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July 15, 1981 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1981-07-15

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From APand UP
DETROIT-Police ripped a door off a Roman
Catholic church yesterday and evicted a dozen squat-
ters who tried for a month to stop a General Motors
Corp. construction project from leveling the aging
Poletown neighborhood.
The eviction of the six men and six women ap-
parently ended the year-long saga of the Immaculate
Conception Church in the heart of the east side
Poletown neighborhood.
CHRISTINE KUJAWSKI, spokeswoman for the
Ralph Nader-backed Poletown Support Group, said
police backed two trucks up to the church door, pulled
the door off with a large hook and removed the six
men and six women inside.
Demolition crews erected a 12-foot barricade
around the church to keep protesters and others out
of the church.
Weeping parishioners watched from behind police
lines as workers tore five-foot-high stone crosses
from walls, removed bells from a tower, and disman-
tled pews from the Immaculate Conception Church in

The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, July 15, 1981-Page 3
bins i Pletown
the remains of the neighborhood named for its many 1,300 houses being torn down to clear a 465-acre site
residents of Polish descent, for the plant. GM says the $500 million plant will em-
"WE'RE GOING TO pray for your souls because ploy between 3,000 and 4,000 workers assembling
you're going to need it," one older woman told Cadillacs.
workers as they carried out pieces of the church The occupiers had to be evicted yesterday because
organ. "Anybody who would desecrate a holy san- the city must turn the cleared site over to GM by Sep-
ctuary needs prayer. What a horrible, horrible thing. tember, said Joyce Garrett, a spokesman for Mayor
There goes our beautiful church." Coleman Young. ,
The city of Detroit, the United Auto Workers union,
GM and the hierarchy of the Catholic Archdiocese of ALL BUT A handful of Poletown residents have
Detroit say the Cadillac assembly plant to be built in moved away. Those remaining live in a virtual ghost
the neighborhood will keep thousands of auto in- town and are terrorized by many arson fires that
dustry jobs in economically depressed Detroit. have torched the vacant homes where neighbors once
The squatters were the core of a group that had lived.
moved into the basement on June 16, shortly after the After their release, the 12 went back to the church
archdiocese te he building over to the city. site and stood vigil nearby, awaiting its demolition.
Water and light had been shut off weeks previously. Tom Olechowski, chairman of the Poletown Neigh-
POLICE CHOSE the early hour to evict the demon- borhood Council, said the city and GM can destroy
strators "because there would be less confusion and the church but not the spirit of Poletown.
less chance of people being around," police Sgt. "GENERAL MOTORS, as it watches over the
Dwain Wadkins said. destruction of our church, surely looks at a mirror
Immaculate Conception is among the 16 churches, image of its own future," Olechowski said. "Poletown
one hospital, two schools, 114 small businesses and indeed lives and will continue to live."

Daily Photo by KIM HILL
THREE SUSPECTS HAVE been arrested and charged with breaking and entering the University Museum of Art last
May. They allegedly gained access to the Museum through steam tunnels, but police are still unsure of where they
originally entered the tunnel system that runs throughout the campus.
Suspeet held in'Iea-m

group asks
for Watt's
WASHINGTON (AP)-The nation's
largest conservation organization
broke its longstanding silence on In-
terior Secretary James Watt with a
flourish yesterday. It asked President
Reagan to fire him.
Jay Hair, executive vice president of
the National Wildlife Federation, said
the stand was taken after a member-
ship survey demonstrated over-
whelming opposition to Watt's policies
after his six months in office.
"SAD TO SAY, we have.reached the
point where removal is the only option
that we see open to the president," Hair
"He places a much higher priority on
development and exploitation than on
conservation ... he pays lip service to
environmental protectionr. . he is
working to undermine or circumvent
many of our basic environmental
protection laws," he said.
Hair said the federation's survey
showed Watt was "out of step not only
with the views of conservation leaders
. . . but with the mainstream of
American thought on conservation
"HE HAS QUITE frankly lost the
confidence of Americans who are con-
cerned about our environment," he
Hair made the announcement at a
news conference, saying he had just
come from a meeting with White House
officials at which he presented a letter
to Reagan asking for Watt's removal as
There was no immediate response
from the White House or from Watt's
THE WILDLIFE Federation has
800,000 national members and it
classifies another 3.7 million people as
members of state affiliates and other
subsidiaries, or as contributors.
The move by the federation-regar-
ded as the most conservative of
national conservation groups-puts it in
line with most such organizations, some
of which criticized Watt from the time
of his nosmination- eenmbr

Daily staff writer
Ann Arbor police announced yesterday that they have ap-
prehended a third suspect in the May break-in of the Univer-
sity's Museum of Art. Police had arrested another suspect in
the case last week and the first suspect was taken into
custody earlier. Police said they believe the three were the
only persons involved in the break-in.
Police Sgt. Harold Tinsey said at least one of the suspects
in custody is a University student. According to police, the
three entered the museum through the network of un-
derground steam tunnels that criss-crosses the campus.
Nothing was taken in the break-in, police said, because a
museum security guard interrupted the three before they got
"to the point of picking anything up."
POLICE SAID THE arrests of the three suspects were
made by examining the physical evidence left in the steam
tunnels at the scene. The evidence police found included gas
masks, gas dispensers, bolt cutters, and a C.B. radio.
Sam Ferraro, head of security at the art museum, said that
the museum's security will likely be reevaluated and that the

underground steam tunnels are a perrenial source of security
problems for the entire campus. He added that the May
break-in scheme "seemed to be fairly complicated."
POLICE SAID the three suspects, after gaining entry to the
museum, jumped a security guard, spraying him with mace,
before fleeing. The security guard, Robert Ickes, said he was
patroling the museum's machine room when the three men
attacked him and fled.
Ferraro also said there was some concern about the access
people have to the museum, but that because the museum is
a public place, it is difficult to control the problem and that it
is one that is constantly being reevaluated.
HE ADDED THAT the last attempted theft at the museum
was in August, 1973. During that summer, things were taken
but were recovered very quickly, he said, adding that those
thefts occurred during the day-not during the night, as with
the recent break-in.
The director of University security, Walter Stevens, said it
is unknown where the suspects entered the steam tunnel net-
work. He said police are trying to persuade the suspects to
identify the point of entry.

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