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June 17, 1984 - Image 6

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Michigan Daily, 1984-06-17

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41

OPINION
Sunday, June 17, 1984

Page 6

The Michigan Daily

Vol. XCIV, No. 18-S
94 Years of Editorial Freedom
Managed and Edited by Students at
The University of Michigan
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the
Daily Editorial Board

Trouble at Dems' Convention:
The potential is there

1

Domestic nonsense
O N THURSDAY, the International Trade
Commission added its voice to the
growing clamor for protectionist trade
policies. It voted, 5 to 0, to recommend that
the president cut the amount of copper impor-
ted into the United States by 40 percent, in
order to protect the beleagured domestic cop-
per industry.
Although there is an excellent chance that
the commission's recommendation will never
be adopted, its stance will lend more
credibility to the arguments against free trade
policies. The position on copper raises the
identical issues as are raised each time the
labor lobby calls for domestic content
legislation, the steel lobby for steel import
quotas, or the clothespin manufacturers for
protective tariffs.
In each of these cases, the government is
asked to impose policies which amount to
economic suicide. Domestic production is
inefficient, we are told, so the government
must take a position which preserves the inef-
ficiency and punishes the efficient foreign
producers.
Some mines in Chile, for example, can
produce copper for about 25 percent less than
mines in the United States. Decreasing the
amount of Chilean copper imported would
raise the demand and price for domestic cop-
per, but it would have other effects as well.
American industries which use copper would
have to raise their prices, since their costs
would be higher. Such price increases would
hurt American consumers by decreasing
their buying power, and would hurt American
industry by decreasing its competitiveness
in world markets. It might also ultimately
hurt the American copper mining industry,
since copper consuming industries would start
to look for ways to replace expensive copper
with cheaper materials.
In every industry these policies are applied,
domestic prices go up, efficiency declines, and
American competitiveness on the world
market is savaged. It is nothing so much as a
choice between perserving, for a time, the
current standard of living, or allowing the
economy to push the standard of living to a
new, higher level.
Unsigned editorials ap-
pearing on the left side
of this page represent a
majority opinion of the
Daily's Editorial Board.

By John Ross
SAN FRANCISCO-"This is
going to be a smoothly run and
unifying political event,"
Democratic Party Chairman
Charles Manatt promised repor-
ters on a tour of Moscone Center,
site of his party's national con-
vention.
That may be, but local, federal
and private officials are bracing
themselves to deal with several
scenarios that could disrupt the
July 16-t9 gathering.
One measure of their concern is
shown by the approximately $3
million-nearly a third of the
city's $10 million convention
budget-slated to pay for
security, which includes $1.5
million available to summon of-
ficers from surrounding jurisdic-
tions-and even military help.
Police have set up 22 commit-
tees to deal with security, all in-
interlinked with the Secret Service,
San Francisco Police intelligen-
ce, Army bomb squads, and the
Air National Guard.
All this money and manpower
is focused on a set of troubling
possibilities.
" The demonstration that goes
too far. The Democratic Party
still is haunted by memories of the
1968 Chicagogconvention, and
even though this year's
gatherings promise to be tame,
there will be hundreds of
thousands demonstrating on such
issues as nuclear arms, gay and
lesbian rights, and policy toward
Central America-including,
inevitably, some who seek violent
confrontation.
Most planned protests are
scheduled for the block-wide
parking lot across from the Cen-
ter. In an attempt to stage-
manage these proceedings, the
police department has created an
elaborate permit procedure and
will even set up a platform and let
demonstrators use police-
controlled sound equipment.
"We're going to police this con-
vention with an iron fist and a
velvet glove," says Chief Cor-
nelus "Con" Murphy. The glove
involves working out guidelines
with demonstrators. "As long as
protesters live within those
guidelines, they won't have any
problems with the police.
"But," he adds, "We'll take
swift and appropriate action if
protests threaten to get out of
hand." Earlier this year, 50
people were jailed after clashes
with police-allegedly provoked
by a militant faction-at a
relatively small demonstration
against former Secretary of State
Henry Kissinger.
Security planners also are
gearing up to deal with mass
arrests. A recently approved

$285,000 police department shop-
ping list includes everything
from flash and stun grenades to
an array of Polaroid cameras to
help identify "mass arrest
suspects," who sometimes ex-
change "identification or
clothing en route to a holding
facility."
* The possibility of
assassination attempts or
hostage taking. Nearly six mon-
ths ago, Secret Service agents
began stepping up "quarterly in-
terviews" with threatening in-
dividuals, according to local
agent-in-charge Richard Mc-
Drew-who concedes this is not a
foolproof method. Elements of
the FBI's new 45-member
Hostage Rescue Team, set for the
Los Angeles Olympics, also will
be available.
Local police will get rope and
climbing gear "for use in critical
incidents where normal means of
obtaining a tactical advantage
cannot be used"-in other words,
rappelling down the face of a
highrise. Their budget also calls
for four Remington Model 700
rifles, their "primary anti-sniper
weapons,' and, again, Polaroid
cameras, for "instant
photographs of suspicious per-
sons."
Suicide attacks. The spectre
of these has weighed heavily on
"worst case" planning since last
October's deadly assault on U.S.
Marines in Beirut.
Convention officials are con-
templating the construction of
concrete barriers like those
around the White House, the Pen-
tagon and the United Nations. In
the words of Richard Murphy,
security manager at the past
three Democratic conventions,
"The truth is that some people

are just crazy. We will have to
stop them."
The idea of barricades may not
please Democratic Party image-
makers, but police requested
some $8,000 for barrier and fen-
cing materials. Kevin Mullen,
coordinator of security for the
police, says use of barricades
"will depend on the political
climate at the time of the conven-
tion." Three-foot barriers could
be easily emplaced, he says,
pointing out that Republican con-
vention planners are talking
about six-foot barricades.
" Hand-carried bombs. A
"bomb drop," a funnel-mouthed
chute leading to an explosion-
proof chamber outside the Center
will be placed on the podium.
New police equipment will in-
clude a "borescope," which per-
mits rapid inspection of
packages, and a hand-carried
detector, which "sniffs out" ex-
plosive devices.
Federal agencies and the
Democratic Party will spend at
least as much as the city on
security. The estimated total
price tag of $6 million will buy the
time and exportise of hundreds of
federal agents, private security
personnel, and 1,600 city police
officers working daily 12-hour
shifts.
And this last item may cause
troubles of its own, as exhausted
security forces could overreact.
"You just can't have officers
working 12-hour days five days in
a row and expect them to stay
cool in a tense situation," warns
one San Francisco police insider.
Ross is a Bay Area free-
lance journalist. He wrote this
article for Pacific News Ser-
vice.

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