October 16, 2002
02002 The Michigan Daily
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Vol. CXIII, No. 30
One-hundred-twelve years ofeditorfalfreedom
Cloudy to partly
with a chance
of rain or snow
- - --- -Conference---
21 years for
By Andrew McCormack
Daily Staff Reporter
Writer Salman Rushdie yesterday dis-
cussed the U.S. premiere of the stage
adaptation of his Booker Prize-winning
novel, "Midnight's Children," which will
be performed at the University in March
by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
"It's been a long road," Rushdie said
during a press conference at the Michi-
gan League. "There have been projects
to dramatize adaptations for 21, what is
almost 22 years, so we finally seem to
have had what are very happy results."
The story begins with the birth of the
protagonist, Saleem Sinai, as India gains
its independence from the British
Empire. As he grows, he finds he shares
a psychic communication with other
children brought into being at that
moment. The book is a half-supernatural,
half-realistic allegory of India's recent
history and the turmoil it finds itself in
when forced to deal with its freedom.
A central concern of the narrative is
that "these days, you can't explain indi-
vidual lives without explaining their
larger historical context. ... The view of
a character since Heraclitus - man's
character as his fate - is now not entire-
ly true because the public sphere can
change his fate irrespective of how we
live our lives," Rushdie said, adding that
much of the content was inspired by the
circumstances of his own life.
"Before it acquired its big historical
dimension, it really started from a desire
to write about childhood, to write about
growing up in Bombay at that time, a
city at a very much richer and happier
phase in its history than perhaps today,"
said Rushdie, who was born just before
India gained its independence from
Great Britian. "(I thought) if I could
make the coincidence exact, and not
eight weeks apart, but exact, and imag-
ine that the newborn child and the new-
born country were somehow siblings,
were some how twins, that it would be a
way of writing a family story in which
one member of the family was the whole
Rushdie said that in spite of his long-
time desire to produce the book in some
cinematic venue, it has been continually
delayed and canceled due to primarily
political reasons. "There are certain
things that have allowed me to reimag-
ine the book in ways that I've found very
interesting" he said. "The demands of
staging required an actual rethinking of
the narrative structure of the book"
Rushdie said that his desire to stage
the book came from the same place as
his desire to write it - his childhood. "I
grew up in a movie generation," he said.
"All we had was movies and books."
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By Shabina S. Khatri
Daily Staff Reporter
Middle East tensions nearly boiled over in
Ann Arbor this weekend as pro-Palestinian and
pro-Israeli voices rose in heated debates across
campus. But the alleged source of the tensions,
the Second National Student Conference on the
Palestinian Solidarity Movement, proceeded
with relative calm.
More than 400 students, faculty and Palestinian
supporters from across the country attended the
three-day conference, hosted by Students Allied
for Freedom and Equality, to learn more about a
growing movement that urges universities to divest
from companies doing business with Israel.
Boston University students Stephen De Rosa
and Michael Figa, members of the Boston Coali-
tion for Palestinian Rights, were sponsored by the
group to gain reconnaissance and exchange ideas
with other activists.
"Basically, we stand behind the Palestinian
movement. We came to see and report back what
went on, what was accomplished," De Rosa said.
"The average American doesn't have time to
look into (the conflict)," Figa added. "They don't
really know the history of what actually hap-
pened. I looked at it and it was easy to see
through. I'm critical of it (because) I think it's
pretty obvious," he said.
Engineering sophomore Ron Hagiz said he
attended the conference out of curiosity.
"I came to hear what they had to say, but I am
against the idea behind the conference. It isn't say-
ing 'let's support Palestine' or 'let's end the con-
flict,' but rather 'let's divest' and 'let's destroy
Israel.'Viewpoints like that will never end the con-
flict;' he said.
Each of the conference's numerous sessions,
which ranged in topic from the War on Terrorism
to eyewitness accounts of the abuse of Israeli
human rights, opened with a statement on the free-
dom of speech and artistic expression.
"We will protect the right of individuals to
speak or perform, and the rights of those members
of the University community who wish to hear
and communicate with the invited speaker or
artist," the statement read. "Protesters also have a
right to express their opposition to a speaker in
appropriate ways ... however, protesters must not
interfere unduly with communication between a
speaker or artist and members of the audience."
Mahdi Bray, executive director of the Freedom
Foundation, commenced the conference by declar-
ing Israel an "oppressive, racist apartheid regime."
Bray, who was actively involved in the domestic
anti-Apartheid movement that helped overturn the
system in South Africa, said he sees many similar-
ities between the two nations.
See CONFERENCE, Page 7A
Ypsilanti resident Nazih Hassan voices his opposition to a pro-Israel rally on the Diag Sunday. The
rally was held in response to the Second National Student Conference on the Palestinian Solidarity
Governor candidates discus
Engler, fluture i final debate
By Jordan Schrader
Daily Staff Reporter
DETROIT - Michigan's gubernatorial
candidates looked to the past during yester-
day's debate while making their bids to lead
the state into the future.T
Many of their back-
centered on how well3
Michigan has fared
under Republican Gov.
John Engler's adminis-
tration and under Demo-z
cratic power before him.
Jennifer Granholm and
Lt. Gov. Dick Posthu- Granholm
mus faced off at the COBO
Conference/Exhibition Center in what will
likely be the campaign's last debate before
the Nov. 5 election, sponsored by the Eco-
nomic Club of Detroit and the Women's
Posthumus said unemployment, welfare
rates and property taxes all plummeted
under his and Engler's
watch, after years of
"I won't let Michigan
go back to the 1980s,"
But Granholm said
Engler inherited a budg-
et surplus and will leave
his successor with a
Posthumus massive deficit.
His administration also alienated public
school teachers, she said, adding educators
"have felt as though they are the enemy."
Audience questions provoked the candi-
dates to offer opposing views on relations
between Detroit and the rest of the state.
Granholm said a Republican television
ad accusing her of pandering to Detroit is
false. But Posthumus said her dealings
with Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and
with former Wayne County Executive
Edward McNamara, show her administra-
tion would be corrupt.
A memo from Kilpatrick, which
Granholm said she never saw until it
received media attention last month, asked
her campaign for a promise to put all new
government buildings in the city and to
appoint blacks to 20 percent of govern-
While Posthumus supported regionalizing
See GOVERNOR, Page 7A
Men arrested for,
assault, phone theft
after making calls
Standing for Israel
RR" i $ 44 "
Penn State cornerback Bryan Scott kicks up a cloud of dirt and
sod during the first quarter at Michigan Stadium Saturday. After
the game, several players and Athletic Director Bill Martin asked
that the grass be replaced with artificial turf.
By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Fditor
Even with its rich tradition and sparkling reputation, the
"Big House" isn't perfect.
Or at least the grass on the playing surface isn't.
The field conditions are such a big problem that Michigan
Athletic Director Bill Martin said he plans to replace the grass
with another surface such as artificial FieldTurf by the start of
the 2003 season. Martin said finding a way to fix the field
problem is "on the top of his list of priorities."
The field "was not acceptable," Martin said. "Period."
Several Wolverines agreed that the grass has to go.
"It was terrible (on Saturday)," said senior B.J. Askew, who
felt the grass is the worst it's been since he came to Michigan.
"The divots seemed like potholes."
After two weeks of inactivity and great weather, the field
See STADIUM, Page 5A
By Jeremy Berkowitz
Daily Staff Reporter
The Ann Arbor Police Department
arrested two men at the corner of South
State and Packard Streets at 3:30 a.m.
yesterday as possible suspects in a mug-
ging that occurred earlier that morning.
An LSA junior who requested that his
identity be withheld to protect his
anonymity said he was walking down
Hill Street at 2 a.m. talking on his cell
phone when three men ran up behind
him. As they tried to jump him, the vic-
tim attempted to escape. "I tried to run
and I made it across the street and then I
fell," he said.
The three men then started kicking
and punching the victim. They ran down
Sybil Street after stealing his cell phone.
The victim described the assailants as
black males, one wearing a red shirt and
another wearing a black shirt. The third
assailant's shirt color is unknown. No
other description was provided.
"I came back (home) and called the
cops;' he said, adding that AAPD offi-
cers came to his house and asked one of
the victim's friends to call the cell phone
Meanwhile, the suspects called the
victim's friends and family members
from his phone. The victim said they
made various claims, saying that he was
lying in front of Bursley Residence Hall
and that he had made racial comments
to them as he passed them on the street.
At about 3 a.m., the suspects called a
friend of the victim, who also requested
that his name be withheld to protect his
identity. After talking to the friend for a
few minutes, the suspects threatened to
fight him. "They said, 'Why don't you
meet me on State and Packard?"' he
said, adding that he offered to meet them
in five minutes.
The friend then called the victim's
roommate, who informed the AAPD of
the call. Officers were dispatched to
South State and Packard streets where
two of the three suspects were arrested.
The other suspect is still at large.
AAPD Sgt. Edward Stuck confirmed
the arrests, but was unable to give out
any information about the identity of the
suspects or whether they had been
The victim was taken to St. Joseph
Mercy Hospital where he was treated for
LSA sophomore Richard Dorfman leads students and campus visitors in a rally for
Israel Sunday on the Diag. See story inside, page 3.
Intervenors ask court to hear cases together
By Tyler Boersen
Daily Staff Reporter
Intervenors in the lawsuits challenging the Universi-
ty's use of race in admissions joined the Center for
Individual Rights Monday in filing another petition
asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear both the LSA
and Law School cases simultaneously, despite the lack
of a ruling in the LSA case from the 6th Circuit Court
the Law School case taken up by the Supreme Court.
Theodore Shaw, lead counsel for the intervenors in
the undergraduate case, said
the case utilizes historical evi-
DM iSI S dence that proves the need for
ON iRIA L corrective admissions poli-
cies. "At the trial court level,
we intervened not only to
support diversity as a com-
pelling state interest, (but it
campus up until recent times," he said.
Shaw, the associate director-counsel of the Nation-
al Association for the Advancement of Colored Peo-
ple Legal Defense Fund, also said there are aspects
of the admissions process that in the absence of affir-
mative action could have a negative effect on minori-
ty students. Affirmative action "did not spring out of
thin air, there are reasons," he said.
University assistant General Counsel Jonathan
Alger said he does not see a correlation between the