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March 19, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1974-03-19

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94i at tyian 43 l
Eighty-Four Years of Editorial Freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan






h 6-

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

News Phone: 764-0552

BARCELONA, Spain, Marc


Happy birthday, Judge Siriea

Sirica ordered that a grand jury re-
port on President Nixon's role in the
Watergate affair be delivered to the
House Judiciary Committee for use in the
impeachment inquiry.
"It would be difficult," said the judge
in his opinion, "to conceive of a more
compelling need than that of this coun-
try for an unswervingly fair inquiry based
on all the pertinent information."
Today, March 19, is Judge Sirica's 70th
birthday. The law now requires him to
step down as chief judge of the U. S. Dis-
trict Court in Washington, and Sirica,
forever a man of the law, is stepping
down. He will, however, remain on the
District Court's judicial panel, and has
already assigned himself the remaining
Watergate cover-up trials.
Sirica, never known for flamboyant
quotes, yesterday described his efforts to
resolve the issue of the grand jury's re-
port: "It's been late night work, early
morning hours, things like that."
innocence in the Watergate scandal
may never be fully resolved, but one
thing is certain: the story that began in'
June of 1972 and may not end for many
months has gone far to shatter Ameri-
cans' sense of confidence or trust in the
machinery and the people of their gov-
But it is most reassuring to know that
even if men in the Pentagon, men in the
White House, men in all the big and
small smoke-filled rooms of government-
al corruption spend their nights trying
to bulldoze the democracy, at least one
John Sirica is staying up late and doing
his legal damnedest to stop them.
We wish him a happy birthday.

Editor's Note: Paul O'Donnell is European
Correspondent for The Daily. I have included the
letter and postcard he sent with his most re-
cent story so that readers can better under-
stand the context in which this article was
written. Paul is a University student currently
studying in Barcelona.
Dear Marnie,
As I mail this letter, I also send you a
postcard in the hopes that at least one of
them will arrive. I have reason to believe
that my mail is being interfered with (let-
ters arriving which have been opened, etc.)
I took the precaution to mail this letter
f rm Valladolid, where I am visiting an art
exposition. I do this especially because the
Puig Antich affair is the hottest item going
in Barrelona at this moment, the repression
and student protest are even stronger than
after the Carrero Blanco killing.
Many cases of repression have taken place
that no one hears about. Student rumors
mention tortures, atrocities, etc. None of
this 1 can verify however, so I stuck to
what I saw and what the newspapers (who
usually understate the case) printed.
One Barcelona activist told me, "Be care-
ful, you're sticking your neck out on this
one." Other Barcelona sources would talk.
in private but not on the phone.
The handout I'm sending you describes
the situation from a Spanish leftist point of
view. Although the organization which
printed the flyer is a trotskyite organization
whose methods I don't approve of, their
version is closer to the truth than the news-
If you want, you can notify me of re-
ception through my family.

' dent at the same University where I
study in Barcelona, political activist, was
sentenced to death by the Supreme Council
of Military Justice and executed in the ear-
ly hours of the morning of March 2, 1974.
His death took place twelve hours after the
government refused to commute the sen-
tence. Although the charges against him
were "acts of terrorism . ... resulting in the
death of a police officer," anyone with
even a casual knowledge of the facts can see
that this execution had obvious political
overtones. Puig Antich was in his middle
twenties when he died.
What exactly are the facts? Briefly and
as accurately as possible considering the
limited information available, they are:
* that Puig Antich was a member of an
extremist organization (the Iberian Libera-
tion Movement or MIL) of anarchist ten-
! that he was involved in the hold-up of
a Barcelona bank, the goal of which was
to gather funds for his organization.
f that he was identified and captured
more than six months after the robbery.
Of the arrest there seems to be many
versions, the most plausible of which being
that there was a scuffle between Puig An-
tich and the police officers, that the' police
officers beat Puig Antich, and that the lat-
ter fired one or more shots during the
melee. It is reported that more bullets
were found in the dead policeman's corpse
than were missing from Puig Antich's pistol.
Whatever the truth may be, most jurists,
professors, and reporters I talked to agreed
that there seems to be doubt as to whe-
ther or not it was Puig Antich's bullet that
killed the policeman.
Even after the sentence was declared on
January 8, 1974 and confirmed on February
11, most observers expected the govern-
ment to commute the death penalty: it
would have been the first time in ten years
that the death penalty had been used, it
would be logical that the less-than-three-
month-old government (which replaced the
government of assassinated Carrero Blanco)
would grant a suspension of capital pun-
ishment, if only to curry public favor. The
case had drawn international attention; im-
portant figures in Sweden, France, the
United States, and elsewhere tried to in-
fluence the government for humane rea-
sons. But the Spanish government decided
to "show who's boss;" Puig Antich was
strangled to death on the second day of

The news exploded like a bomb in Barce-
lona. I learned about it an hour or two
after it happened through the "student
grapevine." Hundreds of telephone calls
saying "they killed him" crossed- the city.
Reaction was immediate on both sides: the
students took to the street and the police
responded: with an iron hand, of course.
Here is an account of what happened:
MONDAY, MARCH 4: The University
opened as usual, but with certain dif-
ferences: more than 200 Assault guards
(riot police) were standing in front of the
building; inside the walls were splashed
with painted slogans and posters: LET
INOS!! Down the street, on Barcelona's
main avenue, hundreds of people demon-
strated, fire bombs were thrown, arrests
were made. Inside the University, a quiet
tension reigned; plain-clothes police were
ubiquitous, my papers were checked more
than once by police. All foreigners were
advised to carry their passports at all
times. During an afternoon class, one teach-
er read a proclamation, supported by num-
erous students and faculty members, con-

was frisked . . . one of the cops hit my girl-
friend and told us to disperse. There must
have been a demonstration in the area ..."
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6 - The police
cleaned out the University, foreign students
and all. One American student was in the
library when the "clean-up" took place. He
reports: "I was in the library, reading,
with my back to the door, when I heard a
lotta noise. I looked around and saw a
group of "grises" (riot police) in the lib-
rary, about twenty of them, kicking every-
body out by force . . . I took my books
and left, talking English the whole time
so they'd know that I'm foreign, and they
confiscated my student card as I left." The
foreign newspapers that the students in
my section read didn't appear. and it was
obvious that the government was covering
things up. I was obliged to resort to trying
to hear foreign broadcasts with my AM
radio. From what I could understand, Euro-
pean opinion condemned the execution.
morning, I took advantage of the "vaca-
tion" to write this article, and send it to
the United States. As an American student,
I didn't know what it was like to study in a

"In reaction to the lack of expression in Spain, I even find
myself writing political slogans on the inside walls of public
toilets . .. (as) my only way of expressing protest and in-
dignation at the Spanish brand of justice."
............ - ~................... --vr:--- " ""- "::w.v :."v:: : ." ."q;."r" .t :"q::vs. t.'r5~": L:r.."":tes sa '<$m k:"': :S°rs ;}:{,'ais :.

John Sirica

News :Jeff Day, Jim Schuster, Bill Ship-
ley, Sue Stephenson, Becky Warner
Editorial page: Clifford Brown, Brian Col-
gan, Marnie Heyn
Arts page: Ken Fink
Photo technician: Rolfe Tessem
Staff artist: Doug Zernow

demning the government action. Ile con-
cluded the discussion by saying "In Spain,
there is no legal or legitimate way to pro-
test government actions, . . . all opposition
is illegal or clandestine, . . . even the press
has little freedom . . . Foreign students
can be deported for criticising the govern-
TUESDAY, MARCH .5: More demonstra-
tions, more police, but the University re-
mained open. Special police in large num-
bers tore down the posters and slogans on
the walls, pulling away at a black mourn-
ing ribbons tied around the 19th century
pillars of the University. Sandblasters eras-
ed the painted slogans; they and the poster-
tearing police seemed to attack their work
with real hatred for those who had put
them up. Even the mostly apolitical foreign
students has a taste of Spanish law enforce-
ment: One French-Canadian reports: "We
were in a cafe at about 9:00 p.m. when we
decided to leave. As we 'eft, several plain-
clothes cops grabbed us and pushed us out
of the cafe. One of the Spanish fellow's bag

University that is often closed by the police
for "unrest" of one kind or another; last
year the University where I study was
closed during a majority of the nine month
school year. In Spain, Kent State-type inci-
dents take place every year, but the press
can't publicize them. In reaction to the
lack of expression in Spain, I even find my-
self writing political slogans on the inside
walls of public toilets. That, and my articles
to the United States, are my only way of
expressing protest and indignation at the
Spanish brand of justice.
It would be unfair, however, to stop here.
One Spanish friend who read my last Daily
article said, "It's not enough to criticize
the Franquist dictatorship. Franco and his
regime are directly supported by the U.S.
government, and Franco will never fall
while America has military bases on Span-
ish soil." He was right. The theme of
America calling itself the defender oi demo-
cracy while it supports, even provokes,
military dictatorships all over the world is
an important one. One that will, certainly,
be the subject of a future article.



. . -


lettersletters lettersletterslettersleti



MM MROF 11E AW Wr1 SCE eNhesE ARN 1 w ~kc1i jj IJ
A. GM 4 Ot1IO&6 BLClt ~MAG ?PIt
Impeachment events for you

A MARCH ON Marvin Esch's local Ann Arbor
office is being planned for this month by the
Ann Arbor Committee to -Impeach Nixon. The
object of the march will be to show Mr.
Esch the amount of support for impeachment
among his constituency. Mr. Esch has not yet
given his unqualified support for impeachment,
so support from the local constituents is neces-
sary to convince him to vote for impeachment.
Another scheduled event is a massive "walk
for impeachment," which. consists of canvassing
neighborhoods and supplying materials for let-
terwriting. Taking part in this tactic is an ex-
tremely effective method of relating your feel-

demonstration to be held April 27 to rally for
impeachment. In addition to a march, the de-
monstration will include a rally and an im-
peachment fair followed by several speakers.
Activities for the impeachment fair will in-
clude guerilla theater, booths, and displays by
various impeachment groups from throughout
the country. Washngton D.C., Chicago, and an
as-yet-undetermined city on the west coast are
planned as the sites of the activities. The Ann
Arbor Committee to Impeach Nixon will be
sending buses to demonstrations in Chicago and
WITH THE ADVENT of the streaking craze,

fence sitting
To The Daily:
ON FEBRUARY 28, the Demo-
cratic City Committee held a meet-
ing at which they were forced to
deal with Rent Control because of
the presence of members of the
Tenants Union and the Human
Rights Party. H.R.P. taped the de-
bacle and the results are not sur-
prising to those familiar with the
Dems' position on Rent Control.
The Dems have been stalling on
Rent Control since its introduction
on council last winter. Dems and
Republicans blocked a resolution
that would have immediately im-
plemented Rent Control and sub-
stituted a commission to study i.
The commission, rather than re-
commending any specific program
to control Ann Arnor's rapidly ris-
ing rents, instead stated that fur-
ther study was needed. Further
studies will not creat- more hous-
ing units in the inner city; further
studies will not ensure maintenance
of housing units by 'andiords; nor
will Democratic 31)w-wows on the
political expediency of Rent Con-
trol help people u understand the

take a position on everything "
Laird Harris, chs'person of the
Ann Arbor Demo -ratic Party, ex-
plained at the opening of the .
meeting the reason or the Party's
"stand." He said, "A decision was
made last time basically that we
would not say yes or no because
no matter which way it went it
would embarrass several candi-
WHY IS RENT Control such an
embarrassing issue for the Dems?
Could it be that they are feeling
pressure not only from the voters,
but also from a prominent local
landlord/attorney who "loaned" the
party $3,000.00 last year.
The major questions asked by
Democratic Party members of
Jonathon Rose (Tenants Union)
concerned the opportunity for Ann
Arbor landlords to make "a fair
profit." Many expressed the opin-
ion that a profit of 14 per cent
above all expenses (including mort-
gage, interest, maintenarce, and
capital improvements) would not
be sufficient. They expressed fears
that despite the numerous tax ad-
vantages that landlords currently

THERE CAN be no doubt that
Rent Control is one of the hottest
issues in this election, and the
Dems, in their usual efforts to be
all things to all people, are now
caught in a bind of their own mak-
ing. Tom Weider, campaign man-
ager of the second ward, summed
up the Dems' dilemmai 'There
cannot be a single Party position
on the thing without greatly alienat-
ing some of the people who have
already taken stands."
It seems that the Dem strategy
will be to support Rent Control
in the wards with high tenant
populations and to slatn it in the
others. Whether the voters and the
landlords will let the Dems get
away with this deceptive mefnod
of campaigning will be decided at
the polls on April 1.
--Diane Lee Kohn
February 14
To The Daily:
BY WATCHING the television
coverage it appears that there is
only one Democratic Presidential
candidate for 1976, that being Sen-

mittee Chairman Robert Strauss,
and his growing support in organ-
ized labor. He has also tried to
project himself as a friend of lib-
erals though his rating by the lib-
eral Americans for Democratic Ao
tion gave him a 55 per cent.
I can not easily forget Jackson's
candidacy in 1972 when he called
Senator McGovern's cutting of the
defense budget fat as surrendering
to the Communists. We quickly saw
that the McCarthy Red Scare was
still an effective weapon. Even
now he keeps pushing the Red
Scare, warning against a detente
with Russia.
Meanwhile, one man in tne Sen-
ate has been fighting nard for the
people on important issues, not
just =those in the limetig Et. This
man stands for what he believes
in, and being a true liberal, he
has a rating f 100 per cent by the
Americans for Democratic Action.
The man I speak about is Senator
Edward M. Kennedy. While Jack-
son was out campaigning around
the country, this is what Senator
Kennedy did just on March 12th
and 13th. On the 12th, Senato: Ken-

ON THE 13TH the Senate vot-
ed to restore the death penalty, but
not before Senator Kennedy led a
major fight against it. First, he
tried to send the bill back to com-
mittee, but was defeated 53 to 35.
Then Senator Kennedy tried to at-
tach two gun control amendments
to the bill, one forbidding the sale
of "Saturday night special" hand-
guns, the other amendment would
require the registration and licens-
ing of all pistols,' but both were
defeated, 58 to 31, and 68 to 21.
But this is just a two day illus-
tration of what he has done, not
mentioning the things that he has
done such as National Health Care.
So, if the liberals think that they
had a hard time getting Senator
George McGovern nominated in
1972, wait until' they see tie bat-
tle that they must fight against
the conservatives in 1976. And their
only hope of winning that battle is
Senator Edward Kennedy.
-Guy Cavallo, Executive
Vice President, College
Young Democratic Clubs
of America

Letters to The Daily should


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