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February 10, 1976 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-02-10

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4 4 £irskwn D uad
Eighty-Six Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Puerto Rico bidding for freedom

Tuesday, February 10, 1976

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

MSA: No circus, we hope

bly (MSA) will convene tonight
for the first time since its creation in
last November's SGC elections.
Hopefully, this newly organized
form of student government will be
an improvement over its precursor,
Student Government Council.
But since it will retain 17 mem-
bers of the old Council in addition
to 14 members from the school and
college governments, it may turn out
to be just a rerun of SGC chaos.
SGC meetings almost invariably in-
cluded threats to sue Council for
faulty legal wording on some issue,
many side discussions, and cheap
shots at the characters of Council
members. Members formed little
cliques that could not get along with
each other - former Executive Vice
President Rick David was fired by
Goodman because she claimed she
could not work with him, and he
"lacked initiative."

In short, when people called SGC
a circus, there was some truth to the
THE MOVE BY the Central Student
Judiciary (CSJ) to include 17 former
SGC members, including its President
Debra Goodman and its Executive
Vice - President David Mitchell, in
MSA, seems questionable. With all of
SGC's problems, a new staff would
have been desirable, one with more
representation of non-literary col-
lege students.
And there is some question as to
whether CSJ still has any authority
to make student government policy.
It is unclear whether the group tech-
nically should have been dissolved
along with SGC.
Whether the squabbles and bitter
legal hassles that came to be the
trademark of SGC will be carried
over into the proceedings of its suc-
cessor remains to be seen.

AS AMERICA celebrates the
two hundreth anniversary of
its anti-colonial war, a growing
Third World bloc in the United
Nations is preparing to con-
demn the U.S. itself as a co-
lonial power.
The issue is Puerto Rico.
Washington has responded
with a bill to legislate a "com-
pact of permanent union" with
the island and change it from a
"Commonwealth" to a "Free
Associated State."
But the bill promises to bring
Puerto Rico to a boiling point,
for it is based on a 1967 plebis-
'Most observers say
the economic c o l-
lapse is feuling a
major resurgence in
the independence
movement; but be-
yond a heightened
wave of bombings
the depth of senti-
ment will remain
hard to gague until
the November elec-
cite which was boycotted by
pro - independence forces. They
objected that it was basically
an opinion poll which still left
Congress the authority to de-
termine Puerto Rico's status.
Only 65 per cent of those
eligible cast ballots - 60 per'
cent of whom voted for contin-
ued Commonwealth status.
Then-President Richard Nixon
used the plebiscite as a man-
date and appointed an-Ad Hoc
Advisory Group to "develop
the maximum of self-govern-
ment and self-determination
within the framework of Com-
THE NEW STATUS the group
would be less than statehood-
it would not allow Puerto Ri-
cans to vote for president nor
give their two representatives
a vote in Congress. But it would
give authority over many eco-
nomic, immigration and envir-
onmental matters to the govern-
ment of Puerto Rico.
Now independence groups
charge the bill is a direct at-
tempt to avoid UN censure with-
out losing control over the is-
land. They are demanding that
congressional hearings on the
bill be moved from Washington
to Puerto Rico.
Juan Mari-Bras, secretary
general of one of the fastest
growing independence groups,
the Puerto Rican Socialist Par-
ty (PSP), calls the bill "an
effort by the United States to

provide a legal base for claim-
ing that a discussion of our case
in the United Nations would
constitute an undue interven-
tion in its internal affairs."
Last August the U. S. narrow-
ly avoided condemnation over
Puerto Rico at the UN, when
the Decolonization Committee
voted only 11 to 9 to postpone
consideration of a resolution af-
firming Puerto Rico's right to
THE U. S. LET it be known
that a vote backing the resolu-
tion might cost a nation eco-
nomic aid and other favors.
Many of those voting to post-
pone - including Chile, Iran
and Indonesia - are heavily
dependent on U. S. economic
and military aid.
Tanzania, which voted against
postponement, has charged that
the U. S. suspended $28 million
in desperately needed food aid
in retaliation. Several nations
did not vote: Yugoslavia and
Trinidad and Tobago abstained.
and China and Ethiopia were
absent whenvoting took place.
The UN committee will con-
sider the resolution again this
year. Observers predict the
postponement tactic will not
work a second time.
The new bill in Congress not
only raises the question of po-
litical status, but that of U.S.
economic dominance of the is-
In its current form the bill
would void almost all U. S. la-
bor relations, job safety and
environmental quality regula-
tions. (Puerto Rico is already
exempt from U. S. minimum
wage laws). Critics see it as an
attack on the only defense the
islanders have against the
American corporations which,
directly or indirectly, provide
two-thirds of their jobs.
Democratic Party (PDP), how-
ever, favors the increased free-
dom to set its own standards. In
line with the bill, it is consid-
erding a proposal to make the
island more attractive to
American investors, including
a wage freeze, more tax
breaks for U. S. corporations
and "a thorough review of all
legislation which raises labor
Even the pro-statehood New
Progressive Party, which ran
Puerto Rico from 1968 to 1972,
has come down hard against the
PDP proposal.
But the two independence par-
ties, the Puerto Rican Indepen-
dence Party (PIP) and the
Puerto Rican Socialist Party,
stand to gain most from grow-
ing opposition to U. S. corpor-
ate domination. For they have
been arguing for years that the
island's tremendous industrial
boom - created by enticing U.
S. corporations with cheap la-
bor and tax exemptions - has
left Puerto Rico a helpless
pawn i nthe hands of the main-

land's economic giants.
U. S. corporations have in-
vested $13 billion in Puerto Rico
over the past 20 years, trans-
forming the former land of
sugar cane and tobacco into a
highly industrial enclave which
must import most of its food.
per cent of the island's manu-
facturing industry, 85 per cent
of retail sales, almost all mari-
time and air transport, the en-
tire telephone and electronic
communications system, and
60 per cent of housing construc-
tion and banking.
Puerto Rico is, moreover, the
U. S.'s second largest market
(after Canda) in the Western
Hemisphere. American invest-
ments on the island - with
profit rates usually double those
on the mainland - earn more
than all U. S. investments in
the Western European Common
Market nations combined.
In 1974, 21 per cent of the
net income generated by the
economy was sent abroad as
company profits, interest and
And the U. S. military occu-
pies no less than 10 per gent of
Puerto Rico's land, much of
which once produced crops.
In the 1960's U. S. investors
began to shift from labor - in-
tensive industries like garments
to industries with less reliance
on labor and more on technol-
ogy. Many of the old industries
moved to countries like Jamai-
ca, Mexico and the Dominican
Republic where labor is cheap-
rising unemployment. A $1.5 bil-
lion investment in refineries,
petrochemicals and chemicals,
for example - now three of
the island's largest industries-
created only 7,800 new jobs.
The 1973 energy crisis sent
the economy into shock.
With 93 per cent of the is-
land's gross national product
coming through trade, prices
skyrocketed as the cost of trans-
port went up. And the quadrup-
ling of oil costs hit hard at the
island's new industries, requir-
ing vast amounts of energy.
The U. S. recession deepened
the crisis, as scores of factor-
ies closed and unemployment -
including those missed by of-
ficials statistics because they
have given up the search for
work - soared to 40 per cent.
Inflation rose to twice that of
the mainland.
Unemployment in Puerto Rico
is now worse than in 1950, when
the island was considered the
"slum of the Caribbean." Over
60 per cent of the people live
below the U. S. property level;
over 70 per cent depend on
some form of welfare for sur-
THE POOR ARE crowded in-
to barrios as dense as any in
the world, shanty - towns usual-

ly without running water or
sewage and garbage disposal.
With a denser population than
India or Japan - 14 times that
of the U. S. - the government
has turned in desperation to
sterilization. One out of three
Puerto Rican women of child-
bearing age - the highest ra-
tio in the world - has received
what islanders call "la opera-
Most observers say the eco-
nomic collapse is fueling a ma-
jor resurgence in the indepen-
dence movement, but beyond a
heightened wave of bombings
the depth of sentiment will re-
main hard to gauge until the
November elections.
In 1972 the PIP polled only 4.4
per cent of the vote, while the
island's newest independence
grou - the PSP - stayed out
of the elections. But next fall
both will campaign hard, con-
vinced they already represent
at least 20 per cent of the elec-
torate and can win over many
Polls tell little, as each side
reaches conclusions favorable
to itself and disputes those of
the opposition. 'With fears of
blacklisting from jobs and
schools common among "inde-
pendistas,:" accurate results
would be difficult in any case.
no problem getting 80,000 signa-
tures to put itself on the ballot
for the first time. Its daily pa-
per, Claridad, sells 40,000 copies

on weekends, and its Second
Party Congress recently drew
Much of the independence
movement's n e w strength
comes from the young. Many
Puerto Rican males, who were
drafted for Vietnam in much
higher proportions than their
counterparts on the mainland,
were radicalized by the exper-
The PSP and PIP also draw
strength from the island's "new
unionism" - a growing move-
ment to organize Puerto Rico-
based unions independent of the
AFL-CIO, which many workers
regard as corrupt, pro-manage-
ment and committeed only to
mainland workers. These unions
have been responsible for a
growing number of strikes and
work stoppages involving over
100,000 Puerto Ricans.
If the independence parties
are in fact gaining strength, the
coming year could catapult
Puerto Rico into the national
spotlight as international pres-
sure, the independistas and Con-
gress all collide. Puerto Ricans
living in the U. S. are prepar-
ing to join the fray as well,
planning a major campaign
under the theme: "A Bicenten-
nial Without Colonies."
Robert Waite, former re-
aional editor for a chain of
Massachusetts news papers, re-
cently won the 1975 Best Col-
wmn Award from the New Eng-
land Press Association.

Freedom for Spainiards

FOR THE SECOND time in eight
days, Spaniards in the province
of Catalonia have taken to the
streets demanding independence for
their region. The police could not
break up the crowds.
Sunday's uprising, involving thous-
ands, adds more weight to the snow-
balling evidence that unless King
Juan Carlos hastens his pace in
granting political liberties to the
country, he could face a full scale re-
Students and workers, peasants
and bankers united together in the
provincial capital of Barcelona, to
voice their protest.
The government could have easily
avoided a confrontation by granting
the demonstrators permission to as-
semble. It chose instead to invade the
city with a police force. The police
made threats, and arrests, and caus-
ed personal and property damage.
Juan Carlos has indicated that he
is willing to hand out broader civil
liberties - not as the people's right-
ful due, but when he so chooses. No
one can predict how far he may go,
in the future, in relinquishing his
News: Sue Ades, Ann Marie Lipinski,
Mike Norton, Ken Parsigion, Bill
Editorial Page: Elaine Fletcher, Step-
hen Hersh, Lois Josimovich.
Arts Page: James Valk
Photo Technician: Ken Fink
- N

But should his government con-
tinue on its present confrontative
course, it runs the risk of having to
fight not a riot but a full-scale revo-
Editorial Staff

Puerto Rico's
1508: Puerto Rico colonized by Spain.
1868: "El Grito de Lares"-an abortive revolt against
Spanish rules.
1897: Spain grants self-government as demanded by the
Autonomy Party.
1898: U.S. invades Puerto Rico during the Spanish-Amer-
ican war; island ceded to U. S. by treaty of Paris. Mili-
tary rule until 1900.
1917: Jones Act makes island a territory and grants resi-
dents U. S. citizenship.
1937: Ponce massacre-21 nationalists killed by police
while conducting an "unauthorized parade" for indepen-
1948: First election by Puerto Ricans of island's gover-
nor;; previous governors appointed by U.S. president. Munoz
Marin of the Popular Democratic Party elected; rapid in-
dustrialization begins.
1949: Spanish language permitted in schools for first
time since U. S. occupation.
1952: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico proclaimed by U.S.
1967: Plebiscite (boycotted by independence groups)
favors Commonwealth status.
1975: U.S. narrowly escapes condemnation as a colonial
power in the UN.
1976: Congress considers bill to change status of Puerto
Rico and establish a "compac of permanent union."



JEFF RISTINEM................anaging Editor
TIM SCHICK Executive Editor
STEPHEN HERSH ............ Editorial Director
JEFF SORENSEN ................ Arts Editor
CHERYL PILATE..............Magazine Editor
STAFF WRITERS: Susan Ades, Tom Allen, Glen
Allerhand, Marc Basson, Dana Bauman, David
Blomquist, James Burns, Kevin Counihan,
Jodi Dimick, Mitch Dunitz, Elaine Fletcher,
Phil Foley, Mark Friedlander, David Garfinkel,
Torn Godell, Kurt Harju, Charlotte Heeg,
Richard James, Lois Josimovich, Tom Kettler,
Chris Kochmanski, Jay Levin, Andy Lilly, Ann
Marie Lipinski, George Lobsenz, Pauline Lu-
hens, Teri Maneau, Angelique Matney, Jim
Nicoll, Maureen Nolan, Mike Norton, Ken Par-
sigian, Kim Potter, Cathy Reutter, Anne
Marie Schiavi, Karen Schulldns, Jeff Selbst,
Rick Sobel, Tom Stevens, Steve Stojic, Cathy
Suyak, Jim Tobin, Jim Valk, Margaret Yao,
Andrew Zerman, David Whiting.
Sports Staff
Sports Editor
MARCIA MERKER. .. Executive Editor
LEBA HERTZ .................. Managing Editor
JEFF SCHILLER Associate Editor
Liebster, Ray O'Hara, Michael Wilson
NIGHT EDITORS: Rick Bonino, Tom Cameron,
Tom Duranceau, Andy Glazer, Kathy Henne-
ghan, Ed Lange, Rich Lerner, Scott Lewis, Bill
Marcia Katz, John Niemeyer, Dave Wihak
DESK ASSISTANTS: Paul Campbell, Marybeth
Dillon, Larry Engie, Aaron Gerstman, Jerome
Gilbert, Andy !~ebet, Rick Maddock, Bob Miller,
Joyce Moy, Patrick Rode, Arthur Wightman
/r ---a W

Recycling cans,
"pros and cons

Culture shock:* Radio


a la


- As America's garbage dumps
begin to overflow, a quiet bat-
tle over what to do with the
mounting trash is underway
throughout the nation's legisla-
On one side conservationists
- successful so far only in Ore-
gon and Vermont - argue that
the only logical solution is to
cut down on waste. Specifically
they have backed bills banning
throwaway containers such as
nonreturnable pop bottles and
Arrayed against them is the
packaging industry, led by such
giants as Pepsi Cola, U. S. Steel,
American Can and Reynolds
Aluminum. These and other ma-
jor corporations, allied in a
trade association called the Na-
tional Center for Resource Re-
covery, are pushing a new solu-
tion, potentially as profitable to
them as their packaging opera-
tions. They want to construct
huge recycling plants which,
they claim, will charge cities
less than dumps do now for
their garbage ,separate out the
recyclable material, and sell it
for a profit.
dispose of 134 million tons of

trash, at a cost of $4.5 billion.
In five years, half of our cities
will have no space left in their
present dumps.
The bottling, canning and
paper packaging industry is the
source of much of this trash.
Packaging absorbs almost half
of all paper in the country, ac-
counts for five per cent of all
energy use and can hike up the
price of products like soft drinks
and toothpaste from 30 to 60 per
The industry has already in-
vested heavily in the urban gar-
bage recycling business. The
National Center for Resource
Recovery - chaired by Pepsi
Cola head Donald Kendall and
with board members from Coca-
Cola, U. S. Steel, Reynolds
Aluminum, Alcoa, International
Paper, Continental Can, Ameri-
can, Budweiser and General
Foods - is setting up recycl-
ing plants in New Orleans, Ct.
Louis and Washington, D. C.,
and developing plans for many
The industry argues that cut-
ting back on recyclable trash-
esoecially aluminum, the most
valuable ingredient in most gar-
bage - would make recycling
plants unprofitable. Conserva-
tionists question the logic of
producing garbage just so it
can be recycled profitably.

On my return to the U.S.
after a year abroad, I was
struck by the appearance of
two new items of pop culture.
One was the zodiac-sign-for-
The Zodiac- sign- on- your- car
wave had started at least a
year before, but it was reach-
ing its zenith last summer.
Driving around on Belle Isle,
I met up with someone who
drove the same kind of car I
have. The car is a General Mo-
tors product no longer being
produced, partly because of the
efforts of a man named Ralph
Nader. Well, we were swapping
lies, swatting flies, talking
about how they "never should'a
got rid of it," when my com-
tade told me about the last ac-
cident he'd been in. "I was at
the interchange, five o'clock,
dead stopped, when up comes
this guy drivin' a late model
Aries, or was it a Saggitarius,
..." Then and there I knew that
the zodiac culture was replac-
ing the car culture. Used to be
that when you had an accident,
you went to court to see who
was at fault. Now the fault is
in the stars, not in ourselves.
On the bumper of my co-Cor-
vair driver's machine was a
sticker I didn't understand:
"I "Q" in my car." While it

didn't take long to guess that
the "Q" could rhyme with a
synonym for "copulate," I still
didn't get the joke. This "Q"
fascination was the second item
of popular culture I had to
learn about. My comrade ex-
plained: "The "Q" is WDRQ
radio station," he said, "where
you been?"
Later I started to listen to
WDRQ. Songs like "Do a Lit-
tle Dance," Make a little Love,"
"That's the way I Like it," and
"Voulez Vous Coucher avec
moe, ce soir?" seemed to be.
quite common. The D.J.s used
old tricks used by Wolfman
Jack back in the sixties, such
as calling up listeners and say-
ing "It's Saturday night, why
am'tcha with your woman?,"
and "You may be at home, but
at least you're "Q"ing..." Lis-
teners win prizes by calling up
and saying "The "Q" is a ball"
or "Happy "Q" Year!" The
plays on words are endless, but
the game is the same: sexploi-
tation. The equation is roughly

this: mutual exploitation equals
liberation. By the way, buy such
and such a record and visit such
and such a car dealership.
Why should I pick on the "Q,"
when stations like WRIF have
talk shows about oral sex, and
play just as much "sex rock"
as anyone else? Because,rafter
giving you sexual innuendos all
week, they give you religion
plus rock music on a show call-
ed "The Gospel According to
Paul" on Sundays. "Yes, folks,
like the song says, we should
try to love one another ... now
a word from. our sponsors."
Perhaps I see a contradiction
where there is none. Perhaps
it just goes to show that com-
mercial interest, sexploitation,
and 'hip' religion can work to-
gether when united for a com-
mon cause. And that common
cause is making money.
Paul O'Connell is an- LSA
senior and former European
correspondent to The Daily.

Letters should be typed and limited to
400 words. The Daily reserves the right
to edit letters for length and grammar.
maaseNmgeamaemm . ..mmmm#Em.0

nr inuniri u ..rn +rr ir r

suggested that during TM al-
pha-wave activity increases and




cate that they all spent appre-
ciable parts of meditation ses-

that TM is nothing but sleep
(cautious scientists), such a

ing book before sleep or count-
ing sheep to bring on sleep. All


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