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August 04, 1978 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1978-08-04

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Page 4-Friday, August 4, 1978-The Michigan Daily

I

michigan DAILY

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
McCollough Act undemocratic

Eighty-eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Ml. 48109
Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 58-S News Phone: 764-0552
Friday, August 4, 1978
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan
S. Africa i*s issue
URING AN INTERVIEW two days ago,
President Fleming, just back from a two
week visit to South Africa, said "Time will tell
how big an issue it is" that the University invests
millions of dollars in corporations which have
operations in the white minority ruled country.
Fleming defended his stand in favor of such
holdings and went on to question the support pro-
divestiture interests have on campus.
The University leader said he found several
black leaders in South Africa opposed to with-
drawal "because it wouldn't really accomplish
what its proponents think it would ... and it-
would visit great economic hardship on par-
ticularly the black community."
Why does Fleming feel this way after the
National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People (NAACP), Africans and African
experts on this campus, a majority of the
students voting in a campus election, two out of
four Democrats running for the governor's seat
who have addressed the issue and all but one of
the six Democrats running for U.S. Senate, and,
by his own admission, some of the people
Fleming went to see on his visit, have all
spoken out against University support for cor-
porate participation in a racist system?

To The Daily:
In 1976 the Michigan Legislature passed a law
that was little noticed at the time, but which in the
1978 elections has made it virtually impossible for
any minor party tp get on he ballot in the state of
Michigan. The McCollough Act (Public Act 94), was
passed in the middle of the 1976 election campaign.
It requires that in addition to obtaining a minimum of
17,500 signatures of registered voters on petitions,
minor parties now must enter the August primary
in the Party Qualification section and obtain some
5,000 votes for their party before they are even
allowed to have the name of their candidates placed
on the November ballot!
In a post-primary decision, a three judge panel
ruled that the law was invalid for the November
1976 elections, as it had been passed after the elec-
tion campaign began. However, in 1977 the U.S.
Supreme Court upheld the McCollough Act (PA 94).
The 1978 elections mark the first time this law has
been in effect.
THE CLEAR and stated intent of the McCollough
Act was to keep minor parties off the ballot. In the
August 1976 primary, the combined vote of all 5
minor parties was not enough to place even one of
these parties on the ballot in November! All five of
these parties had gathered the requisite number of
signatures on petitions-the Communist Labor Par-
ty alone gathered over 32,000 signatures on
petitions. While nine parties carried out petition
drives in 1976, the deliberate discouragement of the
McCollough Act (PA 94) reduced this number to Sin
1978, with only 3 parties making it through
to the August primary: The Communist Labor
Party, which obtained 28,500 signatures, the
Socialist Workers Party and the U.S. Labor Party.
The requirement of 5,000 votes in the Party
Qualification section of the primary (the precise
figure is 3/10 of 1 per cent of the total vote in the
primary) is absolute - no matter how few can-
didates a minor party might want to run. In 1976, for
example, the Communist Labor Party ran only one
candidate in one district - General Baker for the
state House of Representatives in the 9th District.
The McCollough Act (PA 94) is a blatant in-
fringement on the right of choice in the electoral

Young)-a revolutionary anarchist named Lorenzo
"Komboa" Ervin.
A black worker, Ervin joined the U.S. Army at
age 18 in 1965 and, shipped to West Germany, came
in conflict with the race and class oppression which
flourishes in America's enclaves within the Fourth
Reich. "Kombo" was persecuted for antiwar ac-
tivities and went AWOL when ordered to Vietnam.
He was arested, brutally beaten, imprisoned for six
months and then dishonorably discharged.
BACK IN his native Chattanooga, Komboa began
working with SNCC, then the only serious antiwar
group and the one whose libertarian and communist
tendencies were most pronounced. Ervin was or-
dered arested for contempt of court for refusing to
appear before a federal grand jury investigating the
"black power movement" in Chattanooga. At this
point, Komboa made history with a spectacular
nonviolent example of propaganda by deed - he
hijacked a plane from Atlanta to Cuba as an antiwar
protest, a gesture worth a hundred peace marches.
Then began several years of exile among less-
than-hospitable state-socialist regimes in Eastern
Europe which ended when CIA agents kidnapped
Komboa in East Germany, beat him up and
drugged him, and finally forced him back to
Georgia where a rednecked judge and jury senten-
ced him to two life terms after a trial during which
Komboa was too drugged to defend himself. Kom-
boa now rots in the notorious maximum-security
prison in Marion, Illinois, whose special tor-
ture/behavior "mod" facilities have already
produced ten Baader-Meinhof-style "suicides"
(sic).
But Komboa lives! Although, now aged 30, his life
is in constant danger from racist guards and the
racial strife formented among prisoners by the
authorities to divide-and-rule. The official, licensed
"left" ignores Kombo's' case because he rejects
their authoritarianism (he's lived it, after all) in
favor of revolutionary anarchism. Komboa is
seeking a new trial, but only publicity and pressure
can get it for him and save his life.
IN AMERICA, we don't hold show trials for our
dissidents (The Chicago 7 trial backfired) - instead
we convict them quietly and then kill them in
prison, just like our neo-Nazi allies in West Ger-
many. For information about this bizarre case
(we've only skimmed the surface), or to donate to
Komboa's fund, write to:
Free Lorenzo Komboa Ervin Committee
News & Letters
343 S. Dearborn, Room 1618
Chicago, Illinois 60604
This is the Last International's swan song (for
grand juries and brutish Ann Arbor cops have silen-
ced us, too), but we're not bowing out before aler-
ting the potential complete individuals in this
vicinity to this much more serious matter. For all
practical purposes, Ervin has been sentenced to
death. For each of us the choice is simple: Capital
punishment-or the punishment of capital? You
decide.
-The Last International
SUMMER EDITORIAL STAFF
BARBARA ZAHIS
Editor-in-Chief
BRIAN BLANCHARD KENPARSIGIAN
Editorial Diretors
KEN PARSIGIAN
Magazine Editor,
OWEN GLEIBERMAN
ArtsEditor
STEVE 5L5
Boos Editor
ANDYFREEBERG
JOHN KNX
Ptotographers

In the same hour interview Fleming said "onezicn n itLt oei n ai 1U
« aea1herght to vote is the basis of U.S.
r ea a'tmexouse"thedeleiongysaid thee democracy. Yet to vote for any minor party in
really cant excuse" the detention system there, Michigan, voters must forego voting for the can-
that the South African government "really didates of the major parties for any office in the
doesn't make any bones" about the inequality of state. In other words, to vote in the Party
their system, that the assignment of homelands Qualification section of the ballot for a minor party
has out tribal blacks in "a terrible, terrible automatically excludes you from voting in the
,, Democratic or Republican party sections of the
dilemma, and said at one point that blacks ballot. Never before in the history of this country
"told us over and over-whether they believed it have the people been forced to vote for a party, and
divestiture or not-Americans are the key to this not for the candidates. The McCollough Act is anti-
whole thing. We look to America to help us solve democratic. It is expressly aimed at suppressing
this problem." alternative viewpoints and solutions in the electoral
thisFpblem. sarena that differ from those of the Democratic and
Fleming points to the reported opposition to Republican parties. President Carter has sounded
economic protest by Zulu leader Gatsha the call again and again for the extension of Human
Buthelezi, a black leader who has lost the respect Rights-yet the McCollough Act in Michigan is
of many of his countrymen for acceptance of narrowing these rights.
"homelands" and refusal to take stronger stands And because the law is inherently unfair to minor
"hoe s a ,parties, as they are forced to compete against can-
against Prime Minister Vorster's regime. didates, the public interest can only be served if the
After a two week trip funded by an representatives from these minor parties are
organization which also has provided aid for allowed to present the facts about their party. Mr.
exiled journalist Donak Woods, Fleming has Juan Torres of Saginaw, who will be the candidate
decided that he knows more about South Africa of the Communist Labor Party in November for the
state House of Representatives from the 85th
than the white critic of the apartheid system who District if the requisite votes are ontained in the
has come out strangly against the American primary, is acting as a spokesman for the party on
business concerns in the country. the McCollough Act (PA 94) and information on out
Fleming and the Regents contend that party so that voters will be able to make an infor-
American companies can effect change in the med choice in the primary. He can be contacted
Amercan ompniescanthrough our party office (313) 341-0346. The office is
segregated society. A congressional report by open from 12 to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.
Senator Dick Clark and recent statements by -Ronald D. Glotta
the NAACP have sought to educate business State Chairman
leaders and the oublic at large that this has not Communist Labor Party
been-and probably will not be-the case.
The Daily is convinced that our investments
constitute an even bigger issue since, in Mr. Komboa lives
Fleming's words, "tension will growl" in South To The Daily:
Africa and Americans are starting to realize the -we write on behalf of one of America's "hund-
extent of our moral and politicalaccountability. reds -aif nothousands of political :prisoners" (A

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