. In response to information which made it obvious that certain airlines which discriminated in their hiring of stewardesses were allowed to come onto campus in order to hire, several NAACP members and individuals from the Sociology Department, acting independently, protested by picketing the University Employment Service. While it lacks a policy forbidding the use of its facilities for hiring purposes by companies which do discriminate, the administration does have a policy which forbids on-campus picketing. As a result,
The reason for this kind of administrative action has been explained by some as due to a concern for the public "image" of the university, to a concern for the opinions of Assemblymen Mulford and Francis as regards the policies of the university, and, finally, to a concern over the budget voted by the State Legislature. With such a view of the university, one could see such actions merely as the succombing to the inevitable pressures of the conservative and reactionary pressure groups in the state. The end result of such capitulation on the part of the administration may be left to the imagination and disgust of every conscientious student.
During the three acts of this Spring drama, the student government at Berkeley stood by with its ever-present, if always impotent, motion of censure of the administration. For those of us who like consistency, the one reassuring fact in the whole affair is the continued inability of students to direct their affairs in any meaningful fashion.
- The author is an undergraduate student in anthropology at Berkeley.
Campus Political Parties and University Administrations: Possible Lessons from SLATE's Experience.
On June 10, 1961, the University of California administration withdrow recognition of SLATE, campus political party at Berkeley. That the action was meant as a "punishment" for some transgression of administrative regulations is implied by the administration, but to pin-point that transaction seems to be a task too formidable for them. So far every administration official questioned has given a different reason for the action against SLATE.
The crime for which SLATE was first kicked off campus was this: it called itself a political party prior to having been warned not to do so. Of course everyone, including members of the administration, has called SLATE a campus political party for three years--because it is one!
The charge is so flimsy, the action so sudden and lacking in the procedural niceties which usually proceed discipline of such groups as fraternities, and the confusion of the administration officials so complete, most observers can only reach one conclusion: the administration has real reasons which it is unwilling to make public, so it must therefore product plausible reasons for their action--and it is hard put to do so convincingly.
A History of SLATE-Administration Relations
This recent direct attack on SLATE is a climax in a three-year history of less direct and open conflict between SLATE and the administration.
The "young executives' training ground" theorists of student government were horrified by the very idea of a campus political party when SLATE was formed in 1957. These natural allies of the administration (in this fight, at least) looked as if they might remove the threat of SLATE by outlawing the concept of campus political parties--without the administration's actually saying one official word. A student political party implies that student officers might be held responsible to serve the student interests (as interpreted by students) even when such interests were to clash with the desires of those administraters from whom it is so nice to have letters of recommendation.
The future organization men, however, because they were only students and had to remain within the limits of legality and fairness, were unable to eliminate slate as a challenge to the previous leadership(?) of their group, which had been unquestioned for so long. (Their power was not absolute, as is that of the administration.) SLATE gained the support of a large segment of the undergrads and the majority of the grads that voted. The electorate doubled, and SLATE put into office one ASUC President, two Graduate Representatives, and five Reps-at-Large over a two and one half year period.
In 1959 the administration decided to help their student allies to prevent this kind of thing from happening. They had an informal poll of grads taken to see if they would rather belong to the ASUC or be exempted from the student body fee. Although it had been promised that the poll would not be interpreted as a vote, the Grad Rep was made a non-voting member of Ex Comm in the middle of the term he had been elected to when the poll showed that the grads prefered their money to the ASUC, (One can only wonder how the undergrads would vote if the same question were put to them.) The next semester the grads did actually vote to seceed from the ASUC.
Then, to make sure that, in spite of the disenfranchisement of a good part of their constituency, SLATE would not be able to do anything the administration did not like anyway, even if elected to a majority of Ex Comm seats, Kerr passed down the now-famous directives. According to these directives, Ex Comm is only to discuss and vote on campus issues, and the chief campus officer is to decide just what is a campus issue and what is an off-campus issue.
In the election of Spring 1961 SLATE had a Presidential candidate whose eloquence, out-spoken independence of mind, and Bay Area fame as an announcer and commentator for a liberal radio station, made him popular with the voters and feared by the administration. So Kerr decided to help his allies in student government again. He told some of the "young executives" group that he was "very concorned about the image of the university."
The young executives were glad to have this ammunition. Their argument went something like this: Just think what might happen to the university if Tigar and SLATE got in! They seemed to mean that some die-hard reactionary in the State Legislature, who hates rallies, beatniks, Negroes, liberals, professors, and the income tax, might sling the word Communist around and make other legislators afraid to vote for funds for the university. Is it not interesting how any group, including the liberal Kerr and his student allies, will use the conscienceless smear technicians as weapons in some battles, while they are enemies in others?
The "image" argument had its intended effect on some, but many who had never thought of voting for SLATE before this election did just because of this argument. It became obvious that SLATE's opponents were asking students to consider the administration's interests before their own, almost on principle. By voting for SLATE, the new adherents were in effect saying, "Let the administration take care of the image of the university, and let our leadership be responsible to us!"
One Interpretation of the Loss of Recognition
Although Tigar did not win, he was not too far behind in the race, and two other SLATE candidates did got in.
The administration's fear of SLATE is not, in my opinion, based on any kind of rational estimate of its present tendency to reduce public support for appropriations. It is instead based on the often irrational, but inevitable feeling of the despot that he must have ultimate control over everything that could conceivably affect his interests as he sees them. And SLATE, because it appeals to student interests first, contains the veiled threat that if it ever came down to a choice between the interests of their constituents and those of the administration (as it sees them), it would choose the students and leave the administration to sweep up the mess.
There is a kind of natural law of power-holders which Max Weber observed about fifty years ago: power-holders will use every means they can muster to maintain the greatest possible freedom to choose their methods to obtain substantive goals; they will not submit their arbitrary power to legal or procedural limitations unless forced to. The administration is just acting like any despot.
Students have no interest in seeing the university lose funds or be interfered with by legislators or anybody else. Unless they administration intends to submit to the vague threats of the lunatic fringe, they have nothing to lose by SLATE's getting in office--except perhaps their complete control over student affairs.
The pure and beautiful "idea of a university" as an autonomous institution nourishing the free-ranging mind, is not dead. Just because real autonomy for a publicly supported institution is, and must be, contrary to fact today, does not mean that the idea does not exert power in society and protect the university to an amazing extent from meddling busy-bodies and anti-intellectuals. Of all the public bureaucracies over which legislatures have rightful surveillance, the university maintains the highest degree of confidence and freedom from interference. The extent to which this idea of educational autonomy can be made to stick depends upon: mechanisms such as tenure, the strength with which faculty and administration are devoted to the ideal, and the education of the public as to the social value of free inquiry and the autonomy of educational institutions. This value is always in danger and never completely won.
The state of academic freedom at the U. of C. is better than at most public educational institutions. This is, in large part, due to fact that its administrators have managed to build a fine institution, and can ask the state's citizens to keep hands off as a matter of pride in this glory of the
We in SLATE cherish the old idea of the autonomy of the university. In this area we could be said to be conservative or even reactionary. In fact, some of our disagreements with the administration stem from the fact that we sometimes feel that they lose sight of this sacred "mystique." We would like to be allies of the administration in preserving the autonomy of the university. But that is just it: we would like students to be allies of the administration in a struggle in which they share a common interest; the administration wants students to be pawns in that struggle.
The election results in the Spring indicated to the administration that drastic action was needed to kill the possibility of student rebellion against its authority. The best move would be to discredit the symbol of student rebellion--SLATE.
SLATE's "de-recognition" may have in part been aimed at warding off a Red-scare by the Burns Committee. I hope not, because that would mean that the administration was voluntarily giving up its autonomy to the worst elements. The other aim of the administration was probably to kill SLATE's ability to rally students in sufficient numbers to the banner of students' rights to constitute any real threat to the administration's complete authority in its domain. They hoped to accomplish this by giving SLATE the reputation for failing to live up to its agreements and being disreputable all around.
How Should a Campus Party Respond to Attacks by the Administration?
So far SLATE's response to the administration's latest move has been a quiet one, except for our initial press release when the story broke. We have strengthened our ties with our faculty allies and have put a great deal of time into research to give weight to our arguments. Our concerned faculty friends have advised us to allow them to try to convince President Kerr of his error before we come out with any more loud publicity. We met with the administration's Committee on Recognition without press or counsel, and the results of that meeting (where the Committee acted as prosecutor rather than as an unbiased review board) have not been revealed and probably never will be.
This approach has been based on the view that the regaining of recognition is the primary objective. The logic is to allow the administration to reverse its position or to give SLATE a new, favorable status, without losing face.
SLATE has taken this approach because it is felt that the Academic Senate is a valuable ally, which it is. But we have allowed the administration to determine the extent to which the issue is before the public. And it is we for whom publicity is advantageous on this issue.
This member would question the wisdom of the current approach for a number of reasons. First, a reversal is not likely to occur because of the pending changes in recognition policy. Second, a reversal would in itself be a loss of face by the administration, since it would be admitting that SLATE was innocent of misdeed, and the administration had been lying or mistaken. Thrid, any reversal or change of status for SLATE that does not involve a loss of face for the administration, will not erase the blow to SLATES prestige struck by the administration's action. Reversal would in that case be a tribute to the administration's magnaminityrather than to SLATE's integrity and innocence.
In my opinion, the prime object of this battle is public respect. If the administration can be dramatically shown to be the unjust and all-powerful persecutor of a righteous and powerless martyred SLATE (which, after all, is true) SLATE will be in a much better position for the battles for students rights that we should be leading in the future.
If SLATE wins a favorable status, the real battle will still not be won as long as the administration is free to act arbitrarily in disciplining students and student groups. This latest action should be seen as only one event in this larger battle for students' rights which will be a long-term and tough power struggle with the university administration.
Student Political Parties and the Struggle for Student Rights and the Rule of Law Within the University Community.
In almost every institution of higher education in the country, the administration has the power to expel students without explanation or appeal. This the ultimate sanction which gives the administration absolute power over students. At U.C. it is candidly written on almost every document dealing with student government that the powers of the student government are ours by virtue of the will of the President. That the administration takes this clain seriously is evidenced by the fact that Sherriffs told the ExComm this Spring that if they did not rescind a particular notion, student government would "change drastically."
SLATE has objected to the administration's arbitrary actions, but it has never led a sustained and determined campaign to challenge the legitimacy of this complete power and to institute students' rights. The administration has shuddered at the implications of the party idea, but we have never carried that implication of student autonomy to its logical conclusion. Perhaps the most recent and most blatantly unjustifiable action against SLATE should serve as the signal for the realization of the administration's most violent fears--a student rebellion for student rights.
No campus political party can hide from the battle with the administration. The question will always be: what status in the hierarchy of priorities should this battle occupy? Should it be central from the beginning and the basis on which you appeal for support from students? Should the party take the initiative in defying administrative authority demanding fair and uniform procedures and rights? Or should the issue remain periferal until the administration commits such an obvious injustice that the party can issue the plea of the martyred to the oppressed students to rise up and demand their rights?
And what sanction can such a group find to make its power felt. Would a student strike be effective? Would it flop for lack of support? Would judicious use of the press and the ever-present threat of a bad press for the administration be a powerful enough instrument? Could the courts be used?
These questions of timing and tactics must be discussed and experimented with. This paper is only a plea that the struggle for students' rights be recognized as inevitable, central, and significant to the student movement and to the idea of freedom in modern civilization.
The rule of law is an idea basic to Western Civilization. In modern life, however, large bureaucratic institutions have been created in our noble efforts to extend the benefits of civilization to all men. In these bureaucratic institutions the rule of law does not exist. Tenants in a government housing projects, recipients of welfare funds, and students in schools have no rights. The bureaucratic administrations make the rules, which bind those for whose benefit the institution was founded, but often these lucky recipients of society's bounty can not even see those rules. Often there are so many rules, many of which are never enforced that the administrator can find a rule to justify almost any action that he might want to take. But even if the justification of his action looks a bit shaky, his victim has no appeal. He is completely dependent upon this authority which has the powerto deprive him of his place to live, means of life, or educational opportunity.
Of all the oppressed groups in modern bureaucracies, students are the best equipped to fight. We have knowledge and skill, a traditional mystique of freedom, and administrators who feel obliged to appear just and reasonable. Our one drawback is the ambition for advancement that makes many students unwilling to defy authority. Would it not be ironic if public housing tenants, deprived of education and the other advantages students have, were to win rights and protections before students do, because they were more willing to risk security for their ideals! Would that students were as idealistic as our elders say we are!
The author is a graduate student in sociology at Berkeley.
I. An outline of principle: the freedom of teachers to investigate, teach and otherwise communicate ideas is central to a free university, as is the freedom of students to investigate, hear and communicate ideas. No political, social or religious viewpoint should be excluded from the campus. The right of student governments and student to present any such viewpoint must be protected. The right of any professor to hold and express any political, social or religious viewpoint is essential to academic freedoms.The right of access to university facilities is an intrinsic part of academic freedom, for freedom without access to facilities necessary to its implementation is an empty freedom. The right of access must be afforded equally to all political, social and religious groups. The University, except for those institutions with explicitly sectarian or religious purposes, must not support, either directly or indirectly, any particular sectarian viewpoint. The right of students and/or faculty to act on the basis of their political, social or religious beliefs shall not be interferred with by the University administration. University administrations, with the exception of sectarian institutions, shall not act in the name of the faculty or student body on political, social or religious issues. Only genuinely representative institutions, such as faculty senates or student governments, have the right to speak for their constituencies. The University shall in no way interfere with the right of other groups or individuals to speak and act on the issues of the day, nor shall such groups, so long as they are composed of members of the University community, be denied full access to University facilities, such as meeting rooms, auditoriums for the sponsorship of programs, bulletin board space, etc. Academic freedom, as distinct from civil liberties in general, is a fundamental principle to a free university in a free society. If we believe that the University must be more than a technical training groups and that it ought to play an important role in preparing students for democratic citizenship, then we must consider academic freedom as central to this kind of a university.
II Recommendations to the Summer Conference:
1. Academic Freedom Week: the USNSA has proclaimed the 2nd week of April as National Academic Freedom Week. (For information, write to National Student Association, 3457 Chestnut, Philadelphia 4, Penn.) Yet on most campuses, this week is ignored or only paid lip-service to. Students and student political groups should engage in the following activities on their respective campuses:
- Urge their student government to have a full academic freedom week program. Such a program might include the following: (1) the sponsorship of a series of controversial speakers, including left, center and right opinion; (2) the demand by the student government for full academic freedom on the campus; (3) a resolution by the student government condeming infringements upon civil liberties of any political, social or religious group, explicitly an opposition to the House Committee on Un-American Activities and similar agencies. In the absence of such activity by the student government, sponsorship of such a program by existing student organizations or by an ad hoc student organization might be an effective means of challenging the failure of student government. Student governments must be especially urged to appropriate funds so that an effective program may be undertaken.
- Call upon members of the faculty for their participation in academic freedom week. Faculty members might be invited to participate in panels, debates, symposiums, etc. on the issues of the day and on the place of politics in a university concerned with liberal education.
- Use academic freedom week as an opportunity to explain to the community the function of a free university in a free society. The special programs of academic freedom week might be called to the attention of the community, with an invitation from the student government or student groups to the community to attend special programs of the week.
2. Academic freedom issues: students and student groups might call upon their student government or act in their own name on the following:
- The "privileged relationship" between faculty member and student--e.g. that communication between faculty member and student be of the same status as that between doctor-patient, lawyer-cleint, and that the faculty adopt a code as part of its code of ethics to this effect, so that faculty members would not answer questions of political belief when posed by government or other investigatory agents or agencies.
- The student store: student book-stores should carry all political and social magazines, journals, etc.; these are generally sold on a consignment basis so that no money is lost by the store on issues that remain unsold.
- University libraries: these same magazines and journals should be available in libraries, and should be subscribed to by the University. They should be made available according to normal procedures for taking out books or magazines, with no extra taking note of who takes these reading materials out of the library, or any demand that they only be read for specific research purposes.
III A proposal for joint action: students and student political groups attending the SLATE Summer Conference should, on their respective campuses, pursue the following program:
- We should urge sponsorship by the student government, or in the absence of its sponsorship a student ad hoc committee or student organizations, of a celebration of academic freedom week. This ought to be more than cheering academic freedom, and ought to involve attempts to use this freedom. This might take the form of a series during the week entitles, "The Meaning of Freedom in Contemporary Society", with a Communist, Socialist, Democrat and Republican speaker on each day of the week and with a confrontation of the four of them on the final day of academic freedom week. On each campus, according to its local student government structure, union facilities, etc., a committee of the student government, with an appropriation of funds, should be appointed to set up this week. In the absence of student government action on this, individuals and groups here at the Summer Conference should initiate action in concert with others in agreement with such a program. In the absence of the availability of university facilities, local religious foundations might make theirs available.
- State institutions: academic freedom week might be the focal point for reraising the question of loyalty oaths, now generally taken for granted, on campus and other restrictions which administrations and legislatures might place on the university. Private institutions: similar questions might be raised in relation to trustees, and donors to the university as well as to the administration.
- Students ought to urge the formation of permanent committees of the student government and of the faculty on academic freedom, such committees to serve as watchdogs for the preservation and extension of academic freedom.
- The student Bill of Rights, at one time adopted by the USNSA should provide the basis for a student bill of rights to be adopted on each campus. Further communication between students participating in the student movement ought to discuss what we consider to be essential rights of students on a university campus. NSA can be particularly helpful to us in this regard.
*The author is a graduate student in sociology at Berkeley
Section II: Farm Labor
Position of Farm Workers in Social and Labor Legislation
1. Workmen's Compensation: Agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries in the Unisted States in terms of accidents to its participants. The National Safety Council lists (1957) some 3500 deaths and 300,00 injuries for that year. Yet for the most part farm workers are unprotected by the kind of workmen's compensation which covers other dangerous types of employment. When most of the workmen's compensation legislation was passed some thirty-five years age the farm workers were excluded because of political considerations and an idealistic conception of the farmer. Actually the farm never was as safe as the idealistic conception made it appear and the heavily mechanised agribusinesses, typical of agriculture today, have produced an accident rate that is exceeded only by mining and construction. As the accident statistics show, farming is a dangerous occupation whose workers need protection as much if not more than the other workers. Most of the countries of the world had provided for protection of agriculture on a basis equal to other industries prior to World War II (such diverse countries as Australia, Spain, Portugal, Southwest Africa, and Uruguay are included among the countries that had protection for agricultural workers some 25 years ago).
State workmen's compensation laws specifically exclude agriculture in some three-fourths of the states. Only three states (including California) protect farm workers on the same basis as other workers.
2. Disability Insurance: There is not a single state in the U.S. that has enacted legislation for disability insurance that includes agricultural workers.
3. Minimum Wages: Agricultural workers are specifically excluded from the wage and hour provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Industrial workers have received protection on a Federal basis for some twenty years, but amendments to include agricultural workers were again defeated in this session of Congress (despite a campaign promise of Mr. Kennedy to pass amendments to include them).
On the state level, only Hawaii and Alaska have minimum wages laws bread enough to include agricultural workers ($1.00 in Hawaii and $1.25 in Alaska). Seven other states have provisions that apply to women and children with varying degrees of effectiveness. The importance of a minimum wage for farm workers is evident when it is realised that the composite hourly wage in 1958 was 78 cents per hour.
4. Unemployment Compensation: Every state, except Hawaii, specifically excludes farm labor from coverage under unemployment compensation laws. It is another anomaly of agriculture that the workers that need help the most, because unemployment is one of the conditions of the job, have the least protection.
5. Old Age and Survivers' Insurance: Farm workers have been included under OASI since 1955 but required conditions have greatly reduced the coverage. In the first place, workers are not covered unless they earn $150.00 from a single employer. Under the prevailing wages this is difficult to achieve. A second condition is the consideration of the crew leaders as employers. This has relieved the grower of all responsibility in this area for his employees and has placed the program in the hands of crew leaders who have no standards for responsibility and record-keeping set by the act.
Under the current disorganised system, workers may easily have deductions from their pay of which they have no record --and no refund-- yet which are not credited to them for OASI purposes.
6. Collective Bargaining: Between 1945 and 1958 the farm output per man hour increased some 65% and during that same period the real hourly wage (based on an index 1945-- 100) actually decreased. The farm worker's relative position to factory workers has fallen during the past fifty years from about 65% to 35%.
Part of the reason for the increasing differential between farm workers' wages and factory workers' wages is the difference between an organized industry and an unorganized industry. Progressive unionization of American workers has meant a gradual increase in living standards of all workers; thus farm wages have risen continuously even to reach their present low level. But the absence of any strong movement of farm workers to protect their own living standards has meant that these workers have not shared justly in either their own productivity or in the prosperity of other sections of the country.
Recalling the great impetus toward union organization given first by section 7A of the National Industrial Recovery Act in the 30's, and later by other national legislation, it seems apparent that one of the many reasons for lack of adequate self-organization by farm workers into unions to raise their own standards is this lack of what has become normal protection by law for industrial workers.
Farm Labor is excluded from all federal legislation that protects the right of workers in interstate commerce to organize and bargain collectively.
No state has passed legislation that specifically guarantees to farm workers protection of the right to organize. Moreover, absence of protection has not meant absence of governmental interference in the collective bargaining or unionization process. For example, South Dakota has passed legislation that "protects" agricultural workers from union solicitation. "No officer, agent, or employee of any labor union shall enter any ranch, farm, feedyard, shearing plant, or other agricultural premise, for the purpose of collecting dues, fines, or assessments, or to solicit the activities of any person employed on such premises." Other laws operativein South Dakota forbid "picketing agricultural premises" and "boycotting... any commodity or farm product because such product may have been prodeuced by non-union labor or in violation of the orders or rules of any labor union."
Thus, in the absence of federal protection, farm workers have found only interference rather than alleviation in the various state legislatures. Even in the absence of this kind of legislation, farm workers trying to organize have run constantly into court actions in the form of injunctions and administrative orders providing Mexican nationals as strike breakers.
* The author is an undergraduate at Berkeley.
Public Law 78 - Why We Should End the Bracero Program
-David R. James
From 1885 to 1951, the U.S. Immigration laws specifically prohibited the importation of alien contract labor. Farm owners throughout the Southwest and West have long ignored this law in their recruitment and importation of Mexican, Japanese, Hindu and other foreign laborers.(1) In 1943, to meet the critical wartime manpower shortage, 52,000 Mexicans ("braceros") were admitted to the U.S. to work in agriculture and railroad maintenance jobs.(2) A maximum of 36,000 braceros worked in California during this wartime "crisis". (3) The program was never terminated after the war. In 1958, under P.L. 78 which has laid down the provisions of this program since 1951, there were 3,250 braceros in California (4). Since 1956, there has been an annual average of 400,000 braceros in the entire nation (5).
Under P.L. 78, the Secretary of Labor is required to administer its provisions designed to protect both domestic and Mexican workers. One extremely important provision is that braceros are not to be imported unless there is a shortage of available domestic workers. The bracero is to be paid the prevailing wage and he is not to be imported if such importations would depress the working conditions of the industry. Those who are imported are to be guarenteed a minimum amount of work at the prevailing wage; they are to be transported in equipment which meets certain minimal standards, to be housed in facilities that are sanitary, and to be protected from accident and illness losses by an insurance policy (6). That these provisions of the law are met has been vigorously denied by many observers (7).
The principal argument made in favor of P.L. 78 is that it allows for the problem of a labor "shortage" in agriculture to be met. That whatever labor "shortage" as does exist in agriculture has been the result of abysmally bad working conditions and wage scales is never mentioned by the apologists for the law. That the importation of braceros depresses domestic farm workers leaving the Imperial and Lower Rio Grande valleys has been directly proportional to the use of braceros in the fields(8). American farm workers who once worked permanently as farm workers in these year-round growing areas have been forced as a result of bracero competition to become migratory. There is reason to believe that the working days of these laborers has been cut by 1/3 as a direct consequence of the bracero program. The number of workers so affected in the valleys mentioned is at least 50,000 (9).
The second major argument for the retention of P.L. 78 is that American labor will not do "stoop" labor. Such arguments, as was pointed out by the President's Commission on Migratory Labor, date back to at least 1917 and have been constantly used by agricultural and industrial employers who desire a cheap labor market(10). Such arguments fail, conveniently enough, to refer to the "stoop" labor of say the carpenter and roofer who, because of the wages and conditions offered by the construction industry, do not hesitate to do such labor.
The argument that a labor "shortage" is furthered by the "stoop" work involved in agriculture has a corollary in the notion that farm work is itself "unskilled" and, for this reason, is unattractive to many breadwinners in the U.S. That such labor is "unskilled" is belied by the facts of the industry. It is true, of course, that many farm laborers do little else than pick up vegetables which are lying on the ground. It is also true, however, that many farm workers operate expensive machinery which demand considerable skill. Many more, moreover, perform such tasks as pruning of trees, an operation which unless performed by skilled workers can mean the loss of years of growth. While many other examples of the variety of skills needed by the farm laborer might be cited, the degree of skill in the industry at large may be imputed from the fact that agriculture has the third highest accident rate of any industry in the U.S.(11). For the nation as a whole, mining and construction lead but agriculture is ahead of transportation, service, public utilities, manufacturing and trade(12).
One of the most often quoted arguments used in favor of P.L. 78 is that it greatly benefits the braceros themselves, as well as the whole Mexican economy. Let us examine this. It may be true that, in the short run, braceros are able to find higher wages and steadier employment than in Mexico. However, the contracts are often for a six week period only. The average stay of a bracero is only 3.1 months(13). The $14-$15 he sends home weekly is not enough for him to invest in land, livestock, seed or equipment after he pays his most immediate family expenses. Moreover, while the prospective bracero is waiting in Mexico hoping to secure such a contract, he is obliged to refuse any local employment. The disruption thereby caused the Mexican economy and labor market is hard to estimate but undeniably real. It is a matter of fact that the bracero is, more often than not, unemployed and unproductive during his wait in Mexico for a new contract. There is usually a legion of waiting braceros in Mexico during all but the peak seasons in the U.S.(14). As a consequence, the bracero program creates local relief and sociological problems within Mexico that are getting worse each year. This is true even without mentioning the serious effects the program has on family life and other social institutions. Finally, it should be noted that the program allows the deep-seated economic problems of Mixico to remain insoluble. It allows Mexico's leaders to postpone even the barest beginnings on the difficult thinking and planning which ultimate economic solutions will surely require.
In conclusion, probably nothing better can be said that to quote from the U.S. Senate subcommittee's report on the migrant farm laborer(15):
"Apart from all of the above is the moral question. The foreign migrant is indentured to a particular farmer of farm association for the duration of his contract. One grower, speaking of the Mexican labor program, said that we used to own slaves, now we rent them from the Government. If, indeed, the few large farms which employ most of the migrant farm labor are unable to produce our fruits and vegetables at wages and under working conditions sufficiently attractive to recruit domestic labor, it seems preferable for the Government to subsidize them directly rather than by recruiting foreign labor at "coolie" wages."
This issue of the bracero program is inseperable from other much needed reforms in the field of farm labor. In addition to working for the abolition of P.L. 78, the author would suggest that student groups interested in this problem should work for the following things:
- State and federal legislation to cover farm workers with minimum wage and maximum hours, workmen's compensation, effective social security and unemployment insurance.
- Legislation recognizing the collective bargaining rights of the farm laborer.
- Increased afforts toward fair and complete enforcement of existing legislation designed to protect the farm laborer.
- Elimination of local residence requirements for public assistance, so that farm laborers may qualify more easily than they can now.
- Institution of State and inter-state annual worker plans, either through public agencies or with some public aid, to more effeciently utilize the domestic farm labor force. This might possibly supplement the hiring hall method of recruiting currently being used in other industries.
Selected Bibliography - appended to the whole body of working papers on farm labor.
1. Agricultural Workers' Organizing Committee (AWOC), AFL-CIO, Human Resources and California Agriculture, 1959, Stockton, p.13.
2. U.S. Senate, Migrant Farm Worker, p.10.
3. Op. cit.
4. Op cit., p.14.
5. Op:cit., P.10.
< 6. Public Law 78, 82nd Congress, as amended and other docs. in U.S. Department of Labor, Information Concerning Entry of Mexican Agricultural Workers in the United States, 1959, Washington, D.C.
7. See E. Galarza, Strangers in Our Fields, 2nd ed. 1956 (pub. by Joint United States-Mexico Trade Union Committee).
8. AWOC, Op.cit., p.14.
10. US Senate, Op.cit, p.12.
11. Ibid. p.61.
13. AWOC, pg. 15.
14 Ibid., p.16.
15. U.S. Senate, Op.cit., p.13.E
The Farm Worker and the Problem of Residency
The social and economic condition of the farm worker, both migratory and non-migratory, are briefly reported upon elsewhere in these working papers. So, also, another paper discusses the position of such workers with respect to such social legislation as workman's compensati/on, disability insurance, social security and so forth. The present paper is devoted to a brief consideration of the farm workers' position as regards their opprotunity to vote and to receive public assisstance.
The question of the farm workers' opportunity to vote is of considerable importance in that the possession and exercise of the vote has historically been a relatively effective weapon in the fight to make local, state and national candidates for public office take cognizance of the problems and the desires of a given group or strata in our society. Until the vote is really made available to the farm worker there is little reason to think that they as a group will be able to secure for themselves the benefits available to others through the social and economic legislation now on the books. The second problem of the farm worker which is here discussed, that of his lack of opprotunity to meet the requirements needed to qualify for public assistance, is occasioned by same sort of laws as preclude to him the exercise of the franchise. In both instances, the problem faced by thefarm worker is occasioned by the stringent residency laws which nearly every state has on its books.
As regards the right to vote, the most basic ground upon which that right rests is the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. That clause reads, in part, that no state shall "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." In another place, the same amendment states that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." While the citizen is thus guaranteed the equal protection of the laws, the underlined portions of the last quoted portion of the amendment raises the problem as to what state a given person is actually a citizen of. Since the states are given the right to determine legal residency, a person who is a citizen and, in one sense, entitled to the equal protection of the laws, may be denied such protection as a result of his failure to establish residency. As a result of his constantly moving about, the migrant farm worker is, in most instances, effectively disenfranchised. Put somewhat differently, in reference to certain types of rights, the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment presupposes that residency has been established. The migrant worker, being in no position to establish such residency, is frequently deprived of benefits to which he would otherwise be entitled. Of such benefits, those that are most often lost to him are those of the vote and of public health and welfare assistance in time of need.
The requirements for voting, excluding that of age and the use of such things as the poll tax, literacy tests and certain special requirements such as knowledge about the Constitution, are three in number. They are residency, registration and appearance at the polls on voting day or compliance with the regulations governing absentee voting:
The cumulative effect of these requirements effectively disenfranchises the vast majority of migrant farm workers.
- Residency - All states require at least six months residence in the state in order to qualify for the vote. Thirty-one states require one year's residency. Two year's residency is required in three states, Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina. South Dakato, a state mentioned
― 39 ―in another working paper because of its rather singular laws concerning the unionization of farm workers, has the dubious honor of requiring five years residency in the U.S. and one year within its own borders. While such laws as these seriously effect the interstate migrant's access to the ballot, both the inter-state and the intra-state migrant are seriously affected by the requirements made by all states as regards residency within the town, county or precinct wherein the vote is cast.
- Registration - All states require the prospective voter to register. Most states do not have a system of permanent registration which is designed to make the meeting of such requirements easier. Moreover, only twenty states have made provision for registration by mail. This means that the migrant, in the unlikely circumstance that he can estab;ish residency, is, in most instances, obliged to be physically present in his district on registration day. Since such days ordinarily fall within the growing and harvesting season, the migrant (inter- or intra-state) is rarely in the area.
- Voting - The few migrants who might fulfill the requirements as regards residency and registration must, in most states, be physically present in his district on voting day. As of 1950, six states prohibit absentee voting altogether and five more permit it only in the primaries. Only nineteen states allow both registration and voting to be done by mail. Since such voting days also fall within the season of most farm labor demand, the same difficulty as was mentioned above as regards the migrant's physical presence for the purpose of registering also occurs here.
II. Public Assistance
As a section of the labor force of the U.S., the farm worker, inter-state or intra-state, has thus far been denied nearly every material benefit secured by the rest of that labor force. This, I think, has been adaquately, if briefly, established by other working papers. One aspect of that denial of benefits which is not covered elsewhere is that of his access to public assistance in time of need. This denial, as was mentioned earlier, is occasioned by the residency requirements which, in almost all states, must be fulfilled before such assistance becomes available. The problem of the farm worker in this respect is compounded by the fact that the agricultural industry offers notoriously bad wages and is subject to recurrent and seasonal unemployment. The wage structure of the industry, as well as its fluctuating labor demands, are such that the worker is in no position whatever to save the cash which, in lieu of public assistance, might tide him over periods of family sickness, accident or loss of a breadwinner due to death. As was pointed out in another working paper, the nature of the industry and the living conditions of its labor force are such as to make accident, sickness and death a constant threat and reality. The worker is, of course, in no position to cope with such contingensies. Because of the residency requirements governing the disbursal of public assistance, the plight of the farm worker and his family becomes truly desperate under such circumstances.
- Residency requirements - Generally such requirements run from one year immediately prior to application to five out of the preceeding nine years. In all states residency factors virtually determine the assistance given the aged, the disabled and dependent children. Except in New York, and certain isolated instances in the laws of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, public assistance in the states
― 40 ―is characteristically bound by a residency requirement of one year. The exceptions to such requirements as are provided for by New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are of some interest. The first of these states has (in the opinion of its Attorney-General) no residency requirements for public assistance. The latter two states have "reciprocity" features in their provisions governing the disbursal of certain kinds of public assistance. Such reciprocity features allow for the waiver of residency requirements for certain types of assistance when the applicant in question is from a state which has agreed in turn to waive such requirements for persons who, having previously established residency in Pennsylvania, have migrated into them. Such reciprocity agreements are, of course, a step in the right direction. Even when adopted, however, they do not solve the difficulty faced by the migrant farm worker when, as is the case in most instances, he has never established legal residency in any state.
- Residency requirements and "emergency relief" - Not only do such state residency laws as above discussed preclude the receipt of public assistance to most migrant farm workers, but such laws also preclude in most states his eligibility for "emergency relief" assistance. Only nineteen states have provision for "emergency relief" without stipulation as to residency. New York is the only state which has no such stipulations for either public assistance or emergency relief. Indeed, even in those states which do have provision for emergency relief, such relief is administered by and granted at the discretion of local officials - county, village or township. Frequently, one suspects, such officials do not display any great concern for the plight of those who might apply for such relief.
In regard to the residency laws governing voting, reasonable requirements which will prevent election fraud are, of course, both necessary and legitimate. When, however, such regulations have the consequence of effectively disenfranchising the overwhelming majority of migrant farm workers they are an abuse which should not be tolerated in a democratic society. That such abuses need not be tolerated is made evident enough by the provisions now on the books whereby personnel of the armed forces are insured the vote. It seems clear that some such provision could be made for the migrant farm worker, some provision for the "stateless" person must and should be made. Despite the frequently advanced argument to the contrary, there is little evidence that a state with no residency requirements for such assistance or for emergency relief will experience an influx from other states of persons who are in need of such aid. On the contrary, what evidence there is on this question goes a long way to prove that such is not the case.(1)
In terms of policy positions on these questions, student groups might take for consideration the recommendations which have been made by ACLU.
- The most effective and desirable method for meeting the assistance problem would be to encourage all states to follow the example of New York and eliminate all residence requirements for public assistance altogether.
- As a less desirable alternative approach - as regards state action - a system encouraging reciprocity by compact among the states would be an alternative method of providing public assistance payments for those most in need. To be truly effective such an alternative would require the participation of all states and the residence requirements would have to be drastically reduced.
- For Federal social legislation which is already on the books, there should be the requirement that no residency stipulations be permitted by the states or a demand for compulsory reciprocal agreements which would bring the "stateless" person under such legislation.
To such recommendations as these should be added the alternative to reciprocity agreements which was suggested by the 1958 Governors' Conference. This body urged that the Federal Government assume the costs of public assistance to the "stateless".
As us the case with all of the problems faced by the farm worker, the first step in ending the difficulties imposed on them by residency laws is to bring such difficulties to the attention of the public. Effective educational work by student groups on the two problems discussed in this paper cannot, of course, be realized outside of the context of the other problems faced by the farm worker. If student groups launched general educational campaigns, campaigns which included the problems here discussed as simply one aspect of problems faced by such workers, they could perform a valuable role in making the problems of farm labor state and national issues. Such campaigns, conducted on the campus and within the community at large, could be carried on through a sub-committee of already existing student political parties or by single-issue type organizations. Recruitment to such groups could be made among the "activist" elements of the student movement (to adopt a current, if somewhat inappropriate, terminology) especially in those instances where work trips to the fields are possible. Such trips, it may be mentioned in passing, served as the basis for the testimony read into the records by the Students for Agricultural Labor (Berkeley) at several public hearings conducted by state legislative committees investigating the conditions of farm labor in the State of California. Such hearings are frequesntly held in other states and the student has an excellent opportunity during the course of them to speak of his experience in the fields. At the same time, such groups can appeal to the "research" oriented student who may in many instances be interested in turning his attention to this area. A group involving both types of action would have a solid foundation upon which to base its educational campaign.
This paper is not the place, perhaps, to become yet more specific as to how students who are interested in the problems of farm labor might proceed. The suggestions which have thus far been made are, I think, feasible at most campuses in the country. As regards students at campuses in California, one rather more concrete suggestion may be made. At the present time there is good reason to think that the Community Service Organization will conduct an initiative campaign in the state for a minimum wage and a "little Wagnor Act" for farm labor. Should such a campaign be launched, it could provide the immediate and concrete political objectives around which student groups in California could focus their educational activities. Then, too, depending upon the success of such a campaign, community and student groups elsewhere in the nation might consider such a campaign in the effort to help the farm worker in his fight to end his disinheritance.
-The author is a graduate student in Political Science at Berkeley.
(1) Myers, Robin, The Position of Farm Workers in Federal and State Legislation, New York, National Advisory Committee on Farm Labor, 1960, pp. 10-11. Section IV of this pamphlet should be consulted. The pamphlet is, by the way, excellent. It may be secured by writing the publisher, 112 East 19th Street, New York City 3, N.Y. It should be noted that this working paper is heavily indebted to a paper prepared for the National Advisory Committee on Farm Labor by Rowland Watts, Staff Counsel for the ACLU.
Working Paper on Migratory Labor
There are few among us who are not aware of the overall problems facing the migratory farm workers. From time to time we are made more immediately and dramatically aware of conditions under which they exist when we read of a child who has died from malnutrition, or of a tragic accident which has taken the lives of 20 migrants. However, this casual knowledge is not enough and since approximately one half million workers and their families (estimated to be about 25% of the total agricultural labor force) are considered as migratory, everyone of us needs to have more than a cursory grasp of the conditions and issues involved if constructive progress is to be made towards the alleviation of this chronically depressed situation.
It is not that the migrants are totally helpless in aiding themselves; rather the underlying causes of migrancy are such that help must come initially from the outside. There is practically unanimous agreement that the migrants are pushed rather than pulled (freely choose) into the well established migratory streams. Many originally come from the South where they were formerly tenants or sharecroppers, but mechanization of cotton farming forced them to move elsewhere to earn a living. Others owned their farms but have been forced to sell them. In brief the migrants are where they are because of unsolved social and economic problems. Foremost among these is the oppressive discrimination against minority groups.
Results of a fairly recent survey showed that the migratory harvest labor force in Arizona was composed of 33% Anglo-white, 23% Negro 40% Mexican and 4% Indian. The Negroes interviewed, while expressing a strong desire for city work, had been unable to find non-farm employemnt. Discrimination doubtlessly contributed to their lack of success. Thus many migrants who want to leave are prevented from doing so, but there are others who enjoy farm labor. There is no reason why these people should be penalized for their choice, for as Paul Taylor has said, "no person who by choice or force of circumstance moves from place to place in order to gain a livelihood should lose his human rights as a consequence of migration."
But they do lose these rights and the price is a heavy one. Although agricultural labor faces problems on a great many fronts migrants suffer most in the following four areas of their every day life:
(1) Education. Studies have shown that the typical migrant child is retarded from one to five years in his school work. This is because travel interrupts their schooling, socially they are not welcome, and legally many of the state school laws carefully exclude them or else discriminatory residence requirements often prevent their attendence. Yet teachers who have worked with these children report that basically they are just as bright and eager to learn as any other youngster. It is interesting to note that state laws prohibiting child labor employment in agriculture during school hours exist in only 13 states, California being one of these. Some states and communities, through special programs--summer schools, adding extra teachers, special facilities, etc. have begun the slow movement forward on this front.
(2) Health. Filth, squalor, and poor sanitary conditions provide the breeding grounds for all imaginable diseases. Magnifying these problems is the restrictive residence requirements which prevent the migrant from obtaining the public health benefits provided by communities for their inhabitants. Concern for health problems of migratory farm labor is notably absent unless they threaten to cause an epidemic. Wages are so low that the diet of the children and their parents is inevitably substandard, causing malnutrition and sustained low resistance to disease. Moreover, the location of their practices and community facilities prevent them from obtaining assistance when emergencies arise; more specifically, in California, 3 years residence are required for medical and general hospital care. And a migrant who happens to get tuberculosis must have been here a year before he can obtain assistance. A migrant, by definition, rarely remains in a state for one year.
In another paper about the migrants, problems and conditions related to housing, transportation and crew leaders will be presented.
What can students do to help the migrant?
As individuals we must become better informed. The sources contained in the bibliography are a good start. Either as individuals or in a group, an extremely fruitful learning experience can be achieved by visiting a migrant camp. Letters to newspapers, magazines and to legislators are needed at the state and national level as they serve to publicize the migrant's problem and to indicate that there is awareness of and concern for a solution to their situation. Student groups will want to call upon outside resources in an effort to increase individual and community awareness. For example, it should be possible to present the CBS film, "Harvest of Shame". In addition, speakers with expert knowledge of the above problems can be solicited from nearby colleges and from organizations which work directly with the migrants. Student groups can and should prepare testimony, and testify before state legislative committees concerned with the issues which acutely effect the migrant. Student groups might also want to investigate the possibilities of carrying out cooperative action programs with groups already working with migrants; organizations such as the American Friends Service Committee, the Community Service Organization, or the Migrant ministry of the State Council of Churches.
On a more academic level, there are many important questions to which individual or collective research can provide answers. What is the racial composition of the migrant labor force? "Why is a migrant"? Where do they come from? Do they want to remain migrants? Migrants are drunks! Are they? How much do they earn annually? Do migrants prefer rural or urban work? These are just a few questions often asked, but difficult to answer. Even a fairly small sample survey or attitudinal study would be a valuable contribution. We need to know more about the accuracy and adequacy of information provided by Farm Placement Offices. For example, how accurate are their statistics on "prevailing wage rates"? More ambitious projects would include such things as settting up a summer child care center, an arts and crafts program (workshop), an educational program (evenings if necessary) in a migrant camp. A moment's reflection should evoke many more possibilities for action.
And Migrant Problems Demand Attention, State of Oregon, Bureau of Labor, Salem, $1.50
“The Arizona Seasonal Farm Worker: Some Theoretical and Practical Problems” , Arizona Review of Business and Public Administration, X, (April, 1961), Write to University of Arizona, Tucson.
The Background and Problems of Temporary Farm Employment in California, Varden Fuller, write to University of California, Giannini Foundation, Berkeley, California.
Hope for Migrants, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Standards, Wash., D.C.
The Community Meets the Migrant Worker, same as above.
Maryland's Migratory Workers, same.
Migrant Labor...a human problem, Report and Recommendations, same
Migratory Labor, Hearings before the Subcommittee on Migratory Labor, Comm. on Labor and Public Welfare, US. Senate, 86 Congress, (1960).
Migratory Labor Notes, The President's Committee on Migratory Labor, Wash.
The Position of Farm Workers in Federal and State Legislation, Robin Myers, Pub. by National Advisory Committee on Farm Labor, 112 E. 19th St., N.Y. 3, N.Y.
Migrant Agricultural Labor, a bibliography; write Charles L. Smith, 508 - 45th St.. Richmond, California (free).
Also write the National Advisory Committee on Farm Labor (address above) for their list of publications.
* The author is a graduate student in agricultural economics.
Section III: Civil Rights
The Freedom Riders
by Sue Witkovsky
On May 14, 1961, two groups of freedom riders under CORE sponsorship left Washington, D.C. One group traveled on a Greyhound bus, the other on Trailways. The groups intended to travel through the South for the purpose of determining to what extent discrimination existed on the buses and in the waiting rooms. The Greyhound bus got as far as Anniston, Alabama; there the tires were slashed. The bus started again, followed by a mob, but was forced to stop six miles later because of the condition of the tires. The windows were broken and a bomb was thrown into the bus. As the riders left the bus they were severely beaten-- the bus was completely destroyed.
The second group of riders reached Birmingham, Alabama before they were attacked. As they entered the waiting room they were beaten by a crowd of racists. The police arrived fifteen minutes after the mob had done its work. The victims were taken to a hospital.
Because of this response to the freedom riders, what was to be a single-shot project turned into the important civil rights activity that it is. In protest to the brutality, another group of people started on the freedom ride. They did not meet violence. They were arrested as soon as they sat (integrated) in the waiting room. From then on, CORE planned to send busloads of people on the freedom ride, concentrating the effort in Jackson, Mississippi. The reasoning was (and is) to fill the jail to capacity with people who openly and peacefully oppose racial discrimination. As more people participated and pressure increased, Jackson would be forced to stop the arrests, and/or the government would step in.
As summer vacation approached and the jail was becoming more filled, the sentence was lengthened from two to four months (the $200 fine, if not paid, is an extra 67 days, making the total term six months). The length of the term would make it impossible for students to participate in the rides and return to school in the fall, unless a bond were posted. The bond of $500 is paid if a participant wants to be released, but because of the obvious financial strain, CORE asks that people plan to spend the entire term in jail before becoming a rider. Despite the hardships involved, people have continued to participate-- to date there are more than 200 people in jail.
The Freedom Riders need two things: people and money. If the riders are released because of court decisions and/or riders are no longer being arrested, then only money is needed. The cost of a single rider is about $1,000.00. Ticket money to New Orleans (where riders are trained in non-violent resistance) and then on to Jackson is only one of the expenses. When the sentence is served, the riders return home, but must go back to Jackson when the case comes up on appeal. In other words two trips are required. There is the cost of housing and food, and, of course, money for legal defense.
Many things can be done to raise money. Parties can be held, organizations can be asked to donate money. Several projects on a larger scale can be undertaken: local merchants can be asked to participate in a fund drive; night clubs can be asked to put on a benefit program; activities such as square dances, bake sales, street dances, bazaars, folk song festivals-- in other words, anything that attracts people-- can be planned.
A possibility for a statewide project could be the following: students from different campuses can set aside a week in September-- Freedom Rider Week, Civil Rights Week, etc.-- when a series of activities would be planned. Churches and other organizations can be asked to advertise and speak to members at their meetings. A forum or movie on campus could be planned. There could be wide distribution of literature-- especially in the community. At the end of the week (Saturday) a door-to-door collection campaign.
Civil Rights--Employment Discrimination
by Tony Salatto
Employment discrimination is perhaps the most serious problem facing the advancing Negro in the North and West. While in California most facilities are legally open to everyone, the Negro is seldom in the economic class such that he can truly integrate these facilities.
The question arises almost immediately as to the nature of the roadblock of economic status. Does it consist of: the fact that the education available to the Negro is inferior and from this very basic point disqualifies him from employment opportunities; the archaic notions of large industrialists, or on the other hand, those of small businessmen? Are the unions responsible either directly for the situation or at least for allowing the situation to continue? Are the employers completely innocent and does the responsibility rest with the bulk of the community who will frown upon a Negro in an equal position?
Undoubtedly the question of education is of first importance. The difficulties faced by Negroes in school are enormous. Whether the school is segregated or integrated the Negro faces innumerable difficulties. The improvement of educational standards is by no means the whole answer. We can clearly see many highly qualified members of minority groups who cannot obtain employment suitable to their training.
Berkeley CORE has taken an employment survey of the merchants along Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley. With this survey as an illustration, perhaps some of the problems can be clarified. The survey was conducted in a simple manner. A CORE member entered the store and asked for the manager or owner. The store official was told quite clearly that CORE was conducting the survey and he would be requested to answer a few questions. Most of the managers were cooperative.
The results of this survey were startling. Startling not because of the discrimination that was found to exist, but because of the openness of the managers in admitting that the situation of discrimination did exist. The feeling was strong among the managers that Negroes on the sales force would be detrimental to the store's business.
Here is a summary of two surveys: a large department store owner maintains that he will hire anyone regardless of race or creed. According to the owner, no qualified Negro ever applied for a job on the sales force when there was an opening. There are about 300 people employed in the store. He has Negroes in the warehouse. He believes Orientals are better suited to detailed office work and hires them for such, but has none on the sales force. Places large amount of stress on qualifications. Believes that Negroes should be segregated in the schools now to allow the whites to advance-- made some slur about foreigners coming out of the jungle. Claims that he has a long waiting-list for jobs.
Manager of another store said that discrimination does exist in hiring. This owner is a leader in the business community. He manages a large furniture store-- has no Negro employees. Would be happy to employ Negroes in the warehouse. He would not hire a qualified Negro for the sales force. He gives two reasons: interpersonnel relations and possible alienation of the clientele (small percentage are Negroes).
The method of attacking the problem in retail establishments is relatively clear. The methods available consist of negotiation, private pressure, FEPC, public pressure-- boycotts and picketing-- and an informational campaign.
The problem in industrial establishments is more complex. The presence of two forces, viz. the employer and the union, complicates the issue enormously. The unions in the building trades are particularly bad. Hiring in general will either be in the hands of the union or management, while advancement is generally the prerogative of management, under rules established by bargaining. Discrimination is most severe in regards to sales positions, because in such, Negroes would be in position to represent the company to the public.
The San Francisco Council for Civic Unity conducted an employment survey a few years ago of representative groups of firms in the Bay Area. A few short questions established beyond a doubt that these firms did discriminate. Statistics are available to back this up. An excellent case in point is that of the large oil companies. Although situated in a heavily Negro community, Negroes are not admitted to their apprentice program. Of about 300 technical assistants (junior college level) only two are Negroes. About 700 professional
Of importance to remember in considering employment discrimination is that the law forbids it in California. The legal machinery for the enforcement of the law is readily available and easy to use. The FEPC will investigate complaints, it can subpoena company records, it can order the company to hire or promote, it can level fines. The main drawback of the FEPC is that it has not publicized its existence widely enough in the lower class Negro communities. Most of the Negroes who need the FEPC's help do not know how to utilize its services.
Civil Rights--Discrimination in Housing
One of the basic liberties of citizens is the freedom to move and to choose a place of residence. This freedom is basic because it is essential to the enjoyment of many other rights and privileges: better living conditions, use of community facilities, playground, center, shopping, schools. Yet one out of every six Americans, or about 30 million, are restricted in their choice of housing because of race or ethnic descent. Even those minority group members who are more privileged economically or educationally are, in general, forced to seek sub-standard, inadequate, older housing.
The main wielders of this tool of segregation are the property owners, the builders, the lenders, and the landlords. They base their discriminatory practices on fear, ignorance, misinformation and bigotry. It is asserted that members of minority groups prefer to live together and voluntarily do so. They claim that when minority groups move into a neighborhood, they spread disease, crime, fire, etc.! They reduce property values. Finally, the racial-sexual taboo of intermarriage is raised; it produces inferior people, etc.
All these points, of course, can be argued and refuted. However, action must be taken too. In the community, there are many things that can be done, both on the individual level and through organizations. If an individual lives in a dwelling that is not rented by minority groups, the individual can inquire whether it is by chance that this is so, or whether it is policy. If a policy of discrimination is found, the individual can report it to the NAACP, to CORE or to a housing bureau if the area has one. Letters can be written to councilmen, state legislators and congressmen. Places for rent can be tested. At Berkeley, the campus NAACP undertook the following project. Two students, one Caucasian, one Negro, went together to available apartments and said they wanted to rent. The response was recorded. If the response was negative, it was followed up by a second visit by Caucasian students. Discriminatory practices were reported to the housing bureau. Local real estate firms and housing bureaus can ask people to sign a non-discrimination statement before listing apartments or homes for rent.
The author is an undergraduate at Berkeley.
Housing Discrimination and Testing
Discrimination in housing is as serious a problem in the North as in the South. In many Northern states and cities, the problem is present. It usually goes unnoticed by whites and sometimes by non-whites. The non-white is frequently told that an apartment has already been rented. Even if the person (s) who is discriminated against is suspicious, there is often no way of checking to find out if discriminatory practice has, in fact, occured.
Concrete action, in the form of housing testing, can be taken by organized groups or by individuals who are involved in the situation. Careful steps must be taken to insure that the information accumulated in test action is accurate and that there are no loop-holes for the landlord to take. The most common testing technique is to have two teams of two persons each, one team composed of non-whites, the other of whites. It is important that applicants for an apartment who are in the test group can be differentiated only on the basis of race. (For example, if the non-whites were also students and the whites were not students, the landlord could later say he didn't rent to students,) An advertisement for housing should be checked carefully so that the applicants conform to all the listed criteria. (For example, an ad might require that applicants be graduate students, or over 21, or willing to sign a year lease--if discrimination is what is to be tested, the members of the testing team must be able to fulfill the criteria.) The first team to apply for a rental should be the non-white. If it is told the apartment is taken, the white team should check this by itself applying within the same hour. If the result reveals discrimination, it should be written down by the members of the team with full information as to date, place, time, landlord, etc., etc. Various organizations, such as NAACP and CORE may also be consulted. They can assist in following up the testing with pressure.
* The author of this working paper is an undergraduate at Oswego State, New York.
Housing Discrimination--a brief story of how a couple of students handled it.
This story is true, and happened in Berkeley, California. Two students living in an apartment house had a Negro friend who was looking for a place. The two knew there was a vacancy in their apartment, and told the Negro. He applied and was denied the apartment. The two approached the landlord to ask him why the denial. He told them that if he rented to a Negro, the other tenants would complain and some would move out. The two asked him if he would rent to their Negro friend if the tenants would not move out. Pushed by this question, he reluctantly said, "yes". The two tenants visited each tenant in the apartment and asked him to sign a petition to the landlord requesting him to rent on a first come, first serve basis, and use no discriminatory practices in retning his apartments. All the tenants signed the petition; many said that if it didn't work, they would visit the landlord and ask him to change his policy. The petition vorked, and the apartment was rented to the Negro friend. The two students who started the petition were planning to try to start a rent strike if the landlord refused to rent to the Negro. They had not talked to their neighbors, however, so it is impossible to report how much support this plan would have had.
A proposal for student governments: student governments should undertake to test housing discrimination. A student government committee, following testing procedures outlined above, should compile a full report on discrimination in the campus area. The committee should visit discriminating landlords and ask them to change their policy. Non-discriminating landlords should be given a "fair housing" seal or sticker. Discriminating landlords who refuse to change their policy should be reported to the local NAACP and other relevent community groups. University housing offices should be urged by the student government not to list discriminatory housing. Housing office forms for application should make such a policy clear. The student government should urge the university administration to act to end discrimination around the campus and in campus towns.
*The author is Mike Miller, grad in sociology, Berkeley
College Discrimination and the Quota System
The existence of racial or religious discrimination in a major university or college has not been openly admitted by school officials for nearly 30 years. Be ause no one mentions such discrimination one should not conclude that it does not exist. On the contrary discrimination in institutions of higher learning is at an all time high. This discrimination does not manifest itself in an outright refusal to accept a prospective student, but rather in the "polite" note saying that housing is not available or that the application was incomplete or some other equally senseless objection. Such refusal ussually follow the review of an application for admission which includes one or more of the following:
- A photo of the applicant - used to determine race.
- Statement regarding racial ancestry.
- Statement regarding the religion of the applicant.
Housing Discrimination in Campus Communities
- Charles Barrard
In the residential areas surrounding the colleges of Los Angeles, minorities inevitably encounter the "color line" when looking for housing Frequently the Negro Mexican American or Oriental finds it necessary to room either with a Caucasian or not find suitable housing at all. Also rent is frequently raised as a deterrent or as a "compensation" for the owner. Sometimes the manager will admit that such discrimination is practiced but will argue that the owner, not he, is responsible. Thus removing the feeling of guilt they continue to see that the policy is abided by. There are several approaches toward the alleviation of this problem. A list of housing which is known to have no such policy should be compiled. To discover discrimination in housing, interracial testing teams may be formed. Places that are found by this means to discriminate will not have there names placed on the list of housing. In cities where there are laws against such discrimination, such teams may also gather evidence leading to indictment. The local NAACP and CORE should be consulted. To such efforts, the support of the student body should be rallied.
The three weeks from April 6th to April 26th saw a bloodless revolution take place in Champaign-Urbana, home of the University of Illinois. It was a relatively quiet revolution amongst the 40,000 inhabitants. In fact, except for a few lines, it wasn't even reported in the local press. But it was a real revolution. The events of those three weeks undoubtedly represent the turning point in race relations in Champaign. More was done in those three weeks to improve human relations than had been done in the last ten years.
The spark-plug of the revolution was the Reverend Joseph Graves, pastor of the Mt. Olive Baptist Church. About two or three months before he had become sufficiently fed-up with the racial discrimination in Champaign to want to do something about it.
The situation in employment at that time was roughly as follows: as a matter of conscious, deliberate policy, the businessmen of Champaign (and Urbana) had for years refused to hire Negroes for anything other than menial jobs--janitors, porters, elevator operators, stock girls, etc. There were two or three deviants, maverick businessmen who did employ Negro salespeople. But the overwhelming majority went along with the established pattern.
Long before 1950, groups of concerned citizens had approached businessmen in the Champaign area and urged them to employ on merit. There were numerous organizations and committees. There was the Friends' committee. There was the Student-Community Human Relations Council. There was the NAACP. There was the Council for Community Intergration. There was the Champaign Human Relations Commission--an official group established by the city of Champaign. All of these groups had one thing in common. They all worked on the basis of non-coercive persuasion. (The local chapter of the NAACP didn't insist upon this approach, but it was, in fact, impotent. It could never get a large enough membership to exert pressure.)
So, for ten years these groups pleaded in the name of human decency and Christian charity with businessmen. And for ten years virtually no progress was made. Over the ten year period some three or four girls were hired as checkers in supermarkets. Two or three girls were hired as salesgirls.
So, the Reverend Graves wanted to do something about the situation. Not just talk about it. Not just send delegations to talk with businessmen. Not just have letter-writing campaigns, not just get advertisements signed by a thousand people in the local papers (which was done in 1956) advocating merit employment. But do something. Namely picket and boycott.
The Reverend Graves discussed the idea of picketing with the CCI. They thought it a good idea. And he discussed it with the north end ministerial association (Negro ministers). And they thought it was a good idea. But nobody wished actually to picket in the concrete. They were all for it merely in the abstract. So nothing came of it.
Then the news came that the J.C. Penney Company was going to open a large branch in Champaign. Penney's advertised for help. The ads said, `no experience necessary'. The north end ministers sent what they thought were qualified people to apply for jobs. Altogether, somewhere between fifteen and twenty Negroes applied for jobs, one a personable young lady with ten years sales experience and high recommendations from her former employer. Rumblings said that, as usual, no Negroes would be hired beyond janitorial and stock work.
On Palm Sunday, the Reverend Graves announced to his congregation that there would be a meeting the next day to decide what to do about Penney's. He contacted the other North End ministers.
On Monday, March 27th, the first meeting was held at Mt. Olive Baptist Church. About 40-50 people attended. They elected Graves chairman and elected an executive committee. They decided to picket Penney's if Penney's didn't hire a Negro before the opehing on April 6th.
Rev. Graves and two white people--Miss Lee Evans and Bill Chalmers--talked to Mr. Myers, the manager of Penney's. He said that he had completed his hiring. He had hired two Negro men for janitorial work and one Negro stock girl. But no salesgirls. He said there were no qualified Negro applicants. He said he wanted only experienced help. The Rev. Graves asked him why he had not said this in his ad. He said he wanted to get a "cross-section. Graves said, "but you were only going to hire experienced help." Graves thought the man was lying. In fact, he was lying, because, (a) at least one of the Negro applicants had had previous sales experience, and (b) some of the white girls he hired did not have previous experience.
The Reverend Eugene Williams, pastor of Salem Baptist Church, representing the Champaign Human Relations Commission, also paid a visit to the manager of Penney's. He got the same impression.
On the Saturday before Easter Sunday (i.e., on April 1), there was a second meeting at Mt. Olive Baptist Church. About 80-100 people attended. They decided in a concrete way to picket. They appointed committees to make signs, to arrange transportation, to round up potential pickets, etc.
Shortly after this, they talked to Myers again. Still no change.
On Wednesday evening (April 5th), a training session was held at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. At this session, some Negro members of the campus NAACP chapter attended. They had picketed various places in Chicago. It was pointed out how easy the picketing of Walgreen's had been last year. How there had been no violence, not even any threat of violence. This built up the morale of the group. They decided definitely to picket the next day.
Meanwhile, the downtown business community was all stirred up. There was a meeting Wednesday night (April 5) of the Chamber of Commerce and managers of leading department stores. They wanted to have a meeting with the Negro leaders, but the meeting never got arranged. (There was a problem of contacting all the parties and arranging an appropriate time. I think this indicates that the businessmen didn't take the picketing threat seriously. They either thought that it would never come off at all, or that it would last only for a few hours.)
On Thursday, April 6, at 8:30 a.m., a last minute conference was held with the manager and the district manager of Penney's, who was there for the ribbon-cutting. Nothing came of it. At 9:25 a.m., the Mayor cut the ribbon, the store was opened and the picketing began.
The pickets the first day were all Negro. This was planned, so that no one would be able to say it was a bunch of "outsiders" from the University. About one fourth of the pickets were U of I students, supplied by the campus NAACP. The rest were townspeople.
Another meeting was held Thursday night (again at Bethel AME Church) to decide whether or not to go on. They decided to continue with the picketing indefinitely They integrated the line on Friday. The first white person was an English literature major graduate student named Nadine Wallace. Soon came two student government officers and the old and new presidents of the University YMCA.
The mayor of Champaign, Emmerson Dexter, entered the picture on Friday and again on the following Monday. He tried to get the Negro representatives to pull the pickets off the line. He made vague promises of talking with businessmen. Nothing came of the meetings with the mayor, and the mayor dropped out of the picture.
Later that week, probably on Thursday, a summit conference was held between the Negro representatives and five or six leading businessmen and the secretary of the Chamber of Commerce. The businessmen engaged in a series of classical maneuvers. The reason for this uncreative, negative reaction of most of the business leaders seems to be twofold. First, many of them are genuinely prejudiced. They really believe "the Negro" to be at best a shiftless ne'er-do-well, and at worst a vicious beast. They really fear that if they were to hire Negro salesgirls, they would steal money from the cash registers, foul up the accounts, and drive away customers in droves.
For some of the businessmen, this prejudice is compounded with the feeling that discrimination is normally wrong and that this stereotyped picture is false. These men are in conflict. On the abstract level, they are for merit employment, but when it comes to hiring specific Negroes, they cannot bring themselves to do it.
In some cases, as one of the Negro leaders put it, "the actor has over-whelmed the man," and they have actually convinced themselves that they have no prejudice, that they really do want to hire Negroes, but that none of the applicants are qualified, or as one businessman put it, "none of them could speak English."
A second source for the negativism is quite unrelated to the specific question of racial integration. From time immemorial a small group of merchants has run Champaign. These men are quite sure that their unchallenged rule is best for the community and is, indeed, indispensable to the moral health of America. But now they find their leadership challenged, their judgment questioned.
They are challenged and questioned, moreover, by the two most suspected segments of the community (almost, one might say, the Untouchables), namely, the Negroes and the liberal University people. This they regard as a subversion of the proper hierarchical order. No one has a right to tell a businessman how he shall run this business.
Some of the business leaders, thus, seem in part to be fighting simply to maintain the abstract principle of sovereignty of the businessmen. No doubt, they sincerely feel that if they give in on this point, the non-business segments of the population will become emboldened and the eventual result will be socialism.
Indeed, it is one of the minor mysteries of the campaign that there has been no serious attempt to brand the movement as "Communist led." The usual few crackpots had, of course, been out there taking pictures and making idiotic remarks. But apparently the whole movement was too patently grassroots, too unmistakably a genuine Negro movement to make it worthwhile to try to seriously raise the "Communist" scarecrow.
They kept the Negroes waiting for twelve minutes. (The Negroes interpreted this as a deliberate attempt to make them nervous; they had decided to walk out if the businessmen didn't show up within the next sixty seconds.) The businessmen addressed the ministers as "boys", which irritated them. They tried to flatter some of them. They made references to contributing money to one of the Negro churches. (References to money that had been contributed and money that would be contributed.) Then one of them dropped the hint that they might fire all the Negro janitors, said that the whole thing "might blow up in your faces." Finally, one of them (In fact, the same guy who had been taking the "hard line") lost his temper and referred to them as "niggers". According to the legend that has since become very popular, one of the ministers almost slugged him on the spot and had to be restrained by other members of the group.
The point to note here is that from the very beginning the Penney problem was a community problem and was recognized as such. There are two versions: according to one, the Chamber of Commerce group was against Penney's hiring Negroes. Penney's manager was willing, but scared. According to the other, he could not do it unless the others agreed to hire also. I think the first interpretation is the correct one.
The picketing continued. On Sunday, April 15, D.P. Moore, a Chicago lawyer, who was in town to address a student convention at the U of I Law school, walked the line for an hour. This made a favorable impression on
On Friday, April 21, between 6 and 7 p.m., the six Negro ministers, in their ecclesiastical garb, walked on the picket line. There were also eight secular pickets on the line. This made an imposing line of fourteen people. The picket line had been getting stronger, anyhow. Originally, there had been two or three persons at a time, sometimes only one. But in the last week, there had been an average of five or six. And the numbers were increasing steadily. Three U of I faculty members had also joined the picket-line.
The boycott of Penney's was becoming more effective. So far as we knew, no Negroes whatsoever went into Penney's after the first two days of picketing Many white people also supported the boycott. (Incidentally, no official boycott was ever called, because of a probably unconstitutional but nevertheless existant anti-boycott law in Illinois.) We were told that Negroes constituted between 6% and 7% of the projected business of Penney's, and that they could not sustain the patronage loss for more than three months without serious consequences.
During this entire period, there was a great deal of informal discussion between various white persons and the manager of Penney's. Some white ministers tried to mediate the dispute, but the Penney's manager was very evasive, and they never even got to talk to him. In talking to another minister, who went in to talk to him, the manager said that he had been told that the Communists were behind the picketing and expressed a tentative agreement with the charge.
On Tuesday, April 25th, a meeting was held in Salem Baptist Church. Then was a huge, overflow crowd. This meeting was the high point of militancy. The Rev. Graves announced a plan for a mass picketing on Saturday. He wanted to get a hundred or so people to meet at the West Side Park at 11:30 a.m. and then march on the center of town at `high noon'. They would picket five or six stores for two hours and then withdraw from all but Penney's. It was also announced by another Negro minister that this was just a prelude to a real show of force that would take place a week or so later. The leaders also urged a boycott of all stores that refused to hire Negroes.
It should be noted at this point, that there were in all likelihood informers present at all the meetings, who would immediately run and tell the downtown businessmen what had transpired. The ministers knew this and kept referring to them as "Judases."
While the meeting was going on at Salem Baptist Church, and as widespread student backing for the effort was gaining audible steam, the manager of Penney's was already getting ready to change his position. He discussed this matter with a Negro City Councilman named Kenneth Stratton--who had, by design, kept completely out of the picketing affair.
A final peace conference was held at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday April 26th, with the manager of Penney's. He agreed to hire a Negro within ten days and to have her on the floor by a week from Saturday. The pickets were pulled off the line.
On the morning of Thursday, April 27th, the Negro leaders had a conference with the manager of the local Sears, Roebuck. He agreed to hire a man. On Thursday afternoon, they had a conference with the two largest local department store managers and with the manager of the local W. T. Grant store and the secretary of the Chamber of Commerce. Each agreed to hire a Negro.
Meanwhile, an independent action had been going on at a Goldblatt's department store located in a shopping center at the western edge of Champaign. The ministers had been told that the manager was sympathetic, or at least very nervous about the situation. They talked with him, and he promised to hire some Negroes, in due time--no specific time. The ministers contacted him a couple more times. He interviewed some girls and hired three on Friday, April 28th and they were on the floor selling on Saturday, the 29th. Subsequently Goldblatts hired four more Negroes, so that there were now seven.
All the other stores also came through, although in one case there was some duplicity on the part of an assistant manager. The owner had to intervene to make sure that the girl was hired.
On Thursday, April 27th, there was a wind-up meeting of the group. The leaders announced suspension of all picketing activities for the time-being. They formed a permanent organization called the Champaign-Urbana Improvement Association.
As far as white participation went, the more idealistic and liberal members of the white community increasingly rallied behind the North End movement. This support had come chiefly from those associated with the University, altho white ministers had also been active. A number of faculty members and faculty wives walked on the picket line and many more volunteered their services to be used when necessary.
The whole Penney incident had a profound effect upon the more idealistic whites in the area. Many of these people had a very deep sense of guilt and an acute awareness of the disastrous effect segregation is having upon America's image in the world, particularly among the non-Caucasian nations. These idealistic whites have had a deep sense of frustration at being unable to do anything about discrimination and an almost desparate hunger for some kind of meaningful, concrete action.
The Penney picketing had provided a meaningful type of action that is having as deep an effect on the white participants as it is upon the Negroes.
The Negro community found a new self-respect, new determination, and a new sense of dignity. And so a social revolution occured in Champaign-Urbana. It was a bloodless and rather quiet revolution. But, nevertheless, a revolution it was. The events of the past month mark the turning point in the history of Champaign-Urbana race relations.
What has happened? In terms of the immediate material situation, six of the leading business establishments in the Champaign area have either actually hired or are in the process of hiring Negro sales personnel.
More important than these material gains, important though they are, is the psychological or, if you will, spiritual change that has transpired. The Negro community has acquired a new sense of dignity and purpose.
Young people now have some incentive to finish high school and to prepare themselves for skilled employment. Adult leaders of very high ability have emerged. The community is united and organized.
The Negroes also know a secret--only it isn't a secret, because the white businessmen downtown know it too. The Negroes know they have the power to seriously cripple any business firm in the Champaign area that persists in practicing segregation.
This power is in a large part due to the strong support the Negroes can count on from important segments of the white population. The Negroes and the more idealistic, liberal whites together constitute a consumer bloc that no businessman can affort to alienate.
This "open secret" is the fundamental reality behind the pressing maneuvering. The campaign for equal opportunity has now entered a new phase of "good feeling," in which everyone is busy patting everyone else on the back and filling the air with praises of the virtues of the Champaign-Urbana citizenry.
There is a general inclination to soft-pedal the events of last April, to pretend that the whole thing was sort of an unfortunate mistake, based upon a breakdown of communication. There was never really the Negro leaders and the white businessmen--just some semantic difficulties, the story goes.
Both the Negro leaders and the white businessmen, however, know better. They know that there really was a disagreement, and they know how it was resolved. The Negroes know perfectly well what the weapon was that opened up new jobs to them. They have seen first the amazement and then the dismay in the eyes of the white businessmen. They know that the downtown businessmen would rather integrate than face a recurrence of the picketing and the consequent loss of patronage.
The battle is, of course, far from won. Most of the white businessmen now know that they cannot afford to practice total segregation. Most of them now know that they must make at least the gesture of token integration. But to what extent they will take the next step from token integration to sincere acceptance of the idea of merit employment is not yet clear.
We are now in a period of watchful waiting. The Negro leaders are testing the intentions of the various white businessmen. Wherever a sincere effort toward honest merit-employment practices is made by the business community, the Negro leaders will be content. But wherever, after a reasonable period of time, there remains segregation or only the window-dressing of token integration, you can bet that the picket-lines will reappear and the withholding of patronage begin again.
The author is a student at the University of Illinois.
Section IV: Peace and Disarmament
The Economic Consequences of Disarmament
--Bryan Van Arkadie
1. This subject is important for two reasons: (a) if disarmament is achieved, economic ill-effects should be prevented by proper forethought; (b) fears of the negative economic consequences of disarmament provide an additional barrier to public acceptance of disarmament (although it is difficult to estimate the current extent of such fears, either among those in high places or among the public at large).
2. Certain schemes for arms control could result in additional expenditures; for example, a nuclear weapons ban might lead to greater expenditures on conventional weapons, and inspection systems might prove to be very costly. Therefore full discussion would have to account for alternative proposals, including reference to the timing as well as the size of the proposed changes in expenditure. For reasons of space, this note will be restricted to a consideration of the implications of a swift and very large cut in armaments expenditures.
3. Such a sharp reduction in armaments would pose two kinds of problems to the American economy--the problem of maintaining stability and growth in aggregate production and the problem of shifting resources to new uses with the minimum of discomfort and inequity to the groups involved.
Stability and growth
1. Disarmament would free some of the nation's resources for other, peaceful, purposes. However, if this opportunity is not met with increased expenditures from non-defense sources then there will be unemployment and distress which would spread beyond the armaments industries.
2. During the post-Korean period, Government expenditures for defense purposes have accounted for 9 1/2-10% of the Gross National Product (GNP)-e.g. during 1960, $45.1 from a G.N.P. of $503 billions. If there had been total disarmament in 1960 the problem would have been to promote an additional $45 billions non-defense expenditures (in an economy already suffering recession). Such an increase could be derived from three sources: (a) increased Government expenditures on non-defense items; (b) increased private expenditures, stimulated by tax cuts and increased welfare payments; (c) increased exports, without compensating increases in imports (e.g. through increased economic aid programs).
3. A cut in the tax burden of lower income groups, plus increased welfare payments to those without adequate private income would be particularly effective in raising private expenditures. A reduction in corporate tax rates might have some favorable effect on private investment, although the strength of such an effect is debatable. The advantage of increasing government expenditure on non-defense items would be that this would provide additional ability in the event of future declines in economic activity--net of defense the purchases of the government take much the same bite out of G.N.P. as was the case in 1929.
4. None of these steps would guarantee full-employment throughout the conversion period but, while there are many public projects desirable on general social grounds, and while there is a large segment of the population not sharing the "normal" American standard of living, through lack of income, the eventual restoration of full-employment (within a quite short period of time) is a political problem as much as a technical economic problem.
5. If there were political barriers to increases in non-military government expenditures, or if political pressure resulted in tax cuts benefiting mainly groups with thrifty habits, then the recession risk would be greatly increased. Similarly, if the erroneous view that the opportunity should be used to reduce the National Debt through bedgetary surpluses were to prevail, then economic decline would result.
6. Therefore it will be necessary that disarmament be combined with domestic economic policies of a "liberal" or "Keynesian" character, which may have to be adopted over the objections of the conservatives. Academic economists would certainly support sensible policies in such a situation, but fear of the extension of the government into the private sector and misunderstanding of the macroeconomic implications of tax policies has not disappeared from all influential circles. It will be necessary that the proponents of disarmament have an economic conversion program which they can popularize, so that there will be the effective political support available to carry the correct economic measures even over conservative objections.
The problem of mobility
1. Reduction in defense expenditures will have a particularly strong impact in a few industries and special parts of the country. Thus even if alternative expenditures were forthcoming there would be a problem of mobility--of shifting resources from the defense industries to those areas enjoying increased prosperities. Defense purchases are predominantly from the transportation equipment and ordinance industries. Some idea of the varied impact of defense cuts can be gotten from the California example: in the San Diego area, aircraft and missiles production involves 80% of all manufacturing employees while it is also the site of major naval installations; in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area about 40% of all factory workers are employed in industries highly dependent on defense appropriations. On the other hand, San Francisco receives little defense business. Southern California, therefore, would have to experience major economic adjustment in the event of disarmament.
2. This problem would have to be dealt with through ambitious retraining schemes, liberal financial aid to workers and businessmen and encouragement to new industries to move into the areas of high defense concetration. In many cases, the defense industries are located in areas which are attractive for development purposes on grounds of climate and availability of services; new industry could be brought to these areas, thus avoiding the more difficult task of moving the labor force.
3. Despite the difficulties and dangers mentioned it should be emphasized at all times that disarmament provides an opportunity to increase private and social investment and to raise living standards. It will also provide additional capacity to lend a helping hand to the underdeveloped countries. Therefore from an economic point of view disarmament should be welcomes.
Kenneth E. Boulding,
“The Domestic Implications of Arms Control”
, Daedalus, Fall, 1960. (Contains further bibliography on this question).
W. Leontief and M. Hoffenberg, “The Economics of Disarmament” , Scientific American, April, 1961
Economic Factors Bearing Upon the Maintenance of Peace, “ Part I: Perspective on the Maintenance of Peace” , K. Boulding; “Part II: Economic Adjustment to Disarmament” , Emile Benoit. Published by the Institute for International Order, N.Y.C., 1/61.
Report of the Gould House Conference on the Economics of Disarmament, January 28-30, 1961. Committee for World Development & World Disarmament. Contains further bibliography.
* The author of this paper is a graduate student in economics at Berkeley.
Students and young people bear an unprecedented responsibility to work for peace and an end to the arms race. We are living under the shadow of nuclear war, which, if it came, would devastate the earth and destroy civilization. In coming to grips with the problem of disarmament, the American people as a whole encounter a smokescreen of official and unofficial propaganda calculated to confuse and divert them from the main issue.
"Universal, total, controlled and inspected disarmament... is the only practical alternative to the destruction of civilization." These words of Senator Joseph Clark of Pennsylvania, appearing in the Saturday Review of June 24, 1961, affirm once again the basic truth ennunciated by the United Nations General Assembly and by the U.S., British, and Soviet governments: complete disarmament should be the goal of all nations today. What then have been some of the obstacles within our own country to the achievement of this great goal?
Herman Kahn states at the outset of On Thermonuclear War: "There seems to be little point in discussing the view that finds a solution in a totally disarmed world." (p.5) He proceeds to apply a theory which even investors and card players find wanting-- to establish that a poker-playing United States would stand a better chance than the chess-playing Soviet Union in the kind of nuclear war in which we are asked to invest $200 billion. Humanity takes sharp exception to the monster views expressed by Kahn and the Rand Corporation. Yet many other spokesmen for the military and the enormous "defense" firms like General Dynamics ($1.62 billion in aircraft and missle contracts in 1959), Boeing Airplanes ($1.17 billion), and North American Aviation ($1.02 billion) have been telling us that we need even more of their weapons, and they have been at it longer than Herman Kahn. In the words of former President Eisenhower: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarrented influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist (Farewell Address)."
The disarmament our country desires will have to be won against the wishes of the arms makers. Yet there is a tradition of resistence to the excesses of big business, which was most felt during the New Deal, and is manifested today in the organizing efforts on California farms, and wherever militant labor confronts monopoly. This tradition can be invoked in the struggle for peace.
The social and economic problems which would be consequent upon disarmament are formidable. However, as expert attention focuses on them, solutions will be found, and imaginative alternatives to the preparation of global war will act as a stimulus to peace efforts. Conscious students and unionists working for peace cannot allow fears regarding economic consequences to slow down disarmament. A bill by Rep. Pelley, Washington, calls for "comprehensive planning and educational programs necessary to prepare the nation's economy for the gradual disengagement from military spending" including "encouragement of industries which are dependent on military contracts to participate with the Department of Commerce in planning for conversion of their own plants to products needed in a peacetime economy." Passage of such a bill would constitute an important first step. More specific proposals will, of course, be needed.
Emil Mazey, Secretary-Treasurer of the UAW, has recently put a strong case on behalf of `public planning for people' as against `private planning for profit' as a means whereby economic resources can be re-allocated upon disarmament, with more jobs. (April 1, 1961, San Francisco). He has called for the setting up of labor-management committees in local defense plants to produce detailed conversion programs, and the UAW itself is instituting such studies. Our universities too would be performing a great service by joining in efforts to produce workable economic plans for disarmament.
The third and last obstacle to total disarmament to be dealt with here is the argument the "We can't trust the Russians" and that communism and communists are worse than the devil. The consequence of this view is that negotiated disarmament with the Soviet Union and China is impossible. We owe a debt of gratitude to the American Friends Service Committee which has consistently pointed out that it is in the best interests of the Soviets to disarm, just as it is in ours. This fact becomes the starting point for the promotion of mutual understanding which the Friends have helped further by exchanges, work camps, and international meetings, as well as by public witness activities.
Students and others now becoming aware of peace issues will also benefit from the emphasis the Friends have placed on successful cooperation and trust between individuals of varied religious andpolitical backgrounds within the peace movement itself. Such a practical example is of great value in convincing people as a whole of the possibility and desirability of coexistence on a world scale.
Philip Noel Baker, M.P., in his Nobel-Prize winning study, The Arms Race (1958, revised 1960) has pointed out that in the sphere of international negotiations since 1955, the U.S. and the U.K. have placed unnecessary barriers in the path of agreement on a test ban and nuclear and conventional disarmament. He argues that further concessions will have to be made by both sides if agreement is to be reached.
In this paper, an attempt had been made to show that political solutions are needed and can be found to the problems of vested military interests, an adequate economic plan for disarmament, and the mistrust engendered by the cold war. In a further paper, it is hoped to discuss U.S. foreign policy and a concrete program for the peace movement.
Working Paper on Peace and Disarmament
Bette Stubing July, 1961
It would seem strange that there is any problem about peace, since it is one of the very few things that almost everyone is for. Nevertheless, we have lived most of our conscious lives amidst a Cold War which shows no signs of diminishing. Before we map out proposals for disarmament or plans for permanent peace it is necessary to investigate the character of the forces engaged in the current Cold War. When we have made our analysis, we can then turn to the means for ending the Cold War.
The two power blocks which have created this state of belligerency are, of course, the Western capitalistic bloc, led by the U.S.A., and the Communist bloc, led by the U.S.S.R. Each bloc is bound together by a series of military alliances and has devoted itself to creating more and more horrendous weapons of mass destruction with which to threaten the other bloc and whatever neutral nations get in the way. The Western bloc consists of the U.S. and the Western European nations plus numerous dictatorships in Latin America and Asia. The Soviet bloc is composed of the U.S.S.R. and China, where mass Communist revolutions succeeded in taking power, plus the nations of Eastern Europe which were turned over to Stalin in the Big Three conferences at the close of World War II.
Each bloc has demonstrated a singular reluctance to part with any of its members, even to the point of directing forcible persuasion upon those which have shown signs of wanting out. The U.S., for example, was so eager to keep Guatemala in its camp that it directed the overthrow of a duly elected government which threatened to venture out of the fold. The more recent Cuban invasion demonstrates even more vividly the determination of the U.S. government to keep its allies under its wing. On the other hand, the Soviet Union has donated its finest regiments to guard its Eastern European satellites ever dince the end of World War II. The East Germans, Poles, and Hungarians must have underestimated the strength of Soviet concern when they tried to exert their independence.
In addition to the internacine disputes within the power blocs, the last 16 years have been marked by a series of skirmishes fought with kid gloves, in order to avoid World War III while retaining the territory in dispute. The Korean "police action" is the most glaring example, in which U.S. troops actually entered into combat with Chinese, each under the pretext of aiding the self-defense of one or the other Korean regimes. Self-determination for Koreans and a united Korea were never an issue. Similarly, the recurrent crucible of conflict throughout the Cold War has been West Berlin. The U.S. claims West Berlin for its camp on the basis of the Big Three agreements at the close of World War II and on the basis of the desires of its inhabitants. The Russiams claim it for their camp because it lies within the boundaries of East Germany, the successor of the Russian zone. The question of German unity and self-determination has been avoided by both sides. Instead, they seek to maintain or add to their territory in the global struggle and take the opprotunity to threaten the atomic holocaust of which peoples in both camps live in fear.
It appears from this cursory glance at the relations within each power bloc and the nature of the contest between them that to a large extent they are similar. Both the U.S. and the U.SS.R. hold in unwilling alliance nations which are subordinated to them politically and economically. Both of them maintain in power rulers who do not represent the will of the peoples of their countries. Both of them seek ti expand the territory over which they dominate. Both of threaten, implicitly or explicitly, nuclear war over bits of territory in dispute, without regard to the wishes of the inhabitants of the territory. Both of them suppress democracy within their camp in order to prevent results unsatisfactory to them. While the U.S. protests the police states of Eastern Eupope and the conquest of Tibet, it bolsters the police states in Spain, Portugal, and Latin America and supports the colonialism of its allies. With the U.S.S.R., it's vice-versa.
Although the similarities between the blocs are substantial, their differences, which are the basis for the struggle, are crucial. It is recognized by all that the struggle is one of survival of different economic and political systems. The "free world" of the West is the capitalistic world, now jealously guarding its old colonial domains in mortal fear that, in the interests of its own economic development, they will throw off their economic bondage and establish some type of socialized economy. The Cuban example starkly illustrates the extent to which U.S. foreign policy is guided by economic interests. On the other hand, the U.S.S.R. is in a position to appear as the champion of the under developed nations which are throwing off Western domination and setting a course of nationalized economic development. Before we take this as a reason for generally supporting the Soviet bloc, we must ask to what extent it is a genuine champion of the welfare of these nations. Those who habitually criticize the U.S. for the inadaquacy of its economic aid programs might note that the aid offered by the U.S.S.R. to such nations is far from generous. It appears in its best light in situations like Cuba, in which the U.S. has cut off all economic relations, when the minimal assistance of the Soviet bloc is the lifeline of the government. Even the Communist titan, China, receives little in the way of aid from the most industrialized Communist nation.
In sum, the Cold War is due to genuine economic and political conflicts, in which the governments of each side are struggling for power. In the course of that struggle, each side has made great expenditures for armaments and the development of weapons for destroying civilian populations. The magnitude of these weapons makes the effort to forestall war and achieve lasting peace all-important, since for the first time mankind's survival is at stake. But the depth of the international dispute gives the effort for peace its great complexity.
What, then, can be done? The problem has two parts: 1) measures to alleviate the cold war and turn back the arms race so that the constant threat of mass annihilation is removed; and 2) measures to achieve permanent peace. In the first catagory belongs demands for test bans, military disengagement, and disarmament These cannot be considered sufficient for the achievement of permanent peace, beacuse as long as the sources of conflict exist, belligerent powers can always re-arm, resume tests, and ignore disarmament treaties. The achievement of permanent peace depends upon radical social and political changes in both power blocs which will remove the sources of conflict. Ultimately, immediate demands for an end to the threat of war must be connected with the broader political struggle which can lead to permanent peace. For the present, however, we concentrate on the immediate measures.
For demands for immediate measures to be effective, they must come from a much larger segment of the world's people than that which has so far attempted to translate its anxieties into action. For effective movements to be built, they must be able to criticize not only the misdeeds and arms preparations of the other side, but equally of their own governments. The analysis here has attempted to show that the Cold War is a twe-sided affair; it follows that an effective peace movement cannot be aligned with either side. This places a special burden upon those who live in nations where dissent is possible to take the initiative in demanding immediate measures to alleviate the Cold War. There have been many excellent proposals for what these measures might be - nuclear disarmament (unilateral or negotiated), withdrawal of troops from foreign soil, cessation of all nuclear tests, severe reduction or elimination of arms spending by both sides. Any or all of these measures would be a great advance. However, our primary problem is not the technical one of devising the most effective proposals. We must first address ourselves to the political problems of building a movement which can effectively raise such demands.
* The author is a graduate student in anthropology at Berkeley.
The theory which underlies civil defence (CD) planning is that it is possible to minimize the destruction and death attendant upon nuclear attack. Such attack is presumed, in the CD plans, to be airborne -- missle carried or dropped from banned aircraft -- and thermonuclear -- consisting of weapons which derive their destructive effect from the fusion of one of the isotopes of hydrogen.
The stages of defence are several:
- pre-launch deterrent or preventive war -- these are taken up in other working papers.
- defence through anti-missle missles or missiles used to shoot down approaching aircraft. There is no missile today which can shoot down, arrest, or materially change the course of an ICBM moving at 5000-8000 mph. The path of an ICBM is determined by its first several minutes of flight -- during the time when its rocket motors are firing. After its motors burn out, it travels a ballistic (parabolic) trajectory to its target, and only minor corrections are possible through the use of its control surfaces. The fact that there is no defence against an ICBM attack is emphasized by the fact that U.S. plans in case of such attack are limited to retaliatory action or a "preventive" first strike. Manned aircraft can be shot down. In addition, manned aircraft of bomber configuration are becoming obsolete as carriers of thermonuclear weapons.
- the third, and most important, type of civil defence is through a program of shelters and warning systems (Conelrad, etc.). These are designed to move citizens to areas where they are safe from the blast and after-effects of a nuclear attack. Such defence is in two stages. The first is defence from the blast and heat of a nuclear bomb. The second is from the long-term radiation; this requires provisioned shelters which are contamination proof.
The first book on atomic weapons ever published for mass public consumption was the Federation of American Scientists' book, One Would Or None (New York, 1946). The article in that book on atomic defence was titled, "There is No Defense." That was in 1946, a time of the fission weapon and propeller-driven bombers. Today's fusion weapons in the megaton range, and ICBM delivery systems, give the scientists' 1946 statement a renewed and frightening validity. Civil defence planning is of no avail in a nuclear-armed world.
But our objection to civil defence goes farther than to say that it will not work. Government subsidy of a shelter program and national civil defence exercises, as well as the shelter hoopla which decorates the mass media, can only act to fool the people into believing that they would be safe in a thermonuclear war. When Herman Kahn said that there was a probability of survival in thermonuclear war, he was using the word "probability" in the sense of the mathematician. The probability is there, but it is not of great magnitude. Acceptance by the people of the thesis that there can be safety in thermonuclear war blunts the edge of our agitation for disarmament and -- combined with the State Department's misrepresentation of the Soviet position on such questions as Berlin -- leads to an acceptance of the Cold War and brinkmanship as facts of life. Our job is to resist civil defence by pointing out its inefficiency, and to make anti-civil defense action part and parcel of peace work.
We may be faced in the near future with a national campaign to build underground chambers. Nelson Rockerfeller is one of the principal advocates of this plan. Such a plan would, of course, provide a temporary answer to the problems of under-consumption of hard goods and lack of effective demand which plague the economy despite great military expenditures. Thus, the plan has great allure for many of the powerful in America. This compounds the problem of anti-civil defense work.
One of the things we are fighting is the alienation of the individual American from involvement in the decisions of war and peace. A civil defence campaign can only have the effect of increasing the alienation and acceptance of the status quo, of dehumanizing and sidetracking the natural aspiration for peace.
Our problem is to work to stimulate dialogue around two propositions: 1) There is no defence in a thermonuclear war; 2) The only defence from thermonuclear war is not "preparedness," but disarmament.
There are many works which touch upon the subject of civil defence. My thesis is that civil defence is not a problem in and by itself, but has relevance to us only as a concomitant of our discussion of the peace movement. Thus, this list is of a wider scope than the topic, civil defense.
Brown, Harrison and James Real. Community of Fear. Single copies free from the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, Box 4068, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Healey, Denis, M.P. The Race Against the H-Bomb. Available at two shillings (28 cent) from the Fabian International Bureau, 11 Dartmouth Street, London, S.W. 1, England.
Kahn, Herman. On Thermonuclear War. A ponderous tome, but worthy of careful study. Kahn's argument has been greatly oversimplified in the popular literature.
One World or None. ed. Dexter Masters and Katherine Way. Available in any good-sized library.
Consult also issues of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist for pro-civil defence material. Your daily newspaper probably reports periodic discussions of the question of civil defence. Organizations such as Acts For Peace, 1730 Grove St., Berkeley, and The American Friends' Service Committee, 2120 Lake St., San Francisco, have literature lists containing relevant material.
* The author is a student at Berkeley in political science.
"Despite the 32 month ban on nuclear tests, the Atomic Energy Commission is busy building a sprawling complex of tunnels at its Nevada test site." This is the first paragraph from a July 8, 1961 San Francisco Chronicle article. The article goes on to say that the tunnels are being prepared for specific tests, which could be clandestine. The large, deep, underground salt cavern would muffle any blast and would be undetectable by seismic instruments. The subterranean labyrinth 65 miles north of Las Vegas may some day be the site for testing of an ultimate weapon: the neutron bomb.
Another indication that the U.S. may soon resume nuclear testings comes from Representative Chet Holifield of California, chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy, and Senator Henry Jackson of Washington, chairman of the Military Applications subcommittee. They have talked about how weapons "as revolutionary as the H-bomb night be developed through further tests". Both have recently urged the Kennedy administration to halt the nuclear tests ban and to resume testing.
To understand the situation better, we will briefly examine the history of nuclear test bans. On October 31, 1958, the U.S. and the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union entered into negotiations to draft a treaty to stop nuclear weapons tests. Both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. held a major series of tests in the fall of 1958. Since that time, however, there has been no evidence that any of the three nations has resumed nuclear testing.
During the course of the test ban negotiations, the positions of both sider approached each other at a number of points. In particular, scientists from both sides meeting in Geneva reached agreement on the kinds of technical procedures that would be necessary to detect nuclear explosions. Approximately 20 articles of agreed treaty language emerged from the Geneva tables. Significant areas of disagreement were the number of on-site inspections to be given the inspectors, and the composition of the control commission. The Western position at present is that between 12 and 21 on-site inspections were necessary--the Soviets were willing to grant only 3. The U.S.-U.K. side advocated a single chairman for the control commission, the U.S.S.R. is calling for tri-partite rule. Up until recently, observers felt that these two outstanding points of difference could be compromised.
While the negotiations proceeded apace in Geneva, certain aspects of the international situation worsened. All governments agree that the spread of nuclear weapons makes their control exceedingly difficult. Yet French nuclear tests in the Sahara disturbed the equilibrium brought about by the voluntary ban of the Big 3. The Soviets took French testing as evidence of bad faith by the West, especially since France is a NATO ally of W. Germany as well as the US. After the Congo experience, the USSR was no longer willing to entrust the enforcement of political decisions to an individual.
On the other hand, the West maintains that the USSR has never been willing to accept adequate inspection, and that its figure of 3 on-site inspections is much too low. At about the time of the Kennedy-Khruschov talks, the Soviets advanced the position that since the test ban negotiations were bogged down, they could best be resolved in a geheral discussion of disarmament. This has led US officials to charge evasion and an unwillingness to reach agreement. It is a commonly held view that China is less than anxious for a treaty before she explodes her own bomb, and that this is a source of pressure on Khruschov. A propos, the Bulletin of Atonic Scientists, May, 1961, reported that, "The U.S. has come uncomfortably close to making disarmament conditional on a test ban treaty,...it has come uncomfortably close to tying its hands, which is a bad thing to do before an important negotiation."
It is the concern of more and more Americans that disarmament begin soon. The peace movement has long maintained that a first step would be a test ban. We are still of this opinion. That is why the hot-shot tunnelings under the sands of Nevada represent a colossal gamble. They are bound to set off a great wave of similar preparations elsewhere. Let us remember that there is no assurance that all tests would be conducted underground, as we have previously assumed in talking about tests in the past two years. Even Arthur Dean, chief U.S. negotiator in Geneva, has stated that some tests might have to be held in the atmosphere "for technical reasons". There ought to be a great protest at this unilateral threat. There has been no word of Soviet action which would provoke the Nevada preparations. In fact, The New Republic, June 12, said, "Even if the Soviets have been testing secretly such small explosions could not appreciable affect the present balance of nuclear power." The New Republic calls for patience in the negotiations and suggests referral back to the General Assembly in the event of failure. This suggestion was recently echoes by Senator Humphrey.
Our advice to President Kennedy is: "keep talking, and do not be the first to start testing."
*The author is an undergraduate student at Berkeley
Disarmament or Arms Control?
Richard Perle and Harvey Waterman
Since the early post-war period, the United States government has been committed to a strategy of deterrence. Strategic deterrence is not a new policy; since the world has been armed, nations have sought to protect their sovereinty by making any transgression against themselves too costly for the potential aggressor. Thus, populations may be seen as hostages today in the way that the Romans held the sons of foreign kings to restrain their parents from revolt against the Empire. Always in the past, however, war has been a viable option for advancing national foreign policies.
But today it appears clear that nuclear war is no longer a viable means toward policy ends. The costs are too great and the risks too uncertain. Moreover, the development of nuclear weapons of mass destruction has been paralleled by the development of conventional weapons, bringing them to previously unimagined levels of destructive power. Thus, even a conventional war, if it were to expand beyond certain limits, would result in catastrophe rivalling that of previous world wars and perhaps exceeding them.
Two alternatives to the unchecked expansion of military capabilities are currently under discussion. The first alternative argues for a diminishing of armaments, usually in a quantitive sense. Disarmament, in one form or another, attempts to eliminate the possibility of war by removing the instruments with which the next war is to be waged.
The second alternative, arms control, attempts to insure the peace by altering the environemnt, political, technological and military, in which wars occur. By arms control, for which this paper argues, we mean, as Thomas C. Schelling defines it, "to include all the forms of military cooperation between potential enemies in the interest of reducing the likelihood of war, its scope and violence if it occurs, and the political and economic costs of being prepared for it.
The point must be made at the outset that arms control is not a kind of "junior" disarmament. It is, in fact, the antithesis of disarmament in that it attempts to stabilize national deterrents, rather than to eliminate them. Unhappily, to the extent to which any arms control agreement succeeds in stabilizing the deterrent, it diminishes the prospects for disarmament at some future date. This is so because the requirements of stable deterrents--by which we mean invulnerable "strike-back" forces -- include such things as hidden and mobile weapons systems, increased conventional war-power, and other measures which lead to an institutionalizing of the military apparatus.
This acceptance of national military capabilities at a time when there is growing support for the abandonment of all weaponry cannot be made with complete equanimity. But we feel that arms control and not disarmament offers the greatest possibility for international survival.
Arms control appears to be the optimal strategy for three primary reasons:
First; It is within the realm of possibility, which disarmament is not. However much one may desire the final solution of weapons dismantlement (and there is an aesthetic quality to such grandiose designs), we must nevertheless live with the political realities that confront us.
Arms are at once a reflection of political differences and again a component of their source. Granted, the existence of arms contributes to the fears which make arms necessary. But it is idealistic at best and irresponsible in any case to fail to work for the smaller but more obtainable advances which arms control will bring. The history of disarment conferences is, as Bertrand Russell has said, "The most discouraging chapter of all," and the political and idealogical division of the world today lends no encouragement to the historian or the strategist which would lead him to relax his efforts toward short-term ameliorative measures.
It seems clear that the present programs of armament undertaken by both the United States and its allies and the Soviet Union and hers, are designed and borne as a response to a political conflict and the fears and anxieties resulting therefrom. We are, then, faced with the paradoxical proposition: if disarmament were possible, it would not be needed. Arms, particularly nuclear arms, are not used because they exist; they exist because they may be used. In the current situation, the optimal strategy will use arms for the singular purpose of preventing their detonation.
Second: If, as we believe, the use of arms is predicated upon a decision that their employment is desirable, then one way to prevent nuclear war is to take steps which will accentuate the common advantage in avoiding war -- this is, stabilizing the military environment at those points which constitute a true mutual interest. One such point might be the avoidance of surprise attack or of war by miscalculation. Efforts to cooperate in these areas are far more likely to meet some success than is any program which asks nervous nations to abandon what they consider vital for their very survival.
Arms control measures, along with the maintainance of a system of strategic deterrence, can calm those fears most conducive to irrational actions. But more important, there is the total effect of transforming the nature of deterrent forces, by redefining their goal and purpose, in the direction of what strategists call the "second strike capability." This simply means that both power blocs will be abl to enjoy, in an environment of reduced tension, the security that comes from knowing (and believing) any act of nuclear aggression to be inimical to the national interest.
To illustrate the knowledge that the United States possessed an ability to withstand a nuclear attack with retaliatory forces intact would lead to an assurance that no attack would be forthcoming. This would permit us to lengthen reaction time (the time in which it is necessary to decide to respond upon evidence of a planned attack), to restrain the unleashing of weapons in any case, and to withdraw from
Third: It has often been said that the choice we face is between the "certainty" of destruction allegedly inherent in following a strategy of deterrence and the "risk" of a disarmament program. This is not at all the case. There are risks in either course of action, and "mathematical certainty" argues for no one's case. We believe the risk in disarmament to be greater than the risk in arms control, for two fundamental reasons. First, given the political situation, it is clear that the fear which would attend a divestitute of national weaponry would make current tensions pale into insignificance. Second, there is the mechanical problem of the process of disarmament which would give an enormous advantage to a side that could successfully violate the provisions of inspection and control, even to the extent of half a dozen medium weapons. (Which will fit in this room). Third, there is the risk that the absence of the nuclear deterrent would remove the inhibition upon the expansion of small wars and create a still more unstable situation. In effect, disarmament would necessitate a number of stages, any one of which might result in a fatal imbalance of power.
Finally, after all of this, there is no guarantee that at a particularly tense moment, the knowledge used to build the initial bombs would not be once again employed giving the first nation to reconstruct its arsenal an irresistable incentive to strike in safety and conclude the crisis.
From the foregoing, it must be apparent that there is no easy solution. We do not offer arms control in that guise. It will be difficult and tenuous, and no one can say with certainty that it will succeed. It has the primary advantage of being negotiable, which disarmament (or even nuclear testing) has not been.
In all these considerations, there is an inescapable moral dilemma. Can any individual afford the luxury of working for "long range peace" if it means increasing the chance of "short range" war. One can only hope that an adequate arms control system will buy the time for political settlement that may some day bring us to a peaceful fruition.
Public Demonstrations for Peace: A personal Account
This paper does not present the views of either an expert or a "professional" on international relations, or any of the issues involved in peace and public demonstratics. I also cannot write from the orientation in which I do work professionally, which is psychology, since I have not studied nor observed in any scientific or clinical fashion the behavior of those engaged in peace demonstrations. I can only present a personal account, based on my own experiences in a number of demonstrations during this past year.
In thinking about why people demonstrate, I remember that in my own student days, which have been over for only a few years, I engaged in absolutely no political activities of any kind. I was instead content to read the political weeklies, which served to maintain not only a critical attitude towards our foreign policy, but also my scorn for those who wasted their time in a futile attempt to exert any political influence. After nine years of academia, my graduation was rewarded by the government's prompt demand that I spend two years fulfilling, what I thought then was quaintly called, a military obligation. While I had felt no responsibility for the policies of our government or concern with expressing my opinions, I found our government had quite a different attitude towards me. I had the responsibility to serve our country in uniform as a "fighting man", to carry out these policies in the most practical terms. I spent two years as a psychologist at a basic training center whose mission was characterized by the commanding general as "to teach these boys how to kill". Apart from personal inconvenience, it was a shock to find myself a participant in an organization which I could not believe to be rational, effective or ethically acceptable. I have no space here to describe the various incidents and experiences which lead me to a state of quiet desperation over what I was not only witnessing but actually involved in accomplishing. What seems important now was that the Army could not be held to blame, for it only reflected the wishes, or in cases like my own, the apathy of the people of this country. It was a rude awakening to my own responsibility and involvement in the war system, its futility and horror, in which I developed a strong need to assert this responsibility by exercising my political rights within our democracy. I returned to civilian life just two months before our last presidential election, frustrated that there was little choice between the candidates who both were willing to continue the arms race and use weapons of mass destruction as an instrument of foreign policy. Blocked from the opportunity to express my concerns through the usual political channels, I became involved in public demonstrations for peace.
While many different types of experiences may lead people to this activity, the underlying reasons for engaging in public demonstrations may be quite similar. Public demonstratios occur when people decide that something is wrong with our country's commitment to a balance of terror, when they lose faith that their elected representatives are going to change a course of action which seems to be leading to war, when they begin to feel personally their own involvement and the responsibility for their action if the situation is to change; and finally, when worked up to such a state, they find that the conventional channels for political action don't seem very effective for bringing about any basic change in our country's foreign policy.
The largest public demonstration occured during Easter week, as part of a nationally coordinated demonstration for peace through disarmament. The American Friends Service Committee sponsored this activity in various cities across the country, and here in San Francisco a steering committee of about 12 individuals worked for about 3 months planning the local events. The Witness for Peace in San Francisco started with about 500 people taking some part in a 56 mile walk from Sunnyvale, a missile development center, to San Francisco. Of these, over 200 started the walk, with about 300 people entering San Francisco four days later. Housing and feeding arrangements for the walk involved the participation of 22 churches in 7 communities, representing 11 denominations. Over 1,000 people participated in 4 town meetings held the night before the rally in four communities in the Bay Area. This same evening, Good Friday night, over 100 people joined different vigils. Over 3,000 participated in the final rally. In sum, the effort involved more than 4,000 people. In terms of publicity of the final walk and rally, it was covered in front pages of 3 papers, and by other media. In all, some 75 articles and editorials were written on the Peace Witness. There was an altogether different type of public demonstration during Armed Forces Week. Without sponsorship, organizational effort, or coordination, one person, previously inactive in peace activities, decided that since the armed forces were staging a display of weapons with the message "power for peace", that someone ought to present the notion that "more weapons mean less security". A leaflet signed by 4 individuals was distributed by about a half-dozen picketers carrying placards, at the Armed Forces display in San Francisco and Oakland. While the picketing received little attention from the press, the picketers were seen by a large number of people who attended the weapons display. The unique feature of this type of demonstration was the face-to-face contact between picketer and the general public. When we walked as a group of 2000 or rallied in numbers exceeding 3000, it took an unusually courageous individual to personally question our beliefs or actions by talking to us. But on Armed Forces day the situation was reversed and vastly outnumbered peace people found themselves surrounded by fellow citizens eager to ask many friendly and unfriendly questions. This was an excellent chance to talk to people who were not already on the mailing lists of any peace organization, who were not already sympatheti
The essential element in this type of demontration is capitalizing upon the fact that some government or community agency is spending the time and money to bring out a large number of people to condider some aspect of foreign policy. By simply staging a counter demonstration or statement coincident with that event, it is possible to reach a large number of people with a rather minimal effort. This same technique was used in a July 4th demonstration. A number of people had been trying to think of some way to demonstrate for peace on Independence Day without much success. A few days before the 4th, a local newspaper publicized their plan to climax a fireworks display they were sponsoring with a simulated atomic bomb. This would herald the first mushroom cloud over San Francisco. A day before this event three individuals wrote up a statement which used the bomb display to focus on our drift toward war, and in particular to present arguments against resumption of nuclear testing, asking people to write the representatives in Washington. Eight persons signed this leaflet and, with less than a day's notice, 22 persons handed out 5000 copies of it at the display.
The Witness for Peace and the Armed Forces of July 4th demonstrations are quite different types of activities. The Witness for Peace, with walk and rally, involves and requires the participation of large numbers and entail organizational sponsorship, agreat deal of planning and funds. The people who walk or join the rally are able to feel that they have actually done something which is bold and dramatic and feel some excitment at seeing so many people joined together. The communication with the general public is indirect, partly through spectators observing the event, but chiefly through the reports of the press, TV and radio. It would be difficult to imagine having the time or money for such a project more than onee or twice a year. The other type of demonstration is the result of individual efforts and provides for a continuous outlet for demonstrating for peace. While getting little press attention, many new people become aware of a differnt point of view on the issues involved in obtaining peace.
At this point you may be wondering about a question which the demonstrators themselves are very concernedwith, particularly during the lull between demonstrations. Simply, what possible functions do public demonstrations have? There is certainly no question that they fulfill a personal or expressive function, providing the demonstrator with an outlet by which he can not only overcome some of his frustration by voicing his concern in a direct fashion, but also strengthens his convictions simply by, acting upon them. Very few people would demonstrate however, if they thought that this was all that they were accomplishing. Although difficult to evaluate, public demonstrations also have a communicative function, they are an attemt to talk to the general public, not just other demonstrators. There is an educative aspect to this, in simply bringing new ideas
A final comment which may serve as a basis for some discussion is the question of whether a public demonstration comes to be and communicates primarily as a protest, or as a more positive statement of belief and conviction. While both of these elements are almost always involved, demonstrations differ in the extent to which one or the other is emphasized. At times it seems that demonstrators are most enthusiastic about protesting, and this certainly fulfills an expressive function for which many of us feel we have more than ample justification. It is possible though that you communicate most effectively to the largest number of people through demonstrations which stress the more affirmative statement of belief, perhaps also including specific concrete suggestions for what our government might do, instead of merely stating what we don't like about what it is already doing.
The author is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at San Francisco State.
KPFA Commentator Series: Kennedy's Speech on Berlin
Marshall Windmiller, Commentator
Broadcast on KPFA, Berkeley, July 27, 1961
President Kennedy's address to the nation on July 25 is the most important speech he has ever made. It will have profound effects on the lives of all of us, and it therefore deserves careful analysis.
The speech contained three references which give some hope for peace. The first was a statement which implied a willingness to negotiate regarding some of the factors which make Berlin, to use Premier Khrushchev's phrase, a "bone in the throat" of the Communist world. "We have previously indicated our readiness", the President said, "to remove any actual irritants in West Berlin--but the freedom of that city is not negotiable."
There are four main irritants for the Communists in Berlin. First, and most important, it is an easy escape hatch for refugees who wish to leave East Germany. They flee through Berlin by the thousands, and because most of them are skilled workers and professional people, their loss is a serious blow to the East German economy, to say nothing of that country's prestige. The second irritant is the Western propaganda radio station, which helps foment discontent in East Germany. Third is the fact that West Berlin is a Western spy center--although this is certainly a two-way street. Finally, the Bonn government has been taking actions in Berlin designed to give the impression that eventually it will be the capital of an all-German government. Committees of the Bundesrat have met there, for example. President Kennedy's speech implies that we might agree to end some of these irritants, and this would certainly help to eliminate the main cause of Soviet pressure.
A second hopeful reference in the speech was the statement that this country is willing to submit the legality of our rights in Berlin to adjudication This could mean the International Court of Justice at the Hague, or some special tribunal. In either instance it would be a step that would reduce tensions and strengthen the concept of world law which this country is pledged to support.
The third hopeful sign was this statement: "As signers of the UN charter, we shall always be prepared to discuss international problems with any and all nations that are willing to talk--and listen--with reason." I may be reading too much into this, but coupled with some recent statements by Secretary of State Rusk, it seems to say that we are willing to submit the Berlin dispute to the United Nations. Such an action, in my opinion, would be good for the UN, good for us and our image abroad, and good for the peace of the world.
These, then, are the hopeful and constructive elements of this impressive speech. But they are slender hopes indeed against the background of the total presentation. For basically this was a message of war, heavily laden with propaganda, distortion, and militarism.
The distortion in this speech is no new experience for the American people. They were deceived about the U-2, they were deceived about Cuba, and they have been steadily and consistently deceived about Berlin. There was really no reason to expect the President to end the deception on Tuesday night.
The great deception which the President fortified is that the Russians are demanding that we get out of West Berlin. "We cannot and will not permit the Communists to drive us out of Berlin", he said, "either gradually or by force." The fact of the matter is that the Russians are not trying to push us out of Berlin. Certainly they would like to have us out, there is no doubt about that, but they know they cannot force us out, and so they are not trying. Khrushchev has made this clear over and over again in speeches which the American press has not seen fit to report. For example, in a speech July 8, he said: "The Soviet Government agrees with President Kennedy's recent statement that any West Berlin solution must not infringe the rights of the population of this city to make an independent choice as a free people...The Soviet Government is ready for the most far-reaching guarantees as regards West Berlin....We do not encroach on West Berlin or the freedom of its population...We want nothing but the liquidation of the vestiges of World War II in order to improve the entire climate in Europe." And in the Aide Memoire which Khrushchev handed to Kennedy in Vienna and which the President has described with words like "grim" and "somber", Khrushchev said: "The Soviet Government advocates that the free city of West Berlin freely effect its communications with the outside world and that its domestic order be determined by the free expression of the will of its population. Of course the United States, as all other countries, would have every opportunity to maintain and develop its relations with the free city. In general, as the Soviet Government sees it, West Berlin must be strictly neutral....The USSR proposes that the most reliable guarantees be established against intervention in the affairs of the free city by any state. As a guarantor of the free city, token contingents of troops of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and the Soviet Union could be stationed in West Berlin. Nor would the USSR object to the stationing in West Berlin of troops of neutral countries under United Nations auspices for the same purposes. The status of the free city could be appropriately registered at the United Nations and sealed with the authority of this international organization. The Soviet side agrees to discuss any other measures which could guarantee the freedom and independence of West Berlin as a free, demilitarized city." So runs the text of the Aide Memoire presented by Khrushchev to Kennedy at Vienna.
There is no document in existence in which the Soviets say that the West must get out of Berlin. What then are they asking? First of all, they want to formalize by written agreement the status quo in Eastern Europe. They especially want guarantees that the Oder-Neisse line will remain the present Eastern boundary of East Germany. They are disturbed that the West, and especially the Bonn government, has never recognized this frontier. Indeed the maps and tourist guides published by the Adenauer government show the territories beyond the Oder-Neisse, including East Prussia, as part of Germany. Hitler's territorial ambitions are by no means dead in West Germany, and the Russians want Western guarantees that they won't materialize.
Second, the Soviets want to plug up the escape hatch of West Berlin. What is at issue is not the freedom of the West Berliners. At issue is the freedom of East Germans to escape Communist tyranny via West Berlin. We want to keep the escape hatch open; the Russians want to slam it shut.
And finally, the Soviets want to arrest the advance of German militarism. Particularly, they want to prevent West Germany from acquiring nuclear weapons and to deprive it of the opportunity to use Berlin as a springboard for a revived German nationalism.
These are the real Soviet demands. What are they willing to give in exchange? They are willing to give formal legal guarantees for the Western presence in, and access to, West Berlin. We have legal rights to be in Berlin now; we have no legal rights to cross East German territory to get there. Our legal and diplomatic, and hence our propaganda, position is quite weak in this respect, despite Kennedy's bold pronouncements about adjudication. Whether our shaky legal rights will remain, should the Soviets sign a separate treaty with East Germany, is a technical matter for international lawyers, but the legal commentaries I have read lead me to believe that our case could hardly be weaker. At any rate, in exchange for the security measures I have just outlined, the Soviet Union is willing to provide much better guarantees of the Western position in Berlin than the West now has. It is possible that the USSR would provide those guarantees for less than she now demands--there may be room for bargaining. We do not know, because so far we have refused to bargain, and have been unable to rise above solemn pronouncements that we will "stand firm" in Berlin.
What does "standing firm" mean? What in fact is our position on the German question? The Western position on Germany is built around two words: "reunification" and "self-determination". We want East and West Germany to be reunified by free all-German elections. We also insist that reunified Germany have the right to join any security pact that it wishes to join. Superficially, this sounds reasonable and in accord with American traditions. But a closer examination reveals defects. It is quite likely that really free elections held in all of Germany would produce a pro-Western, anti-Soviet government. There are two good reasons for this. The first is that the bulk of the population lives in what is now West Germany--55 million as against 18 million in East Germany. The second is that the Communist regime of East Germany is not popular--the people would probably vote against their present leaders.
The Russians of course are aware of this. They know that to agree to the Western position, whatever its merits in principle, would mean that Germany would be reunified; it would be hostile to the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc; it would be in NATO; it would be armed to the teeth; sovereign; and, with its technological capability, able to produce whatever weapons it wanted. It would be militantly dedicated to repossessing the land beyond the Oder-Neisse and whatever else of Hitler's Reich the dominant party took a fancy to. To expect the Russians to agree to such a proposal is totally absurd. Yet this is our position, this is what we insist on, and Kennedy has given no indication that he is prepared to adopt a more reasonable policy. All he can say is that we will stand firm, not be pushed out of Berlin, and that we will go to war to defend our rights.
The President is an intelligent man, and one supposes, better informed, except on Cuba, than his predecessor. Can we believe that he does not realize what he is asking the Soviet Union to do? Doesn't he know how the Russians feel about the Germans--not just the West Germans, but all Germans, and especially Germans that are united? In his speech the President said, "We recognize the Soviet Union's historical concerns about their security in Central and Eastern Europe, after a series of ravaging invasions...." That's all he says--the Soviet Union has historical concerns. The recent Soviet census has made it clear that during the war against Hitler the USSR lost between 15 and 20 million men--a staggering loss far beyond that of the other allied nations, a loss which means that even today the sex ratio of the Soviet population in the critical 30-to-40 age group is heavily unbalanced. In addition, the Russians lost six million buildings, 30 per cent of the lumber industry and 50 per cent of the cement industry. And livestock was virtually wiped out--17 million cattle, 7 million horses, and 27 million sheep and goats were destroyed. All of this, President Kennedy sums up with a recognition that the Russians have "historical concerns about their security in Central and Eastern Europe." He then stands firm on a policy which asks the Russians to forget those concerns and help create an armed, reunified Germany. Can there be anything more illogical or unreasonable?
I wish to make it clear that I am not defending the Soviet Union. The USSR is a tyranny and its ideology is a menace to freedom everywhere. It should be opposed and resisted, but resisted in an intelligent way appropriate to the nature of the challenge, and in a way which does not unnecessarily risk our lives. The behavior of the Soviet Union is reprehensible enough--it does not require embellishment by the American government. It does no service to the cause of peace and freedom to attribute to the Russians a position they do not take, and distort the facts of international politics to the American people. The American people have a right not to be lied to by their own government.
But there was more to President Kennedy's speech than just distortion. There was this: "I hear it said that West Berlin is militarily untenable", President Kennedy said. "So was Bastogne. So, in fact, was Stalingrad. Any dangerous spot is tenable if brave men will make it so. We do not want to fight--but we have fought before." As propaganda this is powerful stuff. It calls up the glory of brave men fighting against insuperable odds. It appeals to basic instinct. It quickens the blood and makes men feel invincible. But it is not sound military strategy. Berlin is about as tenable as Quemoy and Matsu, and during saner moments last Fall Mr. Kennedy took the trouble to explain to the American people how untenable they were. If the Chinese decide to try to take Quemoy and Matsu, we cannot hold them without using nuclear weapons against China. If the Russians decide to take Berlin, we cannot hold it without using nuclear weapons against the Soviet Union. This means all-out thermo-nuclear war. It is a bit different from Bastogne or Stalingrad. Whoever holds Berlin after such a war will be in charge of a cemetery. As I said before, the President is an intelligent man. He knows this. Is it responsible of him to inject this emotionalism into an already tense situation? If Berlin is a "great testing place of Western courage" today, shouldn't he explain whether Quemoy and Matsu will be the great testing places tomorrow?
To this emotional appeal the President appended a demand for an additional $3.4 billion to spend on our military establishment. He had already boosted the military budget by $2 billion in March, and the $42.7 billion budget passed by Congress in July was the biggest since World War II. Included in the new request is $207 million for civil defense to enable our citizens, in the President's words, "to know what they should do and where they should go if bombs begin to fall." This is not the place to go into the weaknesses of the civil-defense program. But in the context of the emotion brought forth by the President on Berlin, it is appropriate to contrast our present hysteria with the Soviet attitude on civil defense. On July 16, the New York Times carried a story on Soviet civil defense by its Moscow correspondent, Osgood Caruthers. It said: "There are no outward signs of even the most elementary preparations for civil defense against nuclear blasts or fallout. Nowhere in Moscow or any other city visited by foreigners can one find signs pointing to shelters....No practice alerts are held in Moscow. Posters giving instructions on the rudiments of civil-defense work--how to fight fires and give aid to wounded--are extremely rare. They are found only here and there on the bulletin boards of factories or in workers' union headquarters. And most of them are several years old. There is no propaganda about civil defense. There is no such thing as an effort on a city-wide basis to organize block crews or house wardens for civil defense....Foreign military experts assigned to embassies in Moscow say that in extensive travels around the Soviet Union they have seen little or no evidence of any construction work on shelters that would protect the civilian population from nuclear attack....A number of experts in the United States have reported `secret' information to the effect that the Soviet Union has drawn up...massive plans, that it has alloted huge funds to the construction of shelters and has mobilized its people in a great preparedness campaign. However, nothing that can be seen, heard or read here in Moscow gives even a hint of support for such reports." So wrote Osgood Caruthers from Moscow in the New York Times for July 16.
It seems to me clear from all of this that the American people are being made the victims of a monstrous and criminal deception. They are being told a version of the Russian position on Germany that bears almost no relation to the truth, and they are being stampeded into massive military expenditures that will take them a giant step toward the garrison state. Why is this being done? If I were a Marxist, I would say that it was being done because the economy and the power structure demanded it, and I could find plenty of evidence to support this thesis. But I am not a Marxist, and I think the reasons are more complex than economics, although the role of economics is a big one. There is another cause, which is even more important, in my opinion. That cause is fear--simple, stark, paralyzing fear. But it is not fear of dying--Americans are apparently not afraid to die. The President is the symbol of this lack of fear of death. He has proved himself a brave man in the face of death, once on a P-T boat, once when seriously ill. And now he faces thermonuclear death with courage, and the American people are about to do the same thing.
No, it is not death, but something else we are afraid of. We are afraid of what our own people will think. We are afraid of being unpopular. We are afraid of being rejected. And because we are so afraid, we panic. We imagine both our foreign and domestic enemies to be much more powerful than they really are. We run from the China Lobby rather than take the sensible position on China that we know to be necessary. We run from Senator Dodd and Congressman Walter rather than stand fast for civil liberties. We run from the farm lobby rather than give the agricultural workers a break. We run from Cardinal Spellman rather than educate our children. We run from the White Citizen's Councils rather than climb into a freedom bus with a Negro and ride to end a terrible social evil and establish the writ of the Federal Government in the State of Mississippi. And we run from Chancellor Adenauer and Dean Acheson, rather than talk sense on Berlin.
No, we are not afraid to die or to prepare for war. We are just afraid to ask for the taxes our proposals require.
And so the President of the United States closes his warlike message with a revealing personal word. "In these days and weeks", he says, "I ask for your help, and your advice. I ask for your suggestions, when you think we could to better....In meeting my responsibilities in these coming months as President, I need your good will and your support--and above all, your prayers."
And so we may be tempted to give him our good will and our prayers and try to keep him popular, and avoid the truth when it is complex or difficult, or ugly, or hard to explain to the people. But we might kill ourselves as a consequence. I believe it would be wiser to give him the advice he asks for. And that advice should be to develop a more reasonable policy for Germany.
Appendix to the SLATE Summer Conference Working Papers- July 28-30. 1961
(The following paper(s) are, for the purposes of this conference, simply informational. They are printed and circulated by Slate with the idea that more such groups as are here discussed may emerge in the future. Should it be that such groups do, indeed, become more numerous, it will be important, we think, that a good relationship be-them and the now functioning student groups be created. By passing this infermation along at this time, all of us may begin to think about the problems, possibilities, and premise of such a relationship.)
STEP and Its Relationship to the Student Movement
Albert F. Lannon
Stand Together For Education and Progress, an action and education oriented organization of young working people from the Bay Area who are concerned with the economic and social problems of themselves and their co-workers, in addition to the broader problems of national and international relations.
STEP was founded on May 28, 1961, by a group of young working people who realized that the dynamic and progressive student movement could not fill their needs. Being aware of the differing problems of students and workers, we non-students feel that we cannot contribute, nor can we gain fully be attaching ourselves to the fringes of the student movement.
Therefore we have founded STEP, open to all young workers regardless of race, nationality, political or religious beliefs who wish to unite in learning and acting to advance their common interests.
STEP has a strong regard for the student movement, which has borrowed from the workers their traditional weapon, the picket line, and whose words and deeds have inspired new hope in the ability of young people to meet the problems that confront them. We seek close relations with the student movement, for while many of our problems and needs are different, we have much in common.
American youth, worker and student, are beginning to rise from the much of cold war fear, McCarthyite intimidation and the hypnotic lure of "Buy Now - Pay Later" luxury. The Sit-ins, Freedom Rides, etc., started a chain of events that has shown the ability of young people to prove that they are neither beat nor silent.
While students have been in the forefront of the new protest, particularly in the South, larger numbers of young non-students are becoming aware of the social, economic, and political injustices that plague our land. The final day of the San Francisco HUAC hearings in May, 1960, following the police hesing and attack on the student demonstrators, over 5000 people turned out in protest, at least half of which were workers. Among the arrested were also a number of workers. Since then, issues like the US intervention in Cuba, peace and the Freedom Rides have seen more and more young workers "hit the bricks" alongside the students. These movements have primarily been student led and directed. The young worker, without an "in" among the students, only hears about these things second hand and shows up to lend support. The young worker plays no role in planning, discussing or studying the various aspects of the issue or movement. He is a hanger-on. Workers also do not have the time to academically study this or that question. Once aware of a situation, action is the keynote.
For the simple reason that they constitute the majority of the population, working people must become informed and active on these vital issues that the students have taken up, or these movements stand little chance of success.
This today is a very difficult task, for the young worker is bombarded on all sides by contradictory opinions. The AFL-CIO calls for renewed nuclear testing by the US and action against the Soviet Union, economically and militarily if necessary, in sharp contrast with the neutralist sentiments of the West European trade unions. The latter rarely makes the newspapers here, though. The AFL-CIO has just scuttled the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee drive. The Teamsters are proclaiming their opposition to the Meany-Reuther domination of the Labor Movement and are talking about reviving the slogan of "Organize the unorganized." The Labor Movement is splitting. There is an immense need for new direction of the young working force in the trade union movement.
STEP was founded for several reasons. First, to involve interested young non-students in the student-led movements that affect both equally. HUAC, peace, nuclear testing, Civil Rights and the like are issues where joint discussion and action, involving all sections of the community - student, worker, etc. - can and should be effected.
Second, to initiate discussion, education and action on levels that students wouldn't or couldn't ordinarily take up, such as the repressive Landrum-Griffin act, apprenticeship and job training problems, unemployment (affecting young people worse than any other group except Negroes), etc.
Third, to acquaint and educate ourselves and our co-workers on trade unionism, splits in the Labor Movement, the economics of military spending, and the question of a peacetime economy in America. We hope to establish close ties with organized labor.
Last, STEP provides a center for people with common problems to talk and discuss specific job problems and possible solutions. STEP also provides an area of political activity for those who have left the academic community. As a spedifically issueoriented organization, STEP provides an alternative to the rigid lines of the various political groups.
The student movement cannot fill these needs, for while the draft is a pressing problem to young workers, a discussion of ROTC is meaningless. A separate organization of, by and for young working people, in close cooperation with the student movement will be able to meet these problems. Such cooperation will enable young workers to involve themselves in a positive fashion in student-led actions, and enable the students to reach out and involve larger sections of the community and labor movement on broad issues.
The new protest of young people is still growing. For this protest to achieve success, workers must be involved and activated. STEP hopes to bring many young workers who react on issues into an organization where they will find a community of interest where action, education, and discussion, both independently and in conjunction with the student movement can be effected, and where a common ground can be established between two important sections of the community, workers and students.
Albert F. Lannon, a founding member of STEP, workds in the direct mail and shipping industry, and attends Oakland City College in the evenings.
The discussion centered on the problems of the student when he engages political and social action in the context of the academic community.
A statement by the President of Antioch College on recent student demonstrations on Cuba was read. The attitude of this college's administration was one of tolerance and even encouragement, considering that political involvement was an intergral part of the educative process. Unfortunately in most schools the administrations' view of academic freedom consists only of allowing the scholar to work in a narrow authorized field. The administration generally discourages political activity of students in response to pressure of external forces and a fear that education in the classic sense will be disrupted.
Problems faced by the University Administration
- pressure from its sources of income
- fear of unfavorable publicity as a result of unpopular political stands and/or student irresponsibility
- reluctance and/or inability to act on the merits, etc. of individual cases because of red tape, breaurocracy, etc.
possible actions to alleviate outside pressure
- go to legislature
- ask them to give up policy making power
- ask them to intervene in certain cases (this, however, may establish precedents allowing them to intervene at another time destructively
- encourage administration to work independently from legislature when possible
- how much policy do the sources of university income have the right to make
- how autonomous is the university from society in general
- what about secondary schools and city colleges
- are profs "civil servants"
- where is the point where student political action hurts the rest of the educative functions of the university
- what are the rights and responsibilities of the student to the academic society
- how much power should the university have to protect its existence (status quo)
- how can the right of the competent student to attend school be assured even if he participated in politically unpopular activities? by law? by custom?
- why does the administration fear extension of student policy-making power
- those outlined in sections 2 and 3 in Mike Miller's working paper
- Academic Freedom week should be an opportunity to review the status and progress of academic freedom by means of workshops consisting of students, faculty, and administration
- in working for an extension of academic freedom the cooperation and consultation with the administration be emphasised
- the possibility of loyalty oath strikes, court action of test cases be considered
- that a Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities be energetically worked upon
- with consideration of the needs of the university as well as the freedom of the students
- that intensive exchange of ideas on such a statement be accomplished thru a clearing-house; possibly thru the facilities of New University Thought
- that active soliciting of support of such a document be made in student, faculty, and administrative circles
Freedom of Expression for Foreign Students
The workshop spent some time discussing exactly what the problems of foreign students were. It was pointed out that foreign students attempting to participate in political activities in the U.S. sometimes face trouble from their home country as well as from the U.S. immigration authorities. For instance, if the home country will not renew their passports, they cannot stay in the U.S. Non-Caucasian students have special problems: they have to get an American sponsor who will take all legal and monetary responsibility for the student. The student's natural gratitude to the sponsor is sometimes exploited: if the student has an (illegal) arrangement to work for the sponsor he cannot complain without being deported. Students from underdeveloped countries are given a thorough and lengthy security check by the C.I.A. before being given a visa.
The workshop agreed that foreign students should be accorded full constitutional rights to freedom of expression, etc. The reasoning behind this was essentially as in Section 3 of the workshop working paper. The workshop did not approve of defining narrower limits than this, such as confining foreign students to action on foreign' affairs issues.
It was agreed that freedom of expression could best be secured by legislation, but that the present Congress would not pass such legislation. Therefore, the workshop agreed that the Attorney General should be urged to: (1) define liberal limits on freedom of expression for foreign students, so that they are guaranteed full constitutional rights; (2) acquaint foreign students entering this country with this definition; (3) warn foreign students when possible that they are endangering their status; (4) require open departmental hearings on renewal of permission to stay, with all charges stated.
The workshop agreed that intercampus liaison should be maintained so that quick action could be taken on future activities and particular foreign student cases; and that there should be an educational campaign, with letters to the Attorney General and pressure through N.S.A., directed towards getting the Attorney General to rule as stated above.
The debate over compulsory ROTC developed into two opposing factions:
1) The view that the important object was to get rid of compulsory ROTC, per se, and that this removal should be achieved by marshalling such arguments as as the military inefficiency and low educational quality of this program and the inequity of imposing unusual burdens on particular groups. It was felt that immediate practical results should be the concern of the student movement.
2) The view that this important "bread-and-butter" issue should be used to provoke a wider debate; for example,
a) To assert the view that the academic community has a special role which is inimical with military activities as an official and enforced duty of students.
b) To point out that the particular military activities are phony -- avoiding an honest presentation of the true nature of modern war.
c) To raise the question of the role of the military in a more general sense, with such questions as the rationality of any military organization in the H-Bomb era.
Full Report of the Workshop on Freedom of the Campus Press.
The committee agreed on certain very basic requirements for a free campus press and makes the following statement of recommendations.
Since we recognize as an evil, in all university-subsidized newspapers, the opportunity for the university to exercise controls over the news and editorial content of the paper-- by selecting editors, restricting subject matter, censoring, etc. We recommend:
(a) that the selection of editors lie solely in the hands of the newspaper staff;
(b) that the choice of subject matter be left completely to the discretion of the editor and that this choice shall not be subject to interference or pressure from faculty, administration, or student groups;
(c) that the newspaper must be guaranteed the freedom to choose a position and take a stand in the name of the paper on any issue.
These recommendations, if carried out, will give university-subsidized newspapers freedom equivalent, in constitution, to independently-run campus papers. But since, in almost every case, the campus press is a monopoly press, certain further guarantees must be made to ensure free expression through the press. No constitution will ensure these guarantees. If the constitutional integrity of the paper is to be preserved, provision for free expression and for adequate presentation of dissenting opinions, both on the paper's general editorial policy and on any of its particular stands, must be made within the framework of the newspaper's general editorial policy. Therefore we recommend:
(d) that each cempus newspaper institute an Open Letters policy which will guarantee free expression and free debate;
(e) that staff positions be opened to any interested student, the only criterion being journalistic competence; for only through a fluid staff acceptance policy may dissenters join the ranks of the paper and move up within those ranks so that they may exert their influence effectively;
(f) that staff meetings be made open to the public so that the paper's readers may have the opportunity to comment upon the operation, the policies, and the editorial stands of the newspaper, for we feel that criticism in all areas of the paper's operation is highly desirable. This last recommendation will remove from before the student body the aura of mystery which surrounds the production of a newspaper; it will serve to confront the editors with views different from their own and to define the areas of dissent on questions of editorial policy; and it will arouse interest in the newspaper, which in turn will help to get more people to come out for staff positions and thus help to solve the major problem of finding an adequate staff.
Our first three proposals stand as specific recommendations which university-controlled newspapers can make to the administration representatives at their university. They are also clear-cut issues behind which student groups can take an eminently justifiable stand. Perhaps most important, these three recommendations, as issues, bring up the whole question of university control-- why universities want to control the campus press and whether a university has any more right to control the student newspaper than it has to control what its teachers say in their classrooms.
These recommendations are nothing new. They have long been fought for. But the fight for freedom of the college press has traditionally been chaotic. Student tempers flare periodically over one restriction or another-- at one campus or another. However there has been no consostent student stand on what constitutes freedom of the press-- and certainly there has been no concerted action between campuses to gain certain specific basic guarantees, such as those we have proposed in our first three recommendations. We believe that now is the time to begin such action, that now we must agree on the specific principles for which we must fight.
Unfortunately, chances are slim that most university-controlled papers will be made independent in the immediate or very near future. We can only hope-- and this hope is not at all far-fetched-- that the repeated demands of students on many campuses for the same basic guarantees will lend to those guarantees, if only by their popularity, an air of respectability in the eyes of the public, of legislative representatives, and, in turn, of university administrators.
As we have said, no university administration can ensure feeedom of the press on campus; university administrators can only make that freedom possible. Once independence from the university is won for the campus press, students must act to secure it and to keep it free from being abused. We realize that there is an inherent danger in having, as we have proposed, a self-perpetuating monopoly press. But, if checks are to be put on the press, we feel that the students at large, not the university nor even the student government, ought to administer these checks-- and to administer them according to democratic principles.
The second three of our recommendations are designed to allow students to secure for themselves many of the freedoms they seek. These are proposals which student groups can begin immediately to put into effect. We feel that it is reasonable to ask any college newspaper to open its letter columns, its staff positions, and the doors to its meetings, and we believe that such proposals would have the general support of students on almost any campus.
But adoption of the recommendations presented above will not be a panacea for the ills of college journalism. Certainly the existence of these conditions is prerequisite if we are to have a good college press, but they are not sufficient in and of themselves. A free press is not necessarily an excellent press. A guarantee of a free press does not ensure that adequate use will be made of this freedom. The most important condition, the sine qua non, of outstanding college journalism is an understanding of the newspaper's function in an academic community.
The committee could not agree as to just what the function of a college paper should be. We all agreed that the campus press, as part of academic life, should deal in the realm of ideas-- of political and social questions. But some members of the committee felt that the paper had a responsibility to cover other aspects of campus life-- student actuvities and social events. Members of the committee disagreed violently as to the relative importance of the realm of "ideas" as opposed to local campus hi-jinx.
Should the college paper restrict itself to covering campus activities or should it consider itself as part of the broader educational experience of the university? The committee could reach no consensus and therefore makes no recommendation on this point. However, the committee finds the problem basic to the problem of a free press. How much leeway a university will allow its newspaper will depend upon what the university administration considers the function of a newspaper to be. If the administration thinks that its newspaper should be apolitical, it will institute measures to guarantee that it is apolitical -- measures such as making its own editorial appointments, withholding funds, instituting practices of censorship, etc. A university which will not allow its newspaper independence usually maintains its control to make sure that the newspaper will serve the function that adminidtration officials want it to serve. We recommend that where a newspaper is controlled, in one way or another, by an arm of the administration, students should press the administration to make clear what it considers the newspaper's function on campus to be.
Whether we realize it or not, the real battleground in most free-the-campus-press conflicts is the ideological arena, and in the contests these different views of the role of the campus press are pitted against one another. Even where the press has a large measure of independence, free press battles arise over such differences between students themselves. We therefore recommend that each newspaper review carefully its policies so that it may decide what its function is and should be. Only in this way can the real battle lines be drawn.
The most effective short-run campaign for students to take action upon now, we feel, would be a move to open staff positions, letter columns, and meeting-room doors. Since it is largely a matter of opinion on most campuses as to whether staff positions and space in letter columns are freely available, we feel that the only effective way to start this campaign would be to press concertedly for well-publicized open staff meetings. By this means other crucial questions can be investigated and interest can be aroused for long-run campaigns.
Student Political Action and the University Administration
The discussion centered around two inter-related problems:
1) The probable effects of on and off campus status, and Slate's loss of recognition
2) The civil liberties of students and procedural safeguards of them.
Under the first, the following points were raised:
Off-campus status handicaps a student political party in its efforts to recruit students and to create discussion through the issues raised in election campaigns.
Even those disagreeing with SLATE's stands on issues should be enlisted in the fight for student political activity on campus.
When faced with specific cases of violation of civil liberties of students by administrations, legal action should be considered as a possibility. The Supreme Court ruled against the right of a state to allow a private corporation to restrict the distribution of literature in a company town. (Marsh vs. Alabama)
The possibility of mass action was mentioned, and its assets and limitations discussed.
Under Student Rights the following points were brought forward:
There never have been procedural guarantees of student civil liberties, nor even an explicit formulation of what students' rights should be.
The best argument we have for winning the right to political activity on campus is that such activity serves the philosophical ideals of the university_those of intellectual freedom, the free exchange of ideas, and preparation for democratic citizenship.
Every campus political party should make a detailed list of all violations of civil liberties by the administration on their campus, and submit it to the NSA, which is co-ordinating research on the problem of student rights and civil liberties.
The expulsion from Southern Universities of students participating in the sit-ins has aroused interest in students' rights, and AAUP, NSA, ACLU and other organizations are now working on the problem.
UNANIMOUS CONSENSUS WAS REACHED ON THE FOLLOWING TWO POINTS:
1) Political activity by students serves the educational purposes of a university. Student political groups should have the right to use university facilities, and they should be protected from interference with their activity by the administration.
2) Student political parties should aid the efforts of organizations already doing research in the area of student civil liberties.
Report of two combined workshops: Legal & Political Status of the Farm Worker; Social Conditions of Farm Labor.
L. General social-labor legislation should be extended to farm workers: wormen's compensation, disability insurance, minimum wage, unemployment compensation, old age and survivors insurance, collective bargaining guarantees.
2. General support of the unionization of farm workers.
Suggestions for Implementations:
1. Education of campus community and public at large (presentation of speakers films, panels, work camps &c.).
2. Testimony for legislative hearings and committees.
3. Pressure in the form of letters, documentation, &c., on legislators and that the state administration.
The ultimate postion for the workers is a stable one. Only about 1/3 of agricultural workers are migrants the rest mostly homeowners.
How can the migrant workers be stabilized?
1) Planning on crops and diversification.
2) Organization of growers getting together on prices.
3) Who is to handle re-settlement projects?
4) Propose legislation has neglected the effect of migrants from the South entering the California labor force.
5) Human values are also a question.
6) Unionization: The national AFLOCIO has stopped all funds except the director's salary--organization in slum areas is necessary--in Stockton a local union of agricultural workers is forming.
Small farmers could be organized into co-operatives, since they have to some extent approved of unionization of workers and social legislation.
Should we attempt to persuade the Democratic Party to help the workers or should we support a labor candidate?
Migrant Farm Workers
I The meeting began with a discussion relating to the problems of migratory workers.
II Next, we discussed the ways in which student groups can actively participate in this problem area.
1. Radio station KPFA, a non-commercial station, has recently produced an excellent tape entitled "Sometimes You Work A Day". On it was recorded a profoundly moving description of the conditions in which migratory workers live related by the laborers as they were working the fields. This tape and a campanion tape which has a discussion between a number of academicians from Fresno State College can be obtained from KPFA, Berkeley, California for a nominal charge
2. Bringing speakers to campus, showing films, such as "Harvest of Shame", distributing literature and leaflets on campus.
3. Work-camp weekends during which students spend at least one day in the fields discussions with people closely involved in the problem, religious leaders union representatives, individuals from service organizations and growers.
4. Prepare testimony on state legislative proposals.
5. Work with other interested groups -- Community Service Organization Friends Service Committee, Migrant Ministry
6. Perhaps influence growers to improve their facilities. How?
a. It was suggested that we seek out growers who have have made some minimal effort and have them talk to other growers.
b. This was felt by many to be useless.
c. Should employers be giving workers "facilities and benefits" which are really their rights as citizens and human beings?
d. Opinions ranged from working with growers to working against them.
7. Set up schools at work camps and/or perhaps provide transportation to schools.
8) Harvest House - This is a recent effort to work more closely within the agricultural workers on a "grass-roots" level helping them in their interest and working with them on community projects. For more information write to:
805 E. Weber Ave.
A fundamental question was raised which all students interested in this problem area must consider -- If the Teamsters, led by James Hoffa should begin to organize the farm laborers will you actively support him? Perhaps, SLATE and other interested groups should sponsor a debate on this issue.
Questions not resolved or not thoroughly discussed:
1) Can anything in this field be achieved with the aid of an agricultural labor union?
2) What are the problems of organizing migratory labor?
Farm Labor Situation in California
The Community Service Organization, which is organized primarily by the Spanish-speaking people for social and legislative action, recently decided to launch an initiative campaign. This iniative essentially asks for a minimum wage and certain labor-bargaining rights for Agricultural Labor. The workshop recommends that:
a) Members of the conference go back to their respective campuses and organize support for the C.S.O. initiative.
b) That such organizations take a statewide form under the commonname, Youth for Farm Labor Initiative.
c) That on each campus the Youth for Farm Labor Initiative be to assist the C.S.O. in the initiative campaign that the C.S.O. will use the Youth organization's services as they see fit, and that it is understood that C.S.O. shall decide upon all matters of policy.
d) That on each campus the Youth for Farm Labor Initative be open to all members in the form of a single issue committee and that existing student organizations be informed of the first meeting of these committees.
It was suggested by one member of the workshop that after the initiative had been passed or failed the youth organization might consider continuing to act as a group on the farm labor problem.
The workshop recommended that "Youth" be used in the title of the organization in place of "student" primarily so that the organization may appeal to the community as well as the campus for membership.
It was the general concensus of the workshop that before formation of a youth organization, the C.S.O. be contacted and with their approval a functional relationship be set up with them.
This workshop devoted itself to a discussion of ways to build and maintain effective civil rights organizations and to suggestions for arousing interest and awareness in the Freedom Rider movement.
It was expressed that thus far, the various student groups have not played a prominent enough role in the Freedom Rides. The civil rights movement appears to the world to be a student movement, but in fact, the people who consider themselves to be part of the "student movement" are playing a minimal role in civil rights activities. It was suggested that the students take a responsible, leading role in the Freedom Rides, not only helping financially, but participating to the fullest extent.
It was suggested that existing civil rights groups work together and coordinate their activities. That there be a constant drive to involve organizations and individuals, not only from the campus but from the community.
The following suggestions were made for specific activity:
1) Telegrams and letters should be sent to prominent people, pressuring them to act, to make a statement, to investigate conditions, etc.
2) Talk to people in the community on a door to door basis, informing them of waht has been taking place in the area of civil rights.
3) Have a widespread leaflet distribution explaining the Freedom Rides and conditions in the South.
4) Go into community with loud speaker system urging support and participation.
5) Involve religious leaders in the movement--talk to their congregations, have them talk to other religious people
6) Have complete details about how to go on the rides and who to contact--available all over the community.
7) Urge newspapers to run a series on the Freedom Riders.
8) A telethon, as was held in New York, be arranged on the West Coast.
9) Get individuals to sponsor a Freedom Rider--put up $500.00 bond.
The discussion group devoted its efforts, due to the time shortage on the problem of housing discrimination in campus committees.
We felt that Northern discrimination is not mitigated by the fact that it is sometimes referred to as being subtle. The problems are real and must be dealt with immediately. Through these proposals we feel that positive steps toward eliminating northern discrimination.
1. A list of housing which is known not to have discriminatory policies should be compiled by students. With administrative and faculty sanction of such a list it can be efective. This list can then be shown to incoming students who apply for housing.
2. Students are asked to follow the detailed outlines in the working papers in regard to methods of testing housing discrimination. Testing teams can be formed to discover those housis that discriminate. These teams can also serve to gather detailed information for the ppurpose of litigation. (In cities where laws apply)
3. Students can visit discriminating landlords asking them to sign a non-discrimination covenant, or asking them to change their policy.
4. On the opening day of a new housing project a Negro family can be sent to ask for housing knowing that nothing has been rented yet.
5. Students can devote time toward educating the community and the student body on the varoius discrimination problems as a method of rallying mass, support of your program.
6. A plan whereby realtors would buy up property to be sold in such a manner the Negro, oriental or Mexican families will be purposely placed next to a Caucasian family. If a White family moves the vacant resident will be sold only to another White family. (This project is suggested for grad srudents)
7. Students can organize and campaign for a State anti-discrimination law, or Open occupancy law.
Northern discrimination problems vary from state to state, therrfore proposals cannot be in detail but students are urged no matter what your situation, to act immediately.
Peace and Disarmament
Reports of the Workshops on Peace and Disarmament
Tilden Park, late Sunday afternoon.
1. Economics of Disarmament.
It was felt that this was an area where there was great need for more public discussion and information. The bibliography provided with the study paper would be a basis for beginning such a discussion.
2. U.S. Foreign Policy and Disarmament.
The only conclusion come to by the participants in the workshop on "U.S. Foreign Policy and Disarmament" was that much more discussion and education on this topic is necessary among students.
3. Nuclear Testing.
Participants expressed their need for more information on the nuclear test issue, and specifically on the texts of the Soviet proposals. Some of the same distortion of the Soviet position appears to be taking place in this area as on Berlin. Several people felt that the Soviet Union changed its position for the worse with the Troika proposal, in terms of inspection, and control, and by linking tests with general disarmament; others maintained that the powers of the inspection team would not be substantially limited under the new plan. There was general agreement that Slate and other peace groups should conduct a vigorous educational campaign on nuclear tests.
Ever one felt that the slogan, "No Unilateral U.S. Resumption of Tests" was the best one in this situation. It was pointed out that on a recent KPFA program (KPFA is a Bay Area educational radio station), scientists had panned the Neutron Bomb and Nevada tunnels scare as devices to secure test resumption.
One participant saw unilateral disarmament as the only way, most others regarded a test ban as a necessary first negotiated step to disarmament by international agreements.
Plenary Session of the Conference, Sunday Afternoon.
Note: As there was not sufficient time to consider all workshop reports, the plenary session dealt only with those topics which it was felt could be most productive of co-ordinated action in the near future. You should consult the workshop reports for the workshops' recommendations in other areas.
I. Farm Labor: Workshop on California Problems.
The report of the workshop, recommending active support of the Community Service Organization's forthcoming campaign to place an initiative for minimum wage and little Wagner acts for farm workers on the California ballot, was outlined to the conference. The conference also considered the workshop's recommendation that an interconnected network of single issue groups on various campuses be set up ("Youth for the Farm Labor Initiative"), which would not, however, be limited to students. It was agreed that discussions designed to lead to such a network of organizations should be started very soon; and it was emphasized that the initiative was being sponsored by CSO, and that the students' role would be purely as auxiliary aid.
II. Civil Liberties: Compulsory ROTC.
The report of the workshop was outlined to the conference. In the workshop there had been two points of view on how the issue ought to be handled, one in favor of concentrating on a campaign to reduce ROTC to a voluntary status, the other preferring to raise also the broader questions of the place of such a non-academic program as ROTC, even on a voluntary basis, in the academic curriculum at all.
It was pointed out that these points of view were not mutually exclusive. All the arguments for putting ROTC on a voluntary basis should be collected and presented to the appropriate body-- at UC the Regents; but this does not preclude raising the question of whether even voluntary ROTC is inimical to an academic community. The tactical questions of whether to concentrate on arguments stressing the inefficiency of a compulsory program as a means of recruitment for the military officer corps, or on civil liberties arguments, could be left to each campus to decide for itself. However, activities should be co-ordinated between the compulsory-ROTC campuses, beginning with an intensive educational campaign designed to encourage public protest against compulsory ROTC, perhaps on a particular day or week to be agreed upon by several campuses. It was suggested that anti-compulsory-ROTC programs should start with such indirect action, and only turn to such direct measures as picketing ROTC classes if indirect means failed to produce results within a reasonable time.
III. Civil Rights: Northern Discrimination.
The suggestions for action, mainly in the field of housing discrimination, which had emerged from the workshop were outlined to the conference: a list of available housing near campus known not to discriminate might be sent to students; testing teams might be formed to find out where there was discrimination and where not. Proposals were outlined to get landlords to sign non-discriminatory agreements, to set up test cases for litigation under the anti-discrimination laws, and to get realtors' co-operation in promoting negro-white housing.
It was suggested that activity similar to the above might be co-ordinated between various parts of the country, particularly through the forthcoming NUT newsletter. There also seemed to be general agreement that it would be a good idea to compile a report by the end of the next school year, comparing discrimination in various places, and around various campuses, in the north.
IV. Civil Rights: Freedom Riders.
The report of the workshop on Freedom Riders was outlined to the conference. More active student participation in the rides was urged; students were also reminded that money was needed as well as bodies: if students could not themselves participate in the rides, they could still help in the vital task of raising money, in such ways as outlined in the working paper and workshop report, to allow the rides to continue.
V. Civil Rights: Fayette-Haywood.
Seeing as a considerable effort is to be devoted by the NAACP and other civil rights groups to registering Negro voters in the coming months, the student movement might very well plan a co-ordinated campaign in October or November to raise money etc. for such situations as Fayette-Haywood. It was also suggested that as students we might take some action on the closing of schools in such places as Prince Edward County, Virginia. Apart from the the student community, it was pointed out that students might be able to co-ordinate their efforts also towards raising money in urban Negro centers.
VI. Civil Liberties: Academic Freedom, and Student Political Action and the Administration.
The conference adopted sections 2 and 3 of Miller's working paper on Academic Freedom. The NSA's Academic Freedom Week (the second week of April) should be marked by the use of academic freedom-- the student movement should sponsor controversial speakers on campus, get the student government to take up academic freedom causes. The faculty should be asked to co-operate, and some of the programs should be opened to the community at large. It should be ensured that all points of view are represented by speakers during the week; the occasion should be taken to try to form a permanent committee on academic freedom, with representatives from the students, the faculty, and the administration. There should be an attempt to get bookstores to carry literature from the whole political spectrum. Either in co-ordinated intercampus action, or individually on each campus, we should work upon getting an ethical code making the student-teacher relationship privileged; and upon a student Bill of Rights, perhaps modelled on the one proposed by the NSA in the past. Communication between campuses on these issues could be maintained through the New University Thought (NUT) newsletter.
At this stage the representatives of the New University Thought Newsletter explained to the conference in detail their proposed publication. Its forst issue will be in October, initially on a monthly basis, but later hopefully bi-weekly. It will be 8 pages, with an initial printing of 3,000; designed as a medium of communication between the student movement on various campuses, although it will cover more than just this.
The Conference then adjourned.
Title: Slate Summer Conference, 1961
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