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October 13, 1987 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-10-13

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4

TPINION
Pge 4 Tuesday, October 13, 1987 The Michigan Daily

4

R

e tuthe Uichigan l
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

S. African

sister school

Vol. -XCVIII, No. 24

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.

I

Free seec
THE CODE is back. Last month,
the Civil Liberties Board (CLB) of
the Senate Assembly released its
recommendations for guidelines
regarding freedom of speech and
artistic expression at the University.
The guidelines, however, are only a
thinly veiled set of authoritative
mechanisms granting the University
administration undue control over
the lives of students outside of the
classroom.
At first glance the CLB proposal
seemingly expands the rights of
protestors and audience members.
However, close scrutiny reveals
several inherent contradictions,
innumerable ambiguities, and
various mechanisms that enable the
University administration to
interpret and manipulate the First
Amendment as it pleases.
The statement's preamble declares
that "freedom of speech must not
ordinarily be restricted, governed,
or curtailed" unless provisions state
so under the First Amendment as
interpreted by the Supreme Court of
the United States. .
Under no circumstances, no
matter how extraordinary, can the
University administration curtail
free speech and expression.
Students have the same rights as all
other citizens, and their affiliation
with a public institution should not
inhibit their rights.
The proposal is filled with
discrepancies. It allows, for inst-
ance, that "the usual range of
human emotions" may be displayed
by the audience. "Usual" to whom,
is the question. The "usual"
behavior of a student is necessarily
different from University President
Harold Shapiro's idea of "usual"
behavior.
The proposal gives the University
the power to judge and punish
students whenever it deems it
appropriate, without going through
established judicial channels.
The CLB proposal also allows the
University to decide when a speaker
presents a "clear and present
danger" to incite violence. Thus, the
University has seemingly usurped
the function of the judicial system
and acquired the right to interpret
the First Amendment. It sounds as
if the University has the power to
take "appropriate" disciplinary
"measures" and may itself call in
security, forces when it sees the

'usually'

need.
The University should not be
making these legal judgments. The
civil courts conduct that very chore
while the police department is
responsible for squelching violence
and directing security forces.
The proposal does not even imply
that the courts should be used.
Rather. it insists that "undue
interference with the exercise of
these [guidelines] by members of
the University community may
constitute grounds for formal
action." Formal action against
members of the University
community for non-academic
behavior is not the within the
University's jurisdiction and should
never be.
In addition the statement declares
that the final responsibility for the
application and implementation of
the guidelines lies "with the
President or those to whom he or
she may delegate authority,
including judicial bodies which may
be organized in accordance with
Regential bylaws." Such wording
implies the University's intention to
set up kangaroo courts to dictate
"University law."
If the University wants to ensure
less violence in the, face of

By Rebecca Friedman
and Elizabeth Page
"My blood will nourish the tree that
will bear the fruits of freedom. Please tell
my people that I love them ," said
Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu, age 20, to
his mother as he walked to his hanging on
April 6, 1979 in South Africa. Mahlangu
was one of hundreds of black students who
fled South Africa after the Soweto student
protests in 1976 - which centered on the
unequal high school curriculums, one for
blacks and one for whites, established by
the government, and the countrywide
unrest in 1977. He left not merely to seek
asylum in another land, but to better
educate himself so that he might return
home, to contribute to the struggle for a
better life for all who live in South Africa.
Mahlangu returned to South Africa in
hopes of achieving his goals when he was
arrested by South African security forces,
and charged with being a part of a
conspiracy of the African National
Congress to overthrow the racist regime
by force of arms. He was sentenced to die
on April 6, ironically the same day that
white South Africa annually celebrates the
landing of the first colonialists at the Cape
of Good Hope.
In 1979, the ANC established the
Frikedman and Page are members of the
Free South Africa Coordinating
Committee

Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College
(SOMAFCO) in Mazimbu, Tanzania, in
order to continue Mahlangu's struggle for
equal education, a right that should be
guaranteed to all people, regardless of
color, not a privilege given to whites
only. SOMAFCO caters to the educational
needs of black youth who have been forced
to leave their home through t h e
persecution of the South African racist
regime.
SOMAFCO is established on the
principle that education is a right, not a
privilege. Presently in South Africa the
educational system is used by the
Apartheid regime as a mechanism of
further oppression. Not only does Bantu
education for black students consist of
minimal math and science, but there are
no accurate courses that address the
experience of black South Africans. It is
estimated that out of a total of 126,000
students in rural areas who began school
in 1978, only 19,000 have progressed up
to fifth grade by 1984. Also today Urban
schools are in a similar state of affairs.
SOMAFCO is a working
example of the system of education that
will be put into practicecin afree South
Africa. . SOMAFCO consists of a
secondary school, a primary school, a
nursery school, adult education programs,
and the ANC- Holland Solidarity Hospital.
The curriculm of all schools not only in-
cludes basic classes such as mathematics,
science, and English, but also important
areas of study that are not dealt with in the

South African school system. For
example, in the secondary and primary
schools, the curriculum includes History
of the Struggle and Development of
Societies.
The ANC-Holland Solidarity
Hospital has facilities designed for
preventive, curative, maternal, and child-
care services. It also provides health
education for the community and an in-
service training for ANC medical units.
The United Coalition Against
Racism (UCAR) and the Free South
Africa Coordinating Committee
(FSACC) want the University community
to continue in its support of the struggle
for liberation by uniting SOMAFCO and
The University of Michigan as sister-
schools. Perhaps our university could
support SOMAFCO by sending material
aid and by showing solidarity by sending a
student delegation to Tanzania to observe
the college in full swing. By supporting
SOMAFCO, a non-violent educational
system, we. can continue to show our
solidarity with.the ANC and their struggle
for freedom. A LUTA CONTINUA! The
struggle continues.
Tuesday, October 13th, on the Diag, 12
noon, UCAR 'and FSACC will be
sponsoring a rally commemorating the
International Day of Solidarity with South
African political prisoners. There will be a
speaker from the ANC, a dance
presentation in memory of Steven Biko,
and student speakers speaking on sanctions
and SOMAFCO.

LETTERSC
Closing PLO office den ies free speech

controversial

speakers and

performers it could begin by
establishing a means for more
student input into the University
selection process of officially
invited guests. Whenever the
University administration utilizes
Michigan tax dollars, the students'
tuition and the accumulated prestige
of the University to give substantial
publicity to a speaker of its
choosing, there is bound to be some
disagreement on the speakers
chosen.
Further, the University should
give more aid to student and
independent groups responsible for
inviting the bulk of the guest
performers, speakers, and artists.
This process insures a student voice
and student support for University
guests.
No student can accept a policy
that gives interpretive and penal
power to the University for student
activity outside of the classroom.
The University has no right
whatsoever to adopt the power and
responsibility of the Supreme Court
to interpret the First Amendment.

To the Daily:
Closing the Palestine
Information Office is a
surrender to fear - the fear of
the power of free speech and
the free exchange of ideas. If
the Palestinian people are
"terrorists," if their grievances
are illegitimate, if the stories
they tell of expulsion from
their land, degradation under
military rule and murder and
destruction in refugee camps
are false, then their opponents
have nothing to fear. So long
as our press is free, so long as
ideas can be expressed without
fear or inhibition, lies and dis-
tortions will always be ex-
posed. That is the principle
behind the First Amendment.
What Israel's supporters are
really afraid of is that Ameri-
cans will question forty years
of blind support for their cause
and begin to recognize the truth
of Palestinians' claims and the
justice of their cause. Efforts
to drown out the Palestinians'
message, as typified by the
well-orchestrated flood of emo-
tional letters and articles that
the Daily has received in re-
sponse to its editorial, are not
enough. Israel's supporters
will only feel safe when the
Palestinian point of view is
banned, when its spokesmen
are deported, and when Pales-
tinian organizations are closed
down.
From the start, Israel's
supporters have tried to deny
totally the existence of the
Palestinians or to portray them
as subhuman monsters. This
tactic of dehumanization can be
seen in many of the letters the
Daily has printed. This is
racism, and the readers of the
Daily should recognize it as
such.
Censorship may be the way

they do things in Israel, but it
has no place in American soci-
ety. Americans should under-
stand that the goal of this kind
of censorship is manipulation.
By closing the Palestine In-

formation Office, Israel's sup-
porters have not only won a
victory against the Palestinian
cause, they have defeated the
American tradition of free
speech.

-Rashid Taher
Suha Hamid
Dima Zalatimo
Nabil Khoury
Arab-American
University Graduates

4

Bork and PLO closing are narrow-minded

To the Daily:
The nomination of Judge
Robert H. Bork to the Supreme
Court is doomed, and rightly
so. Americans reject the nom-
ination of a man so patently
out of step with thesdemocratic
ideals of this country. Judge
Bork's defeat in the Senate Ju-
diciary Committee is a victory
for democracy and the Ameri-
can way.
Judge Bork has questioned
whether certain political beliefs
are too offensive "to be al-
lowed to find voice anywhere
in America." Most Americans
prefer to hear the evidence
themselves, then make up their
own minds. Bork's view rep-
resents a serious threat to our
Constitutional rights, and
Americans have recognized it
as such.
. The Judiciary Committee
defeat of the Bork nomination
was counterbalanced by the
Reagan administration's deci-
sion to close the Palestine In-
formation Office in Washing-
ton D.C. The office functioned
as a legally-registered agency
for disseminating the views of
Palestinians and promoting
their cause in the United
States. The office broke no
laws. Its closing was the re-
sult of simple pandering to
powerful lobbies and special
interests in this country, whose
goal is to squelch public debate
and strangle the free exchange
of ideas so fundamental to a
healthy democracy.

The reprehensible actions
of the administration in the
closing of the Palestine Infor-
mation Office should come as
little surprise to Americans re-
covering from the insensitivity
of President Reagan's Bork en-
dorsement, and it should be
viewed with the same measure
of justified indignation. Any

attempt to restrict free debate,
whether by proxy in the
Supreme Court; or by closing
the doors of a public informa-
tion office, should be met with
the contempt it deserves.
-Jeff Kemprecos
Arab-American
University Graduates
October 12

Rainforest deforestation

Chassy

To the Daily:
On September 17th in the
Natural Resources Building, a
standing room only crowd of
people gathered to watch a
video about deforestation in
Central America. Questions
raised from the audience
revealed a general lack of
knowledge about the complex
issues surrounding the world-
wide loss of tropical rain-
forests.
Entwined in the environ-
mental issues of tropical
chainsaws hard art work are
issues of political, sociolog-
ical, and economic signifi-
cance. Trees are being deci-
mated by the millions and the
causes of this devastating loss
need to be questioned. Is there a
better way to work with those
resources, or are the economic
pressures too great to slow the
whine of the chainsaw.
The disappearance of the
world's rainforests is signifi-
cantly altering regional cli-
mates, affecting not only local
areas but the entire world's
climatic patterns. We are
losing thousands of species
each year, many as y e t
undiscovered. The wealth of all

this genetic material may never
be known, or its potential to
aid mankind.
To this end, a new organi-
zation has been initiated on the
University of Michigan cam-
pus: The Rainforest Action
Movement. We seek to educate
ourselves and others in the
exploration of what is causing
this tremendous loss of tropical
habitat (Tropical forests cover
7% of our planet's land surface
but are home for over 80% of
the plant and animal species on
earth, according to the latest
estimates). More than just
educating ourselves, we aim to
explore different means of
taking action.
We invite any other Ann
Arbor residents, students, and
non-students to join us. We
plan to arrange speakers and
seminars, and show films.
Deforestation is not merely a
problem "over there." It's here
and it's our's. Come join us in
sharing our global respon-
sibility.
-Marc Cromwell
The Rainforest Action
Movement
October 9

COf PML . RCHIESHPI~OI
VEARE YOU? CAN
L SEEOiJRN.

Terror

vs. reedom-fighting

I

To the Daily:
Ms. McCaughey ("Terrorism
is a Political Label," Daily,
Oct. 12) seems to think that
one side's "terrorist" can be
another side's "freedom
fighter." This is nt. true. A
terrorist is someone w h o

freedom fighter will try to
assassinate a specific political
figure to try to further his
objective, but this is still
different form a terrorist's
activities-the freedom fighter
has a specific, well-guarded
target in mind. The terrorist

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