The Michigan Daily - Wednesday,
October 12, 1988 - Page 5
BY DARCI MCCONNELL
Last year, following a United Coalition Against
Racism rally on the Diag, a woman was approached by
someone who spoke of equality and social change. Cu-
rious to hear about their ideas, she planned to attend the
group's first meeting. However, the flyer read at the
bottom that this group, Spark, was a "revolutionary
Communist organization." She lost interest, and never
heard of or saw anyone from the group again.
This year, she came upon another flyer encouraging
students to attend a Revolutionary History Series ad-
dressing class struggle, and there was that group again
- Spark - a "revolutionary Communist organiza-
According to Peter Putnam and Bob Kotchenruther,
members of the group, Spark was started in the 1960s
by people who came out of different movements and
saw some potential for changing the capitalist system.
The name Spark is not an acronym - it describes the
intent of the group: to spark an interest in change.
"The world has to change," said Putnam. "There are
so many problems and people are making money at the
expense of others... We need to get rid of the capitalist
system and create a system that meets the needs of ev-
Kotchenruther and Putnam agree that they would
prefer a peaceful movement as means to this change,
but both agree that a social movement, in order to pro-
duce change, must occur by any means necessary.
Putnam cited the riots of the 1960s and the 1930s as
one means to social change. "Unquestionably there is a
social movement coming... people are getting fed up...
change will happen, but not necessarily because of the
"There is a tremendous amount of anti-communism
on campus," Putnam said. "Different people in the or-
ganization have been harassed physically."
Putnam said he thinks the antagonism stems from
the misbelief that their proposed communist system is
modeled after the Soviet Union. "We are communists,"
he said. "But we don't feel communism exists any-
where in the Soviet Union, nor does democracy exist in
the United States."
Their primary goal is to change the world, members
say, but they're not trying to convert people who don't
share their ideas. The group is looking for "people who
don't like what's going on and want to participate,"
Spark, which is funded by the Michigan Student
Assembly, uses its funds to print posters that describe
its current project. This year the project is a revolu-
tionary history series, which, according to Putnam,
presents "a different view of history than the one given
at the University." However, Spark hasn't held any
protests - its principle concern is building an organi-
Spark's second lecture in the historical series on so-
cial struggles will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday in B118
of the MLB.
Inspired by mysterious forces, LSA sophmore Chris Jeffery does back extention
at the CCRB
Study urges steps for
at-risk older drivers
BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
A federal study of elderly motorists
called yesterday for better screening
to identify impaired drivers, but con-
cluded there is no justification to re-
strict driving solely on the basis of
The report by the National Research
Council said that older drivers pose a
greater risk of being involved in
accidents because of their slower
reaction time, vision problems and
difficulties in gauging heavy traffic
Continued from Page 3
order to "control the numbers of the
poor - the underclass."
Andrane cited a study that indi-
cated 20 percent of Black married
women are sterilized.
Because of this, she said, women
of color often interpret reproductive
rights to be associated with steriliza-
tion, rather than the right to control
their own bodies.
But the study said while driving
skills often deteriorate after age 75,
many elderly people are "capable and
safe drivers" who pose less of a risk
to highway safety than teen-age
"Age alone is a poor predictor of
the (driving) performance of any in-
dividual," said the report, although
acknowledging after age 75 a driver is
"twice as likely (per mile driven) to
be involved in a crash" as middle-
In a cost-saving effort, some states
in recent years have turned to mail-in
license renewals, the study noted. It
criticized such practices,
The study said that problems of
meeting the transportation needs of
older citizens will increase in the fu-
ture as the number of people over age
75 increases and more elderly people
live in the suburbs, where less public
transit is available.
Communities should improve pub-
lic transit for the elderly, develop
subsidized taxi programs and con-
struct walkways in suburban areas if
the transportation requirements of the
elderly are to be met, the study said.
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suppUr anU the woeIn U aci Algerian protesters remained angry about economic hardship
their backing." although demonstrations were not as extensive as last week.
Continued from Page 1
One of the reasons security
officers have been deputized, said
chair of External Relations
Committee Zach Kittrie, is because
Ann Arbor police have found an
increase in the number of guns on
people and in cars.
Yet MSA Vice President Susan
Overdorf said campus security
officers should not carry guns. "They
} (guns) don't have anything to do
with safety. They want guns to
intimidate protesters in the event of
large and inflamatory protests in
campus," Overdorf said.
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