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September 26, 1969 - Image 6

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Page Six

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Friday, September 26, 1969

Poc Six THE MICHIGAN DAILY

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Biafran students explain

fight

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By IRA HOFFMAN
"What is going on in Biafra
is not a civil war.' To regard
it as one, in the face of Anglo-
Soviet and Arab intervention in
favor of Nigeria, is a mis-
nomer," says Ig o Egwu, min-
ister of information of the Ann
Arbor chapter of the Biafran
Association in the Americas.
Egwu was explaining his opin-
ions on the situation in Biafra
at a special meeting Wednesday
in accordance with B i a f r a
Week. Biafra Week was pro-
claimed in Ann Arbor by Mayor
Robert J. Harris from Sept.
22-28.
"Nigeria has lost the loyalty
of 14 million Biafrans,"' he
states, "for infringing on the
freedom of these people."
"It was the avarice of crooked
leaders which infuriated my
people and caused them to re-
sist. Biafra is a reality. It is a
challenge to Africa, the free
world, and humanity with re-
gard to justice, freedom, and
the fundamental rights of man"
Egwu argus.
Koko Ita, chairman of the
cultural and social committees
of the B i a f r a n Association,
claims that it is not Nigerians
they are fighting, but "the same
old forces of neo-colonialism."
"Most of the independent
African countries became inde-
pendent by nominal transferal
of political power by the colonial
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powers. We're determined to suc-
ceed in maintaining our inde-
pendence and survival as a peo-
ple." he says.
Ernest S. Fubara, president,
of the Association, believes that
the basic impression one re-
ceives from the struggle is the
spirit of the Biafran people.
"There is a feeling that per-
meates all of the society--the
determination of the people to
carve out our own future. The
point Biafra is trying to make
has been made. The African has
an image in his own right. He
is an individual, he has to work
things out for himself," he says.
"Three r a 11 y i n g points
emerge," Fubara says, the fight-
ing itself, the solidarity of the
people and the assertion by a
group of people who are African
and black to be recognized as a
people with the right of self-
determination.
"The Biafran people would
prefer recognition on a national
governmental level and then they
could take care of themselves.
All that is required is they be
allowed to do this," he claims.
Egwu contends that the Bia-
frans realize the horrendous
suffering they are expriencing
but will continue fighting until
independence is gained.
"Over two million Biafrans
have died due to starvation or
indiscriminate bombing, yet we
will fight until we are free," he
explains.
Egwu says that Nigeria is
using starvation as a weapon
and cites a London Times edi-
torial of June 28, 1969 which
said, "The powerful political
figure, Chief Awolowo, . . . had
argued the day before that star-
Svation was legitimate and said
that he was opposed to the
shipment of relief supplies to
the secessionists . . . . We
have," the Times prints, "the
fact that a million to a million
and a half are already dead. We
have the shooting down of the
relief aircraft. We have the ear-
lier indiscriminate bombing of
civilians and hospitals in Biafra
reported again and again.
hIn addition to the war abroad,
the Biafran students here are
concerned about what they and
other students can do to help.
Benedict Okwumabua, Bia-
fran student, asks "the students
to learn what Biafra is all about

and act according to their con-
sciences. We want to help stop
the genocide and starvation
there. If there is a donation to-
ward the relief fund it would
be appreciated."
Ita contends there are two
opportunities for the students
to help by "pressuring the Amer-
ican political system to inter-
vene diplomatically and by pro-
'iding aid to the victims of the
war."
Fubara pleads for "the sup-

Dort you have given us in the
past in the way of money, food,
medicine, etc. More important-
ly, we need pressure to be
brought to bear upon the politi-
cians of this country. We need
the U.S. to recognize Biafra as
a separate nation. People should
write to their Congressmen,
their governor, and their Presi-
dent, consistently to register
the fact that national recogni-
tion of Biafra is the wish of the
American people."

1101'181 e
to discuss prolems
By ROB BIER
What was billed as "Confrontation--Jews and Blacks" at Hillel
House Wednesday night did not quite hit the mark as the panel
failed to find points of disagreement.
"The sides didn't really meet. Interplay was lacking and the
issue of black-Jewish relations was never really touched," said
Dr. William Cash, assistant to President Robben Fleming for
human relations, who aided in summing up the panel.
Participants were Ron -Harris of the Black Student Union,
Rabbi Morton Kantor of Temple Beth El in Detroit, Jerry Gold-
berg of SDS and the Rev. Mother Waddles, from the Perpetual
Soul Saving Mission in Detroit.
Moderator Rabbi Jerry Goldman of Hillel started the dis-
cussion by asking Harris if he saw any special relationship be-
tween blacks and Jews.
"No," Harris replied. "Anti-Semitism is read into black folks
reaction to all whites, Jews or not. What Jews are doing is asking
black folks to look on them as something other than white."
The others agreed, with Rabbi Kantor adding, "To the black
today, the Jew is just another white man. But that is only part of
the story. It wasn't always so."
The discussion then moved to how people can help each other
solve their problems. "I think the establishment doesn't want people
to help each other and they won't until people realize that they
are a part of the revolution, however you want to define it," said
Mother Waddles.
"I'm a protester. When welfare doesn't help the people and
I give them food, I'm protesting. When I pull ADC mothers out of
the (picket) line and give them clothes, I'm protesting."
The formal discussion- ended after 45 minutes with Rabbi
Goldman's question, "Society has recognized its shortcomings.
Now, can it reform itself? I don't know."
As a parting shot. Harris added. "I think the Rabbi's reasons
for helping the blacks after the riot are more to prevent another
one, than to help anyone." An hour-long question and answer per-
iod followed.
No real confrontation developed all night. Dr. Jack Rothman
described the whole debate when he said, "It was a very stereo-
typed discussion."

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After 30 Volkswagens, Father Bittman still believes.

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In the begmnning, Fatner Alys'us Bitt-
man bought a bug.
That was in 19.57 when he oned the
staff of St. Anthony's Indian M sson in
Mandaree, North Dakota.
Since then, [ather Birrman has gone a
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Luckily, one 255 pound priest and one
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oil change, the good father and his

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