With the city’s contract with the Madison Bus Company set to expire on November 10, the council takes control of the negotiations. It directs Mayor Bill Dyke to strike a deal for a six-month extension, after which the city will buy the company – provided it gets federal aid. But the company has already rejected that condition – it wants an absolute option to sell to the city by early next May because it needs to complete its liquidation plan by August 1, 1970. If it doesn’t, it will have to pay hefty corporate income taxes. Dyke is to report back to the council on October 21 – less than three weeks before the city’s contract with the bus company – and the company’s contract with its Teamster drivers – expire.
The University of Wisconsin will stay open on Moratorium Day, October 15, President Fred Harvey Harrington declares, even though “many of us in the UW are in support” of the Mobilization Committee’s effort to end the war. It’s just that university rules only allow for classes to be closed for a local appearance by the President of the United States, or a major party nominee for the presidency, or with approval of the regents’ executive committee. “Students have every right to expect that the promised instruction for which they have enrolled will occur at the time and place specified in their schedule,” Harrington says. Chancellor Edwin Young will provide rooms for teach-ins to take place, but says he expects all instructors to be in their classrooms. Marge Tabankin, chair of the University Moratorium committee, calls on students to ignore the administration and pressure faculty to not hold classes on October 15 so faculty and students “can spend the day working and organizing against the war both on and off campus.” Administrative vice president of the Wisconsin student association, Tabankin also co-chaired the Union Forum Committee that presented the Black Revolution conference that helped spark the Black Studies Strike in February.
Federal judge James E Doyle of Madison did the right thing when he ordered the university to reinstate three students the regents suspended without hearing during the black studies strike In February, a distinguished law professor declares. Writing in the Vanderbilt Law Review, Prof. Charles Alan Wright of the University of Texas calls Doyle “a protector of the constitutional rights of college students, who has shown an extraordinary sensitivity in these matters. “
Madison’s 1600 public school teachers narrowly accept a one-year contract with a $450 raise, and a starting rate of $7,250. Madison Teachers Incorporated executive director John Matthews says the slim margin was because the contract lets elementary school principals assign teachers to lunch room duty if they’re unable to hire non certified assistants. It’s a sore spot to the profession, he says. The Board of Education votes on the contract October 20.
About 8000 Madison youngsters, and a smattering of university students, take a 32-mile Walk for Development to combat poverty, raising about 85000 for farming cooperatives in Mississippi and a fishery in Chad, Africa. Among those joining the march, sponsored by the American Freedom From Hunger Organization and organized by local high school students, is civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer.
The city council praises the Madison police department for how it handled Rev. James Groppi the welfare demonstrations at the capitol the fortnight before. It adopts a resolution commending the police “for the humanitarian way in which they faced overwhelming odds and the expert manner in which they protected the democratic rights of the citizenry.” Resolution sponsor R Whelan Burke says it was “a stroke of police genius” for Inspector John Harrington to clear the Assembly chamber of a thousand occupiers without injury or arrest. The only alder to vote against the commemorative resolution is Fifth Ward alder Eugene Parks, who calls the use of police against Groppi and the demonstrators “just one more symbol of the oppressiveness and viciousness of American society.” The other student ward alder, Paul Soglin, abstains from voting on the resolution because he says it doesn’t deal with the real question of why the police were called out “in the face of certain alienated segments of society.”
After 12 days under sanctuary at the First Congregational Church and five nights in the open at Resistance House, draft resister Kenneth Vogel is arrested by two agents from the FBI at 4:30 Friday afternoon October 3. He faces up to five years if convicted.
The 240-man Madison-based 826th Ordnance Company of the US Army Reserves heads for home after a year in Viet Nam, and thankfully no casualties.
And that’s this week’s Madison in the Sixties. For the award-winning WORT News Team, I’m Stu Levitan