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September 03, 2002 - Image 39

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-03

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The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - Tuesday, September 3, 2002 - 5C

You gotta fight for your rights
Rlyat Union s .
targets racist
views, ormnCe
By Daniel Kim i
Daily Staff Reporter

Take Back the Night rally organizers listen to local musicians and artists perform
original pieces related to sexual assault and the empowerment of women.
R ally empowers
Ivictims of asal

Aftershocks of anger over conservative author David Horowitz' Tues-
day, March 19 lecture on campus prompted more than 100 students of var-
ious minority students groups and Greek houses.to rally in 'front of the
Michigan Union March 20.
Horowitz commented against black slave reparations and described left-
ist groups as "people who think corporations are the enemies and al-Qaida
could be our friend."
"We are here to show a united front against ignorance. It's.important to
show that the kind of ignorant attitude (seen in Horowitz's lecture) will
not be tolerated," said Engineering senior Adrian Reynolds, president of
the National Pan-Hellenic Council.
LSA junior Brandid Taylor agreed with Reynolds, adding, "This rally is
a significant step to let people know that the students of color have allies
and that his view is not the only view."
The rally began at 1 p.m. on the front steps of the Union with an open-
ing speech by Reynolds. Afterward, anyone wishing to speak was invited
to talk to the crowd.
"We are here to let everyone know that we are not going to disappear
just because you call us niggers. Actually that's going to make us more in
your face," said Panther McAllister, an LSA graduate, in reference to the
racial slurs recently written in Couzens Residence Hall and on the Diag.
Sidney Bailey, an Engineering senior and member of Omega Psi Phi,
emphasized the importance of education.
"How many of you have read the books he mentioned? How many of
you recognize the people he mentioned last night?" Bailey asked the stu-
"The point is you can't combat something like this unless you are edu-
cated. I want to challenge you to read the authors Horowitz mentioned and
realize that history can be twisted and torn up. Without education, you
can't say anything about it. Know what you are struggling for. If you
don't, then there is not point of standing out here," he said.
Among many attendees was Troy Patterson, a 57-year-old Ann Arbor
resident who said he recently retired from General Motors.
"I've been here all my life and students have always been going through

By Megan Hayes
and Shoshana Hurand
Daily Staff Reporters

Donning posters stating "One in four
is too many" and "Stop rape now," a
crowd of about 200 gathered on the
Diag April 12 for the 23rd annual Take
Back the Night rally. The event, organ-
ized by the Ann Arbor Coalition Against
Rape and University Women Against
Rape, sought to empower the communi-
ty to take action against acts of sexual
Ann Arbor resident Katherine Drum-
right spoke to the crowd as a survivor of
sexual assault. Molested at age four,
Drumright said she continued on a path
of self-destruction including drug and
alcohol abuse and depression.
Drumright said she wanted "to talk to
someone but didn't know who to talk
to." After she was clean for nine months,
the issues of her sexual abuse surfaced
and she felt if she did not get her story
out, she would return to drugs.
Drumright said she was afraid to
reveal to people what happened to her.
She was finally able to deal with her
past after meeting with a counselor
through the Touchstone Program, a ther-
apeutic support group out of the Sexual
Assault Prevention and Awareness Cen-
ter which aids female survivors of sexu-
al assault.
Drumright advised friends of victims
of sexual assault to encourage victims to
seek treatment.
LSA graduate Ben Osborne, a
spokesman for Men Against Violence
Against Women, also emphasized the
need for men to speak out against sexual
"It's sometimes not culturally accept-
able to speak out," he said. "You can't

remain silent about these things."
Osborne added that he hopes everyone
- men and women - can join forces to
stop acts of violence.
"It takes a strong man to stand by a
strong woman," he said.
"(Rallies are) effective for women to
come together and unite in a way that is
very empowering," said one LSA senior
who requested to remain anonymous.
The inclusion of men and women in
the audience was encouraging to sur-
vivor and social worker Diane Moore.
"I look out at this group and I feel so
supported," she said. She was first sexu-
ally assault at age four and said the defi-
nition of sexual assault does not need to
be specified in order for the form of vio-
lence to matter. After suffering through
years of sexual violence inflicted by
both men and women, Moore said she
started to self-destruct by the time she
entered college.
Despite her initial reluctance, Moore
said she .eventually entered the Touch-
stone Program.
"If you've been hurt, it's not your
fault," Moore added. She emphasized
the need for women's strength regarding
these issues.
Moore's stance corresponded with
that of Congresswoman Lynn Rivers (D-
Mich.), who stressed the importance of
women's vote. Rivers said voting is a
means of affecting the laws and deci-
sions regarding violence against women.
"When women vote, women take
back the night," she said.
About one in four women and one in
six men will experience sexual assault
in their lifetime, according to a state-
ment by the Ann Arbor Coalition
Against Rape. Seventy percent of sexu-
al assaults are committed by an
acquaintance of the victim.

Students gather in front of the Michigan Union March 20 to listen as Engineering
junior Ron Crawford denounces recent racist incidents and "ignorance" on
campus. Several people spoke to the crowd, and the rally ended with a chant.
racism and prejudice," Patterson said. "I am gonna be here with you all."
Patterson added that unity within the United States is extremely important, espe-
cially during the time of war against terrorism and encouraged students of color to
unite not just within themselves but with others as well.
"Right now we are weak on the inside. If blacks and whites don't come
together, we will get destroyed within. We need to be united inside to
fight terrorism outside," Patterson said.
Other speakers encouraged students to "keep their heads up high" and
to "let the community know that black students have a voice too" by writ-
ing to student and local newspapers and by engaging in more discussions
with classmates, professors and even those who hold the opposing views.
The rally closed out with a chant "I am black and I am proud! Say it
loud!" which was led by RC junior Abdul Lediju, a member of Alpha Phi

Diag display shows mock refugee camp
Movement for Israel
protests display of refugee fl
camps on the Diiag U U

Kiss-in rally on Di'ag
mewihlittle protest

By Karen Schwartz
and Samantha Woll
Daily Staff Reporters
This year there were no protest-
ers, there were no small children
holding signs bearing anti-gay mes-
sages and the Michigan Peace Team
members did not have to intervene
in any potentially violent or danger-
ous situations.
While not as riotous as last year's
Kiss-In when members of the anti-
gay Reverend Fred Phelps' congrega-
tion came to protest against the
demonstration, peace team member
Sheri Wander said the annual Queer
Visibility Rally and Kiss-in gave par-
ticipants a chance to voice their views
without any sentiments of fear.
The Kiss-In concluded Queer Visi-
bility Week on Feb. 17 and addressed
awareness and activism as well as
changes speakers said should be made
with regard to the treatment of lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender issues.
Rally speaker Dave Garcia
acknowledged what he said were
many positive initiatives taking place
with regard to the LGBT community
on campus, but said he has "had
enough of the wait-and-see mentali-
ty" on certain issues.
"We will not accept this Universi-
ty's support of the United Way cam-
paign. ... This administration has a
responsibility to adequately fund the
LGBT Affairs Office, to drop the Boy
Scouts of America ... to drop support
of the United Way campaign," he
rhP T Tniar,-i+ tinntc f;m~n +n +t th

dom and right to life."
She added that it was important "to
show the rest of the world that we
will not be silent and that we are here
among you."
Defend Affirmative Action Party
representative Agnes Aleobua, who
also spoke at the event, said despite
potential controversy, it is essential
for members of the LGBT communi-
ty to be strong in their beliefs and
"History has taught us that in order
to make change in society, we have to
stand up and fight. ... There can be no
successful movement in our society
that is not prepared to stand up against
the oppression," Aleobua said.
She emphasized the connection
between sexism, racism and homo-
phobia and asked that others "demand
real social equality in all aspects of
She also urged those attending the
rally to "send a message to the Uni-
versity community - we're going to
be out, we're going to be loud and
we're going to be proud."
Following the rally on the Diag,
25 students protested outside the
Fleming Administration Building to
show their disfavor with the Univer-
sity's continued involvement with
the Washtenaw County United Way
and to get the University Board of
Regents' attention, LSA graduate
Pierce Beckham said.
After finding out the regents were
not in the building, five protesters
went up to the President's Office
where they engaged in an hour-long
Adisiwin nth fArmer interim Presi-

By Shabina S. Khatri
Daily StaffReporter
University students received a taste
of the latest strife caused by boiling
tensions in the Middle East March 1 as
they walked through a Diag filled with
display tents and mock refugee camps.
The displays, which .consisted of
graphic photos of suffering Afghani,
Iraqi and Palestinian people as well as
literature on the respective conflicts,
drew campus-wide attention. Many of
the canvas refugee camps bore inscrip-
tions about real Palestinian refugees.
One mock campsite read, "This is
the tent of Ali El Khatib. Displaced
from Tarshiha, 1948. Re-displaced
from Imwas, 1967. Re-re-displaced,
from Khan Younis, 2001."
Another listed a timeline explaining
the movement of Palestinian refugees
as well as the thousands of home
demolitions that resulted from Israeli
occupation policies.
LSA senior and Students Allied for
Freedom and Equality President Fadi
Kiblawi, who helped organize the
exhibit, said the mock refugee camps
serve as a tribute to the forgotten
rights of the Palestinian people.
"International law has been com-
pletely ignored by the Israelis, and
Israel needs to end its terrorism
against the 3.5 million Palestinians
they've been oppressing for the past
55 years in the West Bank and Gaza,"
he said.
But some students were unhappy
with the message the displays were

sending spectators. Members repre-
senting the American Movement for
Israel also stood on the Diag and
passed out literature offering the cam-
pus a different angle on the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict.
"From the exhibition students get
the impression that (the refugees)
were just driven out. It's much more
complicated than that," LSA senior
David Post said. "We completely
understand and agree with the right of
people to express the plight of
refugees. But we also think it's impor-
tant to expose students to the context
of what occurred so that it's not one-
sided, and that context is war."
But Kiblawi said he found the liter-
ature, which asserted that the reloca-
tion' of Palestinians from Israel was
performed on a largely voluntary
basis, distasteful and untrue.
"(The quarter sheets) are making a
statement that is not only offensive to
the Palestinian people but to all of
mankind. Attempting to rewrite and
change history to erase the ethnic
cleansing and suffering of an entire
nation is a crime against humanity,"
he said. Many students left the Diag
disturbed by the provocative images
the displays held.
"Nobody needs to talk because pic-
tures speak louder than words, and
after looking at those (Iraqi) children,
it kind of makes you think twice
before spending $15 on dinner," LSA
graduate Mohsen Nasir said.
LSA senior Henna Tirmizi said she
hoped the displays helped people to

better understand the conflict in Iraq.
"When people think of Iraq, they
think of Saddam Hussein, not of the
millions of people that are suffering
over there" she said.
LSA graduate Ann Pattock said she
appreciated the unique perspective the
Afghanistan display offered. "It's
interesting. I'm kind of sorry to see
there aren't more people stopping and
paying attention. It's good that people
are getting the other side of the story
than what we hear in the media in
terms of Afghanistan," she said.
Engineering junior Omar Khalil
said he was also pleased that the cam-

LSA junior Viviana Rodriguez views a display at the mock Palestinian refugee
camp on the Diag March 1.

pus was given the chance to see an
unfamiliar point of view. "This event
really put into perspective the kind of
suffering the Palestinians are going
through which is unfortunately often
obscured by media coverage of that
region," he said.
University alum and employee Juan
Iturralde said all three displays really
opened his eyes. "It's just incredible
how naive we are, since we're not
exposed to this everyday, but when we
do see we're horrified. As a species I
feel ashamed," he said. "I'm just won-
dering now that we know, what can
we do to help?"

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