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November 20, 1989 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-11-20

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OPINION
Page 4 Monday, November 20,1989 The Michigan Daily

Students demand response on

El Salvador atrocities:

An open letter to

Duderstadt

This letter was signed by 150 of the stu-
dents who entered the Fleming building to
meet with President Duderstadt on Friday.
President Duderstadt,
We are writing to ask that you make a
public statement putting both yourself and
the University on record as condemning
recent events in El Salvador, specifically
the murder of six Jesuit priests, their cook
and her daughter at the University of Cen-
tral America in San Salvador last week,
and the aid from the United States that
makes this slaughter possible.
The priests were targeted by government
troops for death because of their open sup-

with violence, you saw fit to join with
other University presidents around the
country in condemning that action. We
feel that the situation in El Salvador now
is similar and requires a similar action on
your part.
The situation in El Salvador deserves
special attention because the United States
government provides more than 1.5 mil-
lion dollars in aid to the Salvadoran gov-
ernment every day - a contribution
greater than that of the Salvadoran gov-
ernment to its own national budget.
The killings last week were nothing
new. In this decade alone the Salvadoran
government has killed more than 60,000

which supports human and civil rights and
academic freedom. We ask that you add
your voice to those condemning U.S. aid
and the atrocities which it is used for.
We are asking in this manner because
you would not agree to meet with us in a
public forum. We find it hypocritical that
you expect us to attend classes of more
than 200 students daily, yet stated to us
that an open forum would degenerate into
a "circus," making rational discussion
impossible.
We are also dismayed by the manner in
which your staff dealt with us when we
presented our demand in the Fleming
Building on Friday. We were initially told
that all of the University's executive offi-
cers were in a retreat on a train and could
not be reached. When asked if we could set
up an appointment, we were told that your
schedule was not known. Yet within an
hour you were on the phone seeing when a
meeting could take place. That bureaucrats
lie came as no surprise to us; that they
would do so in such a blatant manner
causes us to feel some embarrassment for

ing their deaths.
Editor's note: Although officials repeat-
edly asserted that they could not reach the
president, eye witnesses report seeing
Duderstadt himself leaving the Fleming
building during the protest at his office.
- More military
-~a for $$
El Salvador.
, -gfWHITE

Duderstadt
should speak
out on killings
By Jeffery Paige
Co-signed by
William Alexander, John
Vandermeer, Alan Wald, Tom
Weisskopf, Bob Hauert, Mary
Ann Allen, Nile Harper, Joseph
Kohane, Virginia Peacock

A

'We find it hypocritical that you expect us to attend classes of
more than 200 students daily, yet stated to us that an open
forum would degenerate into a "circus," making rational
discussion impossible.'
port for the poor and marginalized in Sal- civilians in indiscriminate bombings of
vadoran society. That the government rural areas, and through death squads. Aid
would kill them obviously violates the from the United States equips the Salvado-
principle of academic freedom, as well as ran army and U.S. advisors train Salvado-
fundamental human and civil rights. ran troops.
Last summer, when the Chinese gov- Only through opposition here will our
ernment crushed student demonstrations government change its policy to one
abi E4fri~u 4~
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 MaynardSt.
Vol. C, No. 54 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.
Suppiort HAC's action:
Startingat Day One
THIS SPRING, if City Council plans to address the low-income housing cri-
are not changed, two downtown homes sis. The opening up of the DDA fund to
will be demolished to make room for an build low-income housing would make
unneeded city-funded parking structure over $17 million available to address the
on South Ashley and William Street. problem. Additional funds could come
Last Monday, members of the Home- directly from the City Council budget
less Action Committee (HAC) occupied and from the financing plan HAC has
one of these houses. The house has proposed.
been named "Day One," and is being There are currently 1,000-2,000
used as a center for organizing around homeless people living in Ann Arbor. In
issues of housing and homelessness - addition to the pitiful lack of low-in-
and is home to several activists who are come housing, Ann Arbor's emergency
homeless. It stands as a powerful sym- shelter facilities are also woefully in-
bol of the struggle against distorted City complete. Additional emergency shelter
spending practices that prioritize profits must be provided particularly in the
over people. winter months, but it does not represent
City Council has approved the use of an adequate response to the issue of
$9 million in Downtown Development homelessness. City council must face
Authority (DDA) funds to finance the the housing crisis it has helped create
construction of the Ashley-William and take responsibility for the construc-
structure. Over $13 million in DDA tion of low-income housing in the
funds have already been spent on the downtown district-
construction of parking structures. No In the absence of widespread criticism
DDA money has been used to construct of its negligence, City Council has con-
housing that is affordable for people tinually shirked this responsibility. The
with low-incomes. Tonight, concerned emergence of a growing local movement
citizens of Ann Arbor will gather at the has begun to force the Council to reex-
City Council meeting to protest the amine its priorities. In April, over 100
city's distorted spending priorities and protestors occupied the Kline's lot to
to support the Homeless Action Com- demonstrate against the proposed use of
mittee's demands. DDA funds to build a parking structure
HAC has four central demands. 1) there. City Council members responded
That the City Council cancel the pro- weakly by linking a proposal to use
posed Ashley-William parking structure $300 thousand in DDA funds for the
project and that all remaining DDA construction of affordable housing to
funds be used toward building 1,500 the proposal that $9 million be used to
units of low-income housing in Ann build the parking structure.
Arbor; 2) That any new multiple-unit This $300 thousand was an inade-
private housing development must offer quate token compromise in response to
30 percent of its space as housing af- public outcry. However, increased
fordable to people with low incomes; 3) pressure from Ann Arbor's citizens
That developers of any private venture would force council members, particu-
downtown other than housing contribute larly those potentially sympathetic to the
30 percent of the cost of the venture cause, to take a stronger proactive stand
toward the construction of low-income and confront the affordable housing
housing; and, 4) That the city open crisis.
additional emergency shelter and The Homeless Action Committee de-
additional transitional housing for peo- serves your support. Support their de-
ple moving from homelessness to per- mands at the City Council meeting
manent housing, and that the city find a tonight, at 7:15 p.m. at City Hall (Fifth
permanent site for the day program. and Huron). The rights of Ann Arbor's
Members of City Council have repeat- low income residents have been ignored
edly claimed that the city lacks the funds long enough.

The Onininn naue is acti~vyrec~ruijting or men-

you.
These considerations should not detract
from the real focus of this letter, your
condemnation of the killing of the six Je- 'WiyD.C. ist le M9URDETcapitalof America
suit priests and the U.S. role in facilitat-
Look for.the last installment of Mike Sobel's
. ,.
"AIDS wPoss ible Oagin,'
on thiswe's Opinion Page.

I

Dear President Duderstadt,
I am writing in behalf of a group of
concerned faculty and campus religious
leaders shocked and saddened by the mas-
sacre of religious and academic leaders of
the University of Central America Jose
Simeon Canas in El Salvador. I myself
hold a Fulbright nomination to the Uni-
versity and had proposed to work with the
Segundo Montes, head of the social
sciences division and one of those killed.
we are writing to urge you to make a pub-
lic statement placing the University on
record as condemning these killings in the
strongest possible terms and defending
university autonomy and academic free-
dom. We propose that some language such
as the following might be suitable:
On behalf of the University community
I condemn in the strongest possible terms
the murders of administrators, faculty and
staff of the University of Central America
Jose Simeon Canas in El Salvador. I call
for every effort to apprehend and punish
those responsible for this barbarous act to
defend and restore university autonomy and
academic freedom that it has so grievously
damaged.
We would be happy to meet with you at
your convenience to discuss this matter
further if you would find it helpful, and we
would be willing to assist you in any
other appropriate manner. Thank you for
your consideration.

Abortion
By The Pro-Choice Commit-
tee of the U. of M. American ;
Civil Liberties Union, U. of
M. Chapter of Democratic '
Socialists of America, and U.
of M. College Democrats.
The Supreme Court's recent Webster de-
cision has placed women's reproductive
freedom in great jeopardy. The anti-abor-
tion minority (polls, including a 1988
Harris study, consistently show that a vast
majority of Americans believe that abor-
tion is a question for a woman and her '
physician to decide) has begun pressuring
state legislatures to pass restrictive abor-
tion laws. Moreover, the anti-abortion '
forces are assaulting state and federal
courts with challenges to the Roe v Wade
decision.
Rallying around Webster, the anti-abor-
tion forces have declared war on reproduc-
tive freedom. The pro-choice majority can
ill afford to remain silent any longer.
Those who support a woman's right to
control her body must actively oppose the
proposed restrictions on abortion.
The first serious threat to abortion
rights comes from two cases currently on
appeal to the United States Supreme
Court. Hodgson v. Minnesota involves
the country's most restrictive abortion law
for minors. The statute in question re-
quires a minor to notify both of her par-
ents before receiving an abortion. This re-
quirement unjustly inhibits minors from
exercising their right to an abortion, and it
contradicts established medical practices
which require that only one parent be noti-
fied in case of a serious medical procedure.
In addition, the statute in Hodgson does
not provide a minor with the option of
having a judge exempt her from the notifi-
cation requirement. Even in cases where a
minor has been sexually abused by her fa-
ther, this law requires that the minor ob-
tain her father's permission before obtain-
ing an abortion. As if the sexual abuse

rights attacked

were not bad enough, this law would vic-
timize a minor twice by requiring her to
secure her abusive father's consent.
The next case on appeal poses perhaps a
more serious threat to abortion rights.
Turnock v. Ragsdale involves an elaborate
licensing scheme that seeks to impose re-
strictions on out-patient abortion clinics.
These out-patient facilities perform the
majority of this country's abortions. The
statute in this case requires clinics to oper-
ate emergency facilities comparable to
those of a full-care hospital. If upheld, this
statute will force many small clinics out
of business because they cannot afford to
maintain such extensive emergency facili-
ties. With fewer clinics, women will have
a very difficult time obtaining a safe, af-
fordable, and timely abortion.
The abortion debate is also raging in
state legislatures across the coun-
try.Webster has opened the door for restric-
tive legislation which would severely
jeopardize reproductive freedom. Here in
Michigan, three especially threatening
bills are pending. The first proposed bill
requires women under 18 to obtain written
permission from their parents, or a waiver

state-run hospitals and would prohibit
state-employed doctors from performing
abortions. Like the counseling bill, this
law would unjustly victimize poor
women. While rich women may be able to
afford abortions from physicians in private
practice, poor women likely have no alter-,
native other than public medical facilities.
Women should not lose the right to
control their own bodies merely because
they cannot afford private medical care. As
these pending court cases and legislative
proposals indicate, the anti-abortion forces
have begun an assault on reproductive
freedom. If they continue to face little op-
position from the pro-choice majority,
they have a significant chance of extin-
guishing the right to an abortion.
Pro-choice supporters, however, can
still act to preserve this right. Abortion
rights supporters in Florida, for example,
have recently won two major victories.
The Florida Supreme Court struck down
that state's parental consent law, and
Florida's legislature overwhelmingly re-
jected every anti-choice bill proposed in a
recent legislative session.
Pro-choice Americans must make their

'While rich women may be able to afford abortions from
physicians in private practice, poor women likely have no al-
ternative other than public medical facilities.'

from a judge, before receiving an abortion.
This bill ignores the fact that in many
dysfunctional families a minor may not be
able to communicate openly with her par-
ents, and it disregards the fact that minors
may not have the resources to obtain a ju-
dicial bypass.
The second Michigan bill would ban the
use of Department of Social Services
funds for counseling on abortion. This law
would especially undermine the rights of
poor women who do not have access to
private counseling. A woman should not
be kept ignorant of a fundamental right
just because she cannot afford private ad-
vice.
The last bill would prohibit abortions in

feelings known to their elected officials
with their voices and their votes. Those
who support reproductive freedoms should
immediately demand that their representa-
tives oppose bills which restrict abortion
rights, and they should support groups
like Planned Parenthood, The National
Organization for Women (NOW), and the
ACLU, that actively fight for abortion
rights.
Moreover, the pro-choice majority must
flex its political muscle and elect pro-
choice candidates as it did recently in the
Virginia and New Jersey governor races.
With a little resolve the pro-choice major-
ity can protect a woman's fundamental
right to control her own body.
htly de- the following paragraph he
e Opin- stated that, "This 'established
though Jewish community' is in cri-
portant sis." It is obvious that I am
such as not the only one confused but
olicies, Ben-Baruch is as well.
iust nc- Also. Ben-Baruch is under

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A plethora
of wrongs
To the Daily:
After reading Benjamin

In the first paragraph Ben-
Baruch states that the student
groups affiliated with Hillel are
attempting to control and dom-
inate discussion about the
Arab-Israeli conflict. He is cor-
rect in savinii that discussion

all agree, this issue rigt
serves domination on th
ion Page. It is not as
there are any other im
issues to be tackleds
apartheid, University p
and a minor issue that

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