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May 10, 1979 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1979-05-10

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Page 4-Thursday.;May 10, 1979-The Michigan Daily
Michigan Daily Mass protests won'
Eighty-nine Years of Editorial Freedompjfl
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Ml. 48109 e e r t pow r bloc

I

Vol. LXXXIX, No. 7-S News Phone: 764-05521
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan

Fishing rights rule
a judicious move
C HIEF U.S. DISTRICT Judge Noel Fox's rul-
ing not to restrict two upper peninsula tribes'
rights in the northern halves of Lakes Huron and
Michigan is a refreshing display of justice at
work.
Two 19th century treaties between the U.S. and
the Sault Ste. Maire and Bay Mills Chippewa
tribes provide perpetual fishing rights in the
waters adjacent to lands forfeited in the treaties
of 1836 and 1855. Fox's ruling upheld the treaties'
sanctity and granted Native Americans some
rights which non-Native Americans do not have.
Native Americans no longer must tolerate state
intervention. This aspect of the ruling is most
valuable, for it finally recognizes Native
Americans as sovereign residents of this con-
tinent-a long-awaited breakthrough.
Politicians and conservationists charge that
Native Americans will unscrupulously exploit the
cherished stocks of lake trout, steelhead and
brown trout in those lakes. But even if Native
Americans do not employ utmost scrutiny in
exercising these rights, they could not possibly
match the harm done to the environment by white
men. Modern commercial fishing methods are
clearly more injurious to the proliferation of aq
uatic life than those of Native Americans.
Commerical fishing is one of the few avenues
left open for Native Americans to earn an income
which does not force them to swallow the white
man's culture or pay any stipends to the U.S.
grvernment. White men have stolen lands and ex-
ploited Native Americans for centuries,
precluding further practice of the hun-
ting/gathering lifestyle inherrent in their culture.
Michigan United Conservation Clubs executive
director Tom Washington said Native Americans
do not know the meaning of conservation. He also
said treaties with Native Americans should be
abrogated just as the ones with Panama and
Taiwan. Washington's myopia and lack of a sense
of history display the naive attitude white
Americans have held for centuries. If Washington
can prove that white Americans-the true
foreigners here-have practiced conservation
through complete rape of land and waters as well
as the extermination of countless species for the
sake of "progress", then he must adhere to a dif-
ferent definition of the word. Also, abrogating
treaties with Taiwan and Panama certainly does
not justify severing more treaties with those who
have already been persecuted for centuries.
We would rather trust Native Americans to
judiciously exercise their fishing rights than to
steal one of few which remains. We believe Bay
Mills band president Art LeBlanc's promise to
police their own fishing rights and sincerely hope
Native Americans will disprove the pessimistic
predictions of their opponents.

I JOINED OVER 100,000
Americans on the Capitol.Build-
ing lawn in Washington Sunday.
We were there to protest against
nuclear energy, but the people we
were hoping to influence were not
with us. The Capitol Building was
empty, and President Carter,
though he was in town all day,
declined to stop by to answer our
demands. So instead, we ad-
dressed a magnificent, if
somewhat overwhelming
building, the best symbol of our
country's "democracy" we could
find. Now we wait for a response.
Carter has already spoken. In
the middle of Sunday afternoon,
he told reporters, "I understand
the concern about nuclear power
and we're doing all vse can to
reassure people that what
nuclear reactors we do have are
safe."
CARTER HAS BEEN a staun-
ch supporter of the nuclear in-
dustry since he was elected, and
it appears that Sunday's demon-
stration had little effect on his
views. It's too early to see how
Congress will respond, but I
doubt they will do much.
Demonstrators and speakers
alike were confident that their
actions will achieve concrete
results.
"When Congressmen see num-
bers, they begin to respond," said
former Congresswoman Bella
Abzug in a backstage press con-
ference. "Demonstrations lead to
other actions, including letter
writing and lobbying," she ad-
ded.
Ralph Nader argued, "Carter
knows all the evidence is against
him. He just can't stand up to the
giant nuclear industry, so the
American people must help him
to stand up. If he doesn't do
something, he's going to have a
difficult time in 1980."
These bright individuals
assumed that a large turnout in
Washington would miraculously
break the links between the
government and the nuclear in-
.dustry, links that have kept
nuclear power alive years after
damaging evidence against it fir-
t began to roll in, links that have
kept even the Harrisburg
disaster from shutting the in-
dustry down.
Robert Pollard, a nuclear
engineer who resigned from the
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
in 1976 when he realized they
were lying to the American
people, called the NRC "an agen-
cy, controlled by people who
routinely put the financial in-
terests of the nuclear industry
ahead of your health and safety."
He also said, "the facts don't
make any difference to the in-
dustry or the government."
But he failed to show how a
mass demonstration would alter
the structure of the NRC or in-
crease the responsiveness of the
industry or the government to
safety questions.
MOST OF THE protesters I
spoke to said they had come to
Washington -to "fight nuclear
energy," assuming that their
very presence -would mandate a

By Mike Taylor
change in policy. Since many
admitted this was the first oc-
casion on which they had taken
part in a demonstration, I hope
they aren't too disappointed if
change takes longer than they
expect.
A couple of folks did take a
more realistic attitude, however.
A woman from Harrisburg said,
'I'm 65 years old and I've never
felt stronger about anything in
my life. I'm against nukes and I
came down here to do something
about them. Even if it doesn't do
anything, at least we got off our
bus and didsomething."
Greg Kost, an LSA senior from
Grand Blanc who came down in
the same van as myself, said, "I
guess I'm still idealistic enough
to believe that coming here can
do something. If nothing else is
gained, then a moratorium on
new construction would be suf-
ficient." When I asked him what
he would think if that didn't hap-
pen, he added, "If nothing else,
there will be greater public
awareness that a lot of people are
pissed off."
AS AN OPTIMIST and one who
desperately desires change, I
would love to think that we will
get rid of nuclear power as easily
as many of my fellow demon-
strators and the speakers
believed.rButhI spent the Satur-
day before the march walking
around town with Rob O'Brien, a
Residential College junior from
Battle Creek who also came down
in the van, and what we saw was
enough to convince both of us that
what we were up against would
not be toppled by a lone demon-
stration.

and then it introduced the U.S
Marine Band, who played "The
Star Spangled Banner." "The
whole thing was designed to
arouse some kind of patriotic fer-
vor in us," O'Brien commented.
Later, he predicted, "Western
civilization is going to crumble in
20 years because of the way we're
using up and abusing the Earth.
Unless we make a drastic tur-
nabout'inrthe future, which I
doubt, we're going to be thrown
into another dark ages. As things
start falling apart and we start
feeling the effects of dumping
nuclear waste into the
ecosystem, there's going to be
general chaos. The state is going
to want to step in to keep control
over the masses. We're already
going in that direction. We're
seeing those declines beginning,
so we're becoming more fascist
all the time."
If one buys his scenerio, then
one must also question the effec-
tiveness of mass demonstrations.
From our own history, we know
that big protests were instrumen-
tal in stopping the Vietnam war.
But that struggle took ten long
years. There have been protests
against nuclear power on the
local level for years now, and
there is little evidence to indicate
concrete accomplishments.
We live in a society where
decisions are generally made in
favor of those with money, and
we cannot get away from that
fact. Control and obedience is the
norm in this country;ddemon-
strations are tolerated, but it
takes a great many of them to
achieve any real change. This is
not to say that we should not
demonstrate, for we must, as it is
one of the few options open to us

- A !)~

HowSooN CAN ' i e ceno
wE GET T154 malor reasnOr
ONE v4ONG? W no+
ri( +a -
O1 r%~IY
We were stunned to see for expressing our views. But we
thousands of school children must also begin to think seriously
marching in militaristic of challenging the patterns of
precision in a "Safety Patrol" ownership and control that
parade. "I saw the youth of govern our country. In a real
America being indoctrinated into democracy, demonstrations will
a militaristic way of thinking," no longer be necessary, for the
O'Brien said. "They all want to people will have no problem
be part of a great machine. No registering their beliefs through
one's out of step." the normal channels of gover-
WE VISITED the White House nment.
and marveled at all the people
pl eering through the stern iron
fe ce to gaze at their palace. A
tinny voice, rose from little
speakersplanted.in the lawn to Mike Taylor is a former
telf'isthehistoryof the mansion, ,.Daily Arts Editor.. . - - .

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