The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, March 22, 1978-Page 7
Sharpeville memorial recalls
South African protest massacre
By CHARLYNE JOHNSON
Sharpeville Day, 1978, was a day of
celebration and remembrance.
On March 21, 18 years ago, thousands
of blacks in racially-segregated South
Africa left their travel passes at home
to protest that country's system of
apartheid. At Sharpeville, an African
community near Johannesburg, the
peaceful protest turned to violence
when police opened fire on the assem-
Yesterday, in a memorial service at
Ann Arbor's First Methodist Church,
some 40 persons remembered the plight
of the oppressed people in South Africa
and celebrated their heroic efforts.
Sponsored by the Washtenaw County
Coalition Against Apartheid, the
memorial which began with a musical
prelude of songs from Black Africa, in-
cluded an invocation remembering the
Sharpeville dead, and a speech by the
African poet Phyllis Jordan. ,
Jordan said that the shooting at
Sharpeville, far from destroying the
spirit of the protest, "broadened the
Jordan said "during the 1950s,
African nationalist groups in South
Africa tried passive resistance and civil
disobedience tactics in their battle to
end racial discrimination."
One major focus of the protests was
the law that requires all adult blacks in
South Africa to carry a pass. The pass,
a mini-passport that indicates not only'
identity but also where an individual
may live, work, and travel, was both a
means of segregation and, to the
blacks, a symbol of the entire system of
It was this opposition to the carrying
of identity passes that led to the 1960
protest, and the Sharpeville massacre.
Most of the unarmed victims were
shot in the back as they attempted to
escape the guns.
Jordan said "for a, few years, it
seemed to the world that the African
struggle, now a liberation movement.
was demorlaized and dispirited."
Foreign investments in South Africa in-
creased, she said, and South Africa's
efforts to win support outside "seemed
to have some success."
Sharpeville was, however, "a turning
point," according to Jordan. She said
that African nationalists, after the
Sharpeville massacre, realized the
futility of peaceful protest and turned to
armed struggle. ;
Following Jordan's address, John
Powell, chairman of the Coalition
Against Apartheid, led the group in a
candlelight ceremony and "sending
"This was a cultural event," Powell
said, "not only commemorating death,
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Daily Photo by ALAN BILINSKY
UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT ROBBEN FLEMING lounges in Baits Housing with his wife Sally at his left. Fleming discussed
his recent trip to Saudi Arabia, the history of North Campus and energy problems.
Fleming visits Baits housing
t's your return
March of Dimes
By STEVE SHAER
Speaking to a group of over 40 Baits
Housing residents last night, University
President Robben Fleming answered
questions on a variety of subjects in-
cluding South African investments,
rising tuition and minority enrollment.
Fleming was asked if he could
separate himself from his position as
president of the University and give his
opinion on the South African divestiture
"I CAN'T separate myself from being
president," he said. "I have a respon-
sibility to a lot of constituencies." He
went on to explain that the South
African investment issue has troubled
him, and that he hopes the apartheid
problem will be solved. He added,
however, that he is "not convinced that
divestiture will lead to anything."
Fleming and his wife Sally attended
the informal gathering at the request of
Stanley House, which is a part of Baits.
Several students grilled the president
on residency requirements, out-of-state
student admissions, and ever-
"WE HAVE pressures from the state
legislature to limit the number of out of
state students we admit to the Univer-
sity; we think the mix of out of state
students is good," Fleming said.
On the matter of rising tuition rates,
Fleming explained that "as long as the
economy inflates, we have to raise
One student asked about the Univer-
sity's apparent failure to meet minority
enrollment goals, especially in the
graduate business school.
Fleming countered by pointing out
that the University has "admitted a
high enough percentage of blacks, yet
not all that we admit come here."
Speaking more specifically to the
question, he added, "It is difficult to
persuade a minority student who did
well in undergraduate school to forego
a good job to go on to graduate school. A
better job could be done in recruiting,
but we are trying."
Ban on South1
(Continued from Page 1) "It bothers
the proposals, saying,sIfdon'taccept nation how to
all this off-the-wall: stuff about the can't run our
world bank and the Federal Reserve. Latta said
"There are a number of peopl Council Rep
examining this question of oppression,' ashamed to
Wheeler said. "A lot of those people are dments)." L
suggesting that the pocketbook is the reintroduce s
better way to deal with it. Ann Arbor "That prot
would not be alone." the election,
The Latta amendments were part of a on the compo
continuing controversy over the
"presence of American firms in South
Africa, and whether those firms can
best advance racial equality by folding
up and leaving the country, or by main-
taining their South Africa operations 3
and working within the country for
RECENTLY this question was ad-
dressed by the University when the DOLLA
Regents ignored student protests and 611 CHU
voted to maintain investments in firms Ab
with financialties to South Africa. Why Settle
Councilman Roger.Bertoia (R-Third "'SUPER" xE
Ward), who voted with his party to Offer Go
defeat the Latta proposals, enunciated BingCo
the views of many opponents of Brig ou
me telling some sovereign
o run their affairs when we
own," he said.
later that he had hoped
publicans "would be too
vote against (the amen-
atta also said that he would
imilar bills in the future.
bably won't be until after
Latta said. "It depends
sition of the council."
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