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November 28, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-11-28

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Page 4

Monday, November28, 1988

The Michigan Daily

:' e £ibdieastyfi
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Stripping the

Vol. IC, No. 56

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.
Protesters close clinic

QN SATURDAY, November 12 - a
few days after Proposal A had passed -
a, group calling themselves Operation
Rescue attempted to close down the
Women's Advisory Center in Livonia.
They sat in front of the doors, allowing
no one to enter. Counter-protesters
were also there, to show public oppo-
sition to these actions. The police ar-
rived by 8 am, but took two and a half
hours to clear these people out.
Through their actions, the police
showed their sympathy with the group
which had closed this clinic, forming a
barricade line to "protect" them from
the pro-choice counter-protesters. The
police justified the wait for the arrests
to begin by the delay in arrival of their
wagon. But during the hours of wait-
ing they did not even request that the
protesters move away from the door.
And when the clinic doctor tried to
open the door to get in, the police
threatened to arrest him.
Now that Proposal A has passed, we
can expect the attacks on women's
right to choose to increase, in number
and in scope. Clinics, and the women
using them, will be attacked. Employee
medical insurance plans may be limited;
other legislative restrictions may be en-
acted. Women's basic right to choose
the option of abortion may be taken
away by a right-wing Supreme Court.
This consequence is concrete, the
state is already changing the rules and
procedures of its medicaid system.
What Bush's election will do is less
concrete but perhaps more menacing.
Right now, concerned groups can still
attempt to fund poorer women's
abortions through voluntary fund-
raising efforts (Planned Parenthood is

doing this), thus preserving some
chance that a poor woman will be able
to make her own choice. But, in a
Supreme Court about to veer even
farther to the right with Bush
appointees, a review of Roe v. Wade is
likely, and all women could easily lose
their right to make this decision.
Recent events give us an idea of what
other repercussions we can expect,
both in the legislature and in the streets.
Senator Jack Welborn of Kalamazoo
plans to introduce a constitutional
amendment in Michigan to ban cover-
age of abortion in the employee medical
insurance of state employees, legisla-
tors and legislative staff. The next
logical targets are public school
teachers, and then the faculty and staff
at public universities. Chrysler got a
loan from the government; would their
female employees be the next to lose
abortion coverage in their medical
Proposal A's passage has also
encouraged anti-choice groups to step
up their tactics, including their attempts
to close down abortion clinics.
Sometimes they do this through
violence, as in December of 1986,
when Planned Parenthood of
Kalamazoo was burned to the ground.
At other times, their methods are less
drastic: they protest in front of abortion
clinics, screaming at the women going
in, calling them murderers and
attempting to limit their freedom to
The passage of Proposal A is a
victory for anti choice activists and
supporters of the status quo idea that
women should not be allowed the
independence to make their own

By Sandra Steingraber
We couldn't believe it, you know. Here,
this happening in America. Oh, they were
- mill worker describing police brutal-
ity against women unionists during the
Bread and Roses strike, 1912.
Last week I proposed that the police al-
ternately serve two diametrically opposed
roles in regards to women rights: In their
capacity to enforce laws against rape, bat-
tering and sexual harassment, police serve
as our protectors. In their capacity to
brandish clubs, guns, handcuffs and the
power of arrest, police serve to brutalize
women activists fighting against injus-
tices not remedied by recognized legisla-
With the increasing tendency to view
police as a panacea for social ills, women
need to understand how these dual roles
operate in their lives and affect their inter-
ests. "Safety" and "enhanced protection"
have emerged as popular buzzwords among
administrative authorities to justify in-
creasing police powers. George Bush suc-
cessfully used his now-famous story about
the Black rapist on a rampage to whip up
fear of a lawless society and paint his op-
ponent as "soft on crime."
"More police!" is a popular rallying cry
here on the local scene as well. Police will
soon be regularly patrolling the corridors
of certain Ann Arbor public schools - a
move which ostensibly creates a safer
learning environment but which also
This is the second of a two-part series
on women and the police.

functions as a psychological operation to
get students used to the presence of police
in their lives. The Ann Arbor News re-
cently endorsed this decision.
Allowing Ann Arbor cops to carry
semi-automatic weapons is another move
city officials are currently mulling over.
And down the road in Detroit, the authori-
ties are considering beefed-up police squads
- and the possible use of helicopter pa-
trols - as a response to rapes of high
school women.
Moves such as these strengthen the hand
of those who both protect and oppress us.
It is hard for women to know how to
think about this. The police force that
hunts down rapists with its ever-more-so-
phisticated arsenal of weapons and
surveillance techniques is the same police
force that will show up in force at a
WAND protest (Women's Action for
Nuclear Disarmament), for example, or at
a picket line of striking clerical workers.
And the same woman who calls on the
police to protect her against sexual assault
could very well find a billy club in her
face and handcuffs on her wrists.
Recently the Ann Arbor News ran a
rosy, upbeat article about the

dead meat at the Miss America pageant.
These women demonstrators were met and
driven back by double rows of armed
mounties. Whose interests are protected by
this kind of police action? Who is made
The campaign against abortion currently
being waged by right-wing partisans of
Operation Rescue poses a curious set of
questions. In this case, women counter-
demonstrators lawfully fighting to keep
abortion clinics open against the efforts of
the Operation Rescuers should find plenty
in common with the police. But eye-wit-
nesses to O.R. maneuvers in Livonia and
Chicago tell me that it ain't necessarily
so. Instead, police have allowed demon-
strators to successfully block the entrances
for long periods of time (no double rows
of mounties) while responding brutally to
counter-demonstrators' own efforts to clear
a path to the doors themselves.
It seems the lines were more clearly
drawn at the beginning of the century.
According to their own words, women
fighting for their rights as workers and
voters saw the police as their enemies.
Period. In my favorite story from the an-
nuls of women's labor history, the Bread


'The police force that hunts down rapists with its ever-more-=
sophisticated arsenal of weapons and surveillance techniques is
the same police force that will show up in force at a WAND,
protest... or at a picket line of striking clerical workers.'

"controversial and colorful" law enforce-
ment techniques used by Washtenaw
County Sheriff Doug Harvey during a
wave of unrest in 1968. Ann Arbor ac-
tivist Jim Kirk wrote a letter in response
reminding readers that such techniques in-
cluded unleashing attack dogs on welfare
mothers and other women supporters dur-
ing a sit-in (Ann Arbor News, 11-21).
In this same year, women gathered from
all over the country to display pieces of

and Roses strikers of Massachusetts took.
to the streets with sewing shears concealed
in their dresses. When met by the official
club-wielders, the women simply snipped
their suspenders and, in some cases,;
managed to strip their uniforms com-
pletely - leaving them standing around
with a lot of naked flesh.
. Watching the Ann Arbor cops and Uni-'
versity deputies patrol the streets here, I
have to admit... it's a great fantasy.


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likefkfegs,. W~t S,..LADES,. bq ES.. OLDFotV-5. .g'-1N

Rights long overdue

a MONTH AGO, the Michigan Civil
Fights Committee passed a long over-
ue decision regarding the insensitive
tie of American Indian names,,sym-
b0ls, and rituals. The committee's de-
oision echoes the actions taken by oth-
ers across the country - recognizing
that the misuse of Native American
Culture by schools, fraternities, etc. is a
continuation of the historical oppres-
saon of American Indians by white
:The systematic genocide of the Na-
tive American population by the domi-
nant white power structure is most
powerfully recounted in the history of
the Trail of Tears.
"In 1838 President Andrew Jackson
signed the Indian Removal Act - or-
dering the forced removal of the in-
digenous population from their home-
lands in the Southeast - in order to
give more of Native Americans' lands
to white settlers. Fifteen thousand
members of the Cherokee Nation were
rdunded up as if they were cattle,
chained to wagons and forcefully
nrarchedfor over a thousand miles to a
reservation in what is now Oklahoma.
Four thousand died from frost expo-
sore, malnutrition, beatings, and dis-
ease during the march. .
Conditions on reservations are well
below national norms. High levels of
alcoholism, low education and poverty

on reservations are indicative of the
low priority the government places on
the lives of Native Americans. When
the Reagan administration does pay at-
tention to the reservations it is only to
violate Indian treaties, particularly
when mineral and oil exploration or
nuclear testing is at stake.
Native Americans lived here before
white settlers instituted the Trail of
Tears and other systematic practices
which nearly erased an entire race of
people from the face of the earth.
In the context of the historical op-
pression Native Americans have expe-
rienced it is obvious that the illicit ap-
propriation of their culture by white
culture -in such forms as team mas-
cots and fraternity rites - is danger-
The atmosphere of ignorance and
contempt for Native American culture
which has produced these derogatory
team names has a long history in
deleted, Eurocentric history texts,
movies, slogans, mascots, and here on
campus rituals such as those carried out
by Michigauma.
At Michigan, a school built on Native
American ground, there are few Native
American courses and only 0.5 percent
Native American enrollment. Michi-
gan's attitude toward Native Ameri-
cans reflects its philosophy toward

lab offers
To the Daily:
There is a resurgence of in-
terest in the area of foreign
languages and literatures, due
to an increasing recognition of
the nature of the changing
world around us and of the in-
adequacies of our educational
system which fails to introduce
students from K-12 to other
cultures. New resources are be-
ing made available to our lan-
guages and literatures pro-
grams. This year, through
satellite transmission, authen-
tic news broadcasts and other
cultural materials are available,
on a daily basis, for the study
of foreign languages and cul-
tures. News broadcasts are re-
ceived from China, Japan,
Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia,
Germany, Italy, Austria, the
Soviet Union, several Spanish
speaking countries, France, and
Israel. The LSA Project for
Language Research and Devel-
opment in cooperation with the
Language Laboratory has made
these materials available to all
individuals who want to view
them and to the various de-
partments and programs who
. want to incorporate them into
their curriculum. In addition,
the Language Laboratory re-
ceives a number of programs
produced in California by His-
panic video stations.
The University, through its
many rich offerings and

tive Literature, Afro-American
Studies, Women Studies,
American Culture, Asian
Studies, Armenian Studies,
Judaic Studies, Film and Video
Studies, and others. The Resi-
dential College has a long his-
tory of introducing innovative
courses which deal with diver-
sity of cultures.
Diversity of cultures is not
an empty slogan. It is alive and
well in Michigan. One only
has to take advantage of what
is available. More can be done
and more is being done. The
fact that many new student or-
ganizations which represent
ethnic and cultural communi-
ties have emerged lately has
helped raise the consciousness
of the entire university com-
munity to the diverse
composition of its student
body. These groups make an
important contribution to the
redefinition of goals within the
University and to a heightening
of awareness for the need for
changes in the academic pro-
gram. However, to claim that
such a commitment does not
exist at Michigan, is to deny
the efforts of faculty and stu-
dents, who participate in such
courses, and administrators,
who support these efforts.
-Edna Amir Coffin
November 18
To the Daily:

standing on the fringe of a
larger group and asked who
they were. I received two
replies, the first being "Pledge
initiation," and the other -
"Students against Israel."
I walked away, upset, and
wondering if perhaps there re-
ally was such a group. I am
Jewish, and I am horrified at
the treatment which the Pales-
tinians have received from the
Israeli government. These
policies, though, should not be
linked with Israel as an entity,
because countries' policies can
be changed. Likewise, our
government is responsible for
the contra war, thousands of
deaths in El Salvador, -and
much much more. Still, no
one would consider forming an
organization called "Students
against the United States," or
much less joke about one.
Unfortunately the above
comment is representative of
the atmosphere of misunder-
standing and ignorance we live
in. Nations should not be op-
posed - because nations are
made up of people; govern-
ments and policies should be
Confusion of the two is
tragic and and it is all-consum-
ing. Look at the imprisonment
of Japanese-Americans during
World War Two, the alienation
of soldiers returning fror -
Vietnam, and the abuse of Ira-
nian-Americans during the
hostage crisis. Examine, even,
our modern conception of war
- nuclear war - with mis-
siles aimed not at government,
not at armies, but at entire

"evil" is to overlook this.
Similarly, I prefer to say that I
am Jewish, because being
called" a Jew" potentially de-
nies my being anything else; it
puts me off in a corner. For
example, to say that, with the
knowledge that I am Jewish,
you can presume that I support
the Israeli government's policy
towards Palestinians is erro-
neous. Likewise, there area
many Americans who do not
associate themselves with their
government's policies and are
working to change them, ar arel
even working around them.
There is an all-important line".
between misdirected abuse -
that which I encountered=
Thursday night -and con-R
structive criticism, and unfor-
tunately the voices of both of-
ten get confused with one an-
other. The former is born out' 4
of hostility and can only fosteu,
more hostility; the latter cre-4
ates an environment for sincere,
efforts for change. Hostility
grows from ignorance - tor h
which no one is immune. We
should all work towards under-
standing, to break down walls,
to be not so quick to condemn,
and to make that necessary leap
of faith - to realize that we
share a potential only attain-
able together, We should
examine our behavior and ask
ourselves, where do we stand?
-Eric Weltman
November 19

Labels used to attack

ON OCTOBER 26, a flier was

When labels such as "woman driver"

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