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January 31, 1978 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1978-01-31

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Page 4-Tuesday, January 31, 1978-The Michigan Daily
he SidhiWa n aiI
Eighty-Eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 100
News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan.

JusticeWilmington 10 style

m R'Macl

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By Elisa Isaacson


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Ban nuclear satellites

Canada's Northwest- Territories
there is a nine-foot crater caused by the
crash of a nuclear powered Soviet
satellite. That the satellite fell into a
relatively desolate area of the great
Canadian wilderness was near miracu-
The Cosmos 954, a satellite launched
to 'spy on movements of United States
ve sels, could easily have crashed at
almnost any point along its orbital path.
Luckily, fate ordained that the site was
not a populous area of Hawaii or even
New York City.
The crisis is not yet over. Radiation
from the fallen satellite's nuclear reac-
tor may have some effects on the near-
by environment and its inhabitants -
although thus far, experts say they
have found no evidence of any danger-
ously high contamination levels.
The United States reportedly first
became aware of a developing problem
with the Cosmos 954 late last year. The
Soviets were apparently having diffi-
culty controlling the vehicle and its
path became increasingly irregular. On
December 19 a task force was formed
within the White House to deal with the
problem, and U.S. officials maintained
constant contacf with the Soviets on the
k On January 9 it was clear that the
satellite had lost course. On January 17
the Administration notified important
loaders of the Senate and NATO allies
that the satellite would probably crash.
The accident is a warning and a call
to action that should be heeded immedi-
ately by both the United States and the
S&viet Union.

There is no need for human beings to
live continually under the threat of
nuclear mishap. Orbiting satellites
equipped with nuclear reactors are an
uncalled-for risk both from a humani-
tarian standpoint and a scientific one.
All of this country's satellites, save one,;
are powered by solar cells - charged
by nature's safest and most abundant
power source. The majority of the
Soviet Union's earth orbiting satellites
are similarily powered. But some are
As Energy Secretary James Schles-
inger maintained in a television inter-
view last Sunday, it is inappropriate for
satellites containing nuclear reactors to
orbit the earth. President Carter yes-
terday agreed- in a roundabout way
- and said in his news conference that
if a fail-safe method of protection from
satellite mishaps can not be devised, he
would work toward a total ban on the
nuclear-powered devises.
Such a goal may take some hard line
bargaining with the Soviets, but such
dealings are no small price to pay for
the security of knowing a piece of radio-
active machinery will not fall randomly
earthward from the sky every few
Within some time, we would hope
that no such satellites will be found in
orbit at all. There is some speculation
that the United States actually has the
technology to remove the nuclear-
powered satellite from earth orbit. If
so, it would be a show of sincerity if we
were to attempt to retrieve it and put it
out of commission.

It was a period of racial tension at its peak.
The violence climaxed all the protest, fear,
and indignation following the enforcement of
school desegregation laws. Residents of a pre-
dominently black neighborhood barricaded
themselves in a church, while outside, both
black and white militants armed with pistols
roamed the streets and engaged in a week-
long session of shooting and rioting. One
night, Mike's Grocery, a white-owned store,
was fire-bombed and burned to the ground.
This scenario might sound like a textbook
illustration of an incident in the Deep South in
the late 1950's, but it occurred in Wilmington,
North Carolina, only seven years ago. In
February 1971 nine black men and one white
woman were accused of firebombing the gro-
cery store and conspiring to assault authori-
ties. They were arrested, tried, and sentenced
to a combined total of 282 years in prison.
THE CASE OF THE Wilmington 10, as it
soon came to be called, aroused spasmodi-
cally from the archives by a curiously un-
responsive press, has recently undergone an-
other development, but has found its way into
the back pages of only a few newspapers.
The trial of the Ten was set for June 1972,
and the jury consisted of ten blacks and two
whites. The prosecuting attorney claimed he
felt ill, so the judge reset the trial for Septem-
ber. This time the jury was made up of ten
whites and two blacks. One proposed juror
admitting to being a member of the Ku Klux
Klan, but as the judge did not see this as
grounds for dismissing him, the trial was held
as scheduled.
The prisoners were convicted, but freed on
bail put up by the United Church of Christ
Commission for Racial Justice. In February
1976 they were summoned by the state to
begin serving their prison sentences. After
the Ten were sent to prison, three key wit-
nesses for the prosecution recanted their
testimonies, stating they had been bribed by
the prosecution. 'F
Jay Stroud had both threatened him with life
imprisonment and told him that defendant
Ben Chavis, a young black minister sent to
Wilmington by the Commission for Racial
Justice to help curb the 1971 violence, wanted
to kill his family. Another so-called witness
said he had been bribed with a job and a mini-
bike, which the prosecutor admitted
delivering, as reward for his testimony.
Some witnesses for the defense who had
been in Wilmington during the riots were sub-
poenaed, but somehow never showed up in
In May 1977 North Carolina Superior Court
Judge George Fountain refused to grant the

Ten a new trial, stating that their consti-
tutional rights had not been violated in the fir-
st trial. Apparently Judge Fountain did not
consider perjury unconstitutional. The North
Carolina Court of Appeals also refused to
retry the prisoners.
A WEEK AGO, North Carolina Governor
James Hunt refused to pardon the
Wilmington 10, but did shorten their senten-
ces. All but Chavis are now up for parole. The
sole white defendant was paroled earlier.
President Carter, who claims to be
fighting for human rights all over the world,
appears discouragingly unaquainted with the
case in his own backyard. He has refused
comment on the case, claiming he didn't
"have any direct familiarity with the evi-
The man who originally sent Chavis to Wil-
mington in 1971, Dr. Charles Cobb, has main-
tained an intense interest in the case. Cobb is
executive director of the Commission for
Racial Justice, which posted bail for the
Wilmington 10.
Cobb, who spoke in Ann Arbor 3 ecently
during a Martin Luther King celebration,
says he considers the case the "single great-
est miscarriage of justice in the history of the
United States with the possible exception of
the Scottsboro Boys."
Though he is from North Carolina himself,
Cobb says he feels "there is just no integrity
in the state." He says he believes the state of-
ficials are making their decisions on the basis
of "expediency," both legal and political. To
declare theWilmington 10 innocent "would be'
an adnsion of the state's error," Cobb says.
"A conspiracy has been developed to incar-
cerate these young people."
According to the New York Post, the pros-
ecution for the Wilmington 10 case had in-
formed Judge Fountain, prior to his decision
on the retrial, that the state no longer had a
case against the defendants since the wit-
nesses had admitted to lying on the stand. On
a segment of CBS' "60 Minutes" aired in
March 1976, two witnesses declared that
Chavis had been with them at the time of the
grocery fire-bombing.
From this evidence it appears that the
state of North Carolina does not, and never
did, have a legitimate case against the Wil-
mington 10. The stubborn refusal of the state
to grant the Ten a retrial has forced the de-
fendants to appeal to the Federal Courts.
The Wilmington 10 were convicted of arson
and conspiracy. In view of the facts that have
come to light since the 1972 trial, it seems the
conspiracy is on really the part of the state.
Elisa Isaacson covers Minority Affairs
for the Daily.

Above, the Wilmington 10, seated from
left to right, back row, are Wayne Moore,
Anne Sheppard Turner, James McKoy,
Willie Vereen, Marvin Patrick and Regi-
nal Epps. In the front row are William
(Joe) Wright, Connie Tindall, and Jerry
Jacobs. Pictured in the inset is Charles
Cobb, executive director of the Commis-
sion for Racial Justice. Below is the Rev.
Ben Chavis, the only defendent whose will
not be eligible for parole.

. WASHINGTON-All of a sud-
den, it seems, the Horn of Africa
has started popping up in the
Several readers who aren't
sure what the fuss is all about
have written asking me to clarify
the issues. Specifically, they
want to know whether the Horn of
Africa dispute is anything like the
controversy over the Crown of St.
Stephan, which the United States
recently returned to Hungary.
THE ANSWER is yes.
The Horn of Africa is an an-
cient ceremonial wind in-
strument. Originally it was used
by King Menelek of Shoa, a part
of what was then Abyssinia, to
call his concubines to volleyball
In modern times, however, it
has taken on other uses.
The late Louis Armstrong once
played 12 choruses of
"Honeysuckle Rose" on the Horn
of Africa while on a worldwide
concert tour.
IT ALSO can be heard on
Xavier Cugat's famous recording
of "Tico Tico" and on several

Horning in
on Africa

still called Ethiopia and what was fall into the hands of the Cubans,
later called Somalia. who would use it to make a new
recording of "Tico Tico."
WHEN OGADEN was invaded These fears grew out of
by Somalia, the horn was turned suspicionĀ§ that Fidel Castro's
Up to now, the United States has
declined to get involved. This is a
sharp change from previous foreign
policy under which the United
States would get involved in
anything anywhere.

real purpose in sending troops to
Africa was to revive the cha-cha-
cha in that part of the world.
Meanwhile, the Soviet Union,
also known as Soyuz Sovetskikh
Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik,
which had previously supported
the Somalian invasion of Ogaden,
switched sides and began suppor-
ting the Ethiopian invasion.
Having split with his former
ally, Somalia recently appealed
to the United States, previously
called Vinland, for help in defen-
ding the horn.
Up to now, the United States
has declined to get involved. This
is a sharp change from
previous foreign policy under
which the United States would get
involved in anything anywhere.
At last report, the U.S. position
on the Horn of Africa was being
criticized by both Somalia and
Ethiopia, as well as by Russia
and Cuba. Which indicates the
situation is slowly getting back to
Dick West is a columnist for
United Press InternatiionaL.

over to Ethiopia for safekeeping.

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