Page 2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 2, 1988
BY PAUL de ROOIJ
In Nicaragua, democracy does not
mean voting for two virtually indis-
tinguishable choices once every four
years, but it does mean participating
daily at the grassroots level in a de-
This is the reality of Nicaragua
today, said Gary Ruchwarger, author
of several books on Nicaragua and
co-director of the Popular Participa-
tion Studies Program in Managua.
"The Sandinistas are master
organizers; they work like ants to
organize most segments of the
population," Ruchwarger told a
dozen students at the Guild House
last night. This is why the
Nicaraguan people have successfully
resisted the contra onslaught financed
by billions of U.S. dollars, he said.
THE SANDINISTAS suc-
cessfully organized the population,
drying up any source of support for
the contras. As a result, the contras
today are a discredited and marginal-
ized mercenary fighting force only
kept alive by massive U.S. infu-
sions of money.
Most Nicaraguans are members
of at least one mass organization
such as cooperatives, unions,
women's groups, militias, neigh-
borhood committees or adult literacy
groups, he said.
"People in these organizations
spend their time discussing issues of
local concern and electing local peo-
ple," Ruchwarger said. The degree of
popular participation is larger than
anything imaginable in the United
States. These organizations are
largely autonomous, and they have
arisen from the grassroots up,
Since the 1979 revolution in
Nicaragua, the people have attained a
major voice in determining the poli-
cies affecting them, he said, but it's
still difficult to dissolve the old pa-
ternalistic perceptions of the role of
the government in people's lives.
RECENTLY, a neighborhood
in Esteli found that the sewer chan-
nel in front of their houses was
causing most of the disease in the
community. "People had to learn
that 'papa-government' was not go-
ing to come and channel the sewer,"
He added that "People had to learn
how to organize themselves and find
ways to solve local problems."
Popular participation has been the
key to Nicaragua's survival and the
key difference between the meaning
of democracy in the U.S. and
But mass organizations have suf-
fered from the contra war and the
current economic crisis. "People
used to go to their neighborhood
committees after work; today most
people are forced to moonlight in-
stead," he said.
Continued from Page 1
"There are a lot of people who
,do not have accurate information
~ About birth control. We want to help
them think about the different meth-
ods," Sarris said. Last year 1,440
women visited University Health
Services for pregnancy tests, she
Though the cap is new to the
United States - it was approved by
the Food and Drug Administration
last May - women in England
have been using the cap for 60 years,
said Cindy Pearson, the program di-
rector at the National Women's
Health Network (NWHN) in Wash-
SOCIAL WORK DAY
Thursday, Nov. 3, 1988 6-9 PM
Assembly Hall, 4th Floor, Rackham Building
Alumni, professors, and administrators will
speak on career opportunities in social work and
University of Michigan programs
" Masters in Social Work " Ph.D. in Social Work
and Social Science
FOR MORE INFORMATION: 764-5330
A man was robbed at gunpoint
early Monday evening in the 300
block of Maynard St. by a suspect
who fled with items valued at less
than $600, Ann Arbor police said.
Sgt. Sherry Vail said the victim
was approached by the suspect and
three other men shortly after 6:30
p.m., and the suspect asked if he
could have the victim's leather
jacket. When the victim refused, the
suspect grabbed two gold chains from
the victim's neck and punched him in
the chest, Vail said.
The suspect then pulled out a
handgun and took the jacket and
chains, and the men left the scene,
No shots were fired, Vail said, and
the victim apparently was not in-
jured. An investigation into the rob-
bery is continuing, she said, and no
arrests have been made.
- By Nathan Smith
April 13 Could Be The Most
Important Day of Your Career
Why April 13? Because that's when you can take the
CINEMA DIRECT iY
Compiled from Associated Press and staff reports
Proposal A ignores infants
with AIDS, state official says
LANSING - A proposal to ban state-funded abortions for poor
women would force pregnant AIDS victims to give birth to infants
afflicted with the deadly disease, a state health official said yesterday.
"Nobody is encouraging abortions, but we do believe it's a persona
choice," said Raj Wiener, acting state public health director.
Passage of Proposal A would deny that choice to poor women,
Wiener said at a news conference on behalf of People's Campaign for,
Between 50 and 75 percent of the babies born to women with AIDS
eventually develop the disease and have a life expectancy of one year to
18 months, she said.
Michigan now has 13 cases of children with AIDS, three-fourths of
whom contracted AIDS while in their mother's wombs. Another 72
infants are infected with the AIDS virus but have not developed the
disease, she said.
The number of cases of children with AIDS is expected to rise to 25
to 30 cases by 1991, she said.
State jobless rate falls in Sept.
DETROIT - The jobless rate in half of Michigan's 12 labor markets
rose from August to September while the rate fell in the rest of the state,
the Michigan Employment Security Commision said yesterday.
Overall, the unemployment rate for the state in September fell to 6.6
percent from 7.0 percent in the previous month. But officials said that the
change was insignificant because of the seasonal employment swings.
"The labor market in Michigan in pretty much all the areas has been
stable in the last several months," said Von Logan, deputy MESC director
for internal affairs.
The highest unemployment rate continued to be in the Flint area, while
the lowest was in the Ann Arbor area, where 3.6 percent of the work
force was without jobs.
Young claims win over arson
DETROIT - Official firefighting figures prove that Detroit won a
strategic battle in its war against Devil's Nights arson, Myor Coleman
Young said yesterday.
A total 229 blazes - a drop of 21 percent from last year - erupted in
the city during the three-day Devil's Night Halloween Weekend, Young
On Saturday, a below-average number of 56 fires broke out, and
Monday's 69 blazes were typical for any night of the year in the city, the
mayor said. Officials reported 104 Sunday.
"This was the quietest Devil's Night in years," he said. "The-
youngsters are beginning to get the message from us and from their
Gov't predicts slow growth
WASHINGTON - The governient said yesterday that its chief
economic forecastinggauge dipped 0.1 percent in September, the third:
decline in the past five months.
Private economists said the Commerce Department's Index of Leading
Indicators was signaling slower growth but probably no recession next
The latest declines have been interspersed with large monthly gains,
including a 1.5 percent advance in June, the biggest gain since late 1986.
Analysts said the leading index was indicating a slowing of the robust
economic growth of the past year.
"There is absolutely no question that the economy is slowing down,"
said Lawrence Chimerine, chief economist of the WEFA Group, an
economic consulting firm.
While many economists believed that the new president would face a
recession in his first year in office, most are now predicting the downturn
will not occur until 1990 at the earliest.
State samaritans send
samolians to save Sparty
EAST LANSING - Brian Parks wanted to show his school spirit
when he sent in his donation to the "Save qur Sparty" fund.
The Albany, Calif. resident and 1985 Michigan State University
graduate sent a $5 bill, but not just any $5 bill.
Lincoln's face was covered with a picture of Sparty. Under the picture
were the words, "Go Green, Go White." And "E Pluribus Sparty" were
pasted below the bill's serial number.
Parks' contribution is one of about 500 that have trickled in so far,
said Terry Fossum, a Michigan State development fund employee
handling the donations. So far, the contributions, ranging from $5 to
$500, total about $30,000 of the $75,000 needed to restore the 43-year-
old ceramic statue.
Years of weather and attacks by vandals had left "The Spartan," the
symbol of Michigan State athletics, with cracks, gashes and missing
parts. A committee banded together last November to raise money to
restore the 10-foot-6, 3-ton figure.
Restorers hope to have the project complete in time for Sparty's 44th
birthday on June 9th.
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For more information, call the state
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Clip and return the coupon below for
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