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July 29, 1988 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1988-07-29

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The Michigan Daily

Friday, July 29, 1988

Page 5

Fleming's inferno

This is the story of how some
wide-eyed optimistic students and
faculty tried to apply an idealistic
set of democratic principles to a
document on the "Rights and Obli-
gations of Speakers, and Protestors
at the University of Michigan," and
how they were led down a path of
crafty lies and unconscionable be-
trayal by a University administra-
tion hell-bent on destroying any
last vestige of democracy on cam-
Two years ago, the Civil

Liberties Board began composing a
new set of University guidelines on
free speech and protest. This was in
response to a rash of repressive
University actions during campus
demonstrations. On October 7,
1985, Vice-president Bush came to
the University to commemorate the
Peace Corp's 25th Anniversary.
Many students, realizing the irony
of Bush honoring the Peace Corp,
protested his appearance. Campus
security responded by harassing
students, confiscating signs, and
squelching the protestors' right to
free speech.

Libyan students arrested:
Forgotten Rights
Suppose a university student is taken from her/his home by govern-
ment agents on charges that s/he conspired to ferment anti-government
demonstrations. Suppose the community responds with suspicion and
fearful silence. Suppose the newspapers churn out a few stories that read
like press releases from the authorities. Suppose the university
administrators say nothing.
And suppose this happened not in some Third World torture state but
at the University.
Last week, as part of a dragnet apprehension of eight Libyan students
around the country, FBI agents arrested University student Salem
Zubeidy at his home on North Campus. He is accused of conspiring to
divert funds from the Libyan government to support anti-American ac-
tivities and send "minority activists" to Libya. The outrageousness of
such charges has been met with quiet anxiety by many Arab students
who fear they will become targets of government frame-ups or harass-
ment if they speak out.
Some say they have good reason for such fear. As one student ex-
plained, "The men with black shiny shoes have come around. They've
been around, knocking on doors."
With such suppression of political dissidence going on, those of us
who can still speak out should demand answers to some obvious ques-
First, Zubeidy was arrested and accused of similar crimes in Virginia
over a year ago. And yet there was not enough evidence against him to
even implicate him in a court of law, and he was released. Why again?
Why now?
Second, why is nothing being said about the Libyan disinformation
campaign that has been carried out by the U.S. government and which
is now a matter of public record? Two years ago the United States con-
fessed to planting false stories in the foreign and domestic press about
opposition movements within Libya. This operation was carried out in
order to boost anti-Khadafy forces. Bob Woodward broke the story in
the Washington Post, and newspapers around the nation admitted in
bold headlines that they had become unwitting targets of deceptive pro-
paganda. Why are they not wondering the same thing now?
This exposure of deception is not an isolated incident. In 1981, we
were told by an Iranian arms merchant that Colonel Khadafy was send-
ing a hit squad to assassinate the president and other U.S. officials. The
Iran-contra hearings have since revealed that this source was in fact an
Israeli agent and that these reports were the fabrications of an Israeli in-
telligence scam.
The administration now tells us through "unnamed" sources that
some of the Libyan students under arrest were part of a plot to assassi-
nate Lt. Col. Oliver North. What is the evidence? Why is more
journalistic skepticism not brought to bear on validity of these charges?
Even high-ranking State Department officials have expressed doubts
about these allegations.
A fellow student has been arrested on political grounds. Until the
above questions are answered, we all have plenty of reason to be afraid
of the men in black shiny shoes.
Steingraber is an Opinion Page staffer and Ahmed is an Opinion Page

Protest of a live Today show
broadcast and CIA recruitment
followed and so did security's ha-
rassment of demonstrators.
As the University intensified its
crushing of protest with physical
force and violence, students claimed
the need to restrict that power and
the CLB began the difficult task of
establishing guidelines for pro-
testors' rights. Thus began the sav-
age path forward.
"Where the futile run perpetually
after a whirling standard"
From the beginning of the CLB's
romp through the satanic rings of
composing guidelines on free
speech and protest, student mem-
bers thought that such a policy
could be manipulated by
administrators to limit students'
rights of protest. MSA president
Michael Phillips declared, "We have
fought against a code of non-aca-
demic conduct for many years and
we fear that any University policy
regulating free speech may be used
as a pretense for such a code." Still,
something had to be done about the
University's abuse of power. Thus,
Dr. Peter Railton, CLB faculty
member, drafted a statement regard-
ing free speech and artistic expres-
sion at the University.
As the CLB faculty members led
the students down through the la-
byrinth of draft after draft of free
speech guidelines, student members
remained extremely cautious about
ambiguous language that might let
the administration use the guide-
lines as a foundation for a code.
With each draft, student members
worked on modifying the document
instead of questioning the premise
of establishing fair guidelines on a
campus where democratic principles
were fragile at best. CLB members
continued to criticize "language,"
while the black winds of hell kept

All along, son
tioned the CLB'
strayed further ft
University's repr
rights. The guid
document concer
ing between acce
undue interferenc
ing University sa
tors of that line.
In June 1987,
the CLB declar
versity was respc
the opportunity f
and dissent" and t
from being silenc
force," the CLB
recommended th
lishment of an e
body... to adjudi
freedom of spe
expression of Uni
It's no acciden
appeared at the s
Sharphorn, Uni
began regularly
meetings. Anxiet
of the CLB as tt
initial intentionsc
wave of deception
hounds reared th
the souls of suicic
By March, 198
deeper towards t
tion. The "Sharp
deleted, but stud
wanted to insert

ELL: FROM law 7.02. Students needed to safe-
O TRAITORS guard what few democratic rights
ne students ques- still remained.
s path. Each draft A distinct claim that "any insti-
om criticizing the tutional procedures for enforcement
ession of students' ... fall within the jurisdiction of
Jelines became a the University Council (and) bylaw
ned with delineat- 7.02" might keep the administ-
ptable protest and ration from using the guideline as a
e, and recommend- springboard for a full-blown code.
inctions for viola- But on April 29th, Fleming
responded to the CLB recom-
over a year after mendations regarding 7.02: "As you
ed that the Uni- know, Bylaw 7.02 has, in practice,
onsible to "ensure proven unworkable... I could not,
or peaceful protest therefore, recommend approval of
to "prevent protest this statement... it is pointless to
ed by illegitimate rely upon (7.02) for resolving any
new draft actually problems." As per Fleming's re-
e "prompt estab- quest, the board deleted reference to
ffective judiciary 7.02 and made its final recom-
cate violations of mendations to the regents.
ech and artistic THE SINS OF THE WOLF
versity activities." The Frozen Rime of Judas, Brutus,
it that this draft and Cassius.
ame time that Dan At the June regents meeting, in
versity attorney, response to a pre-graduation protest
attending CLB of Jean Kirkpatrick's honorary de-
y swept over some gree, Deane Baker asked Fleming to
hey watched their make recommendations for control-
cloaked in the first ling disruptions on campus. The
n. And Hell's black stage was set for the final betrayal.
eir sharp teeth at Fleming proposed a package using
de. the CLB guidelines on free speech
8, students reeled and protest as a springboard for
he regs of damna- suspending bylaw 7.02, recom-
phorn clause" was mending a code be established under
ent CLB members bylaw 2.01, and deputizing secu-
a reference to by- rity.,
Whatstudents feared all along
came true; the same document
intended to stop the University's
abuse of power had now solidified
their power even more. Students
had been led through the slimy
levels of hell; comforted all the way
in that "these guidelines are better
than the '77 document." In the end,
though, hell is hell.
But it's not the end. The seeds of
student protest are growing, not
dying. Jim Duderstadt's dilemma is
clear: he fears student protest and
wants a code to deal with campus
unrest; but by instituting a code,
the University guarantees inciting
more protest. For Duderstadt, the
end is that he now has both judicial
(a code) and military (deputized se-
re now curity) force behind him. For stu-
ministration. dents, this is just the beginning.

Ann Arbor police remove protesters during a filming of
the Today Show on campus in fall, 1985.

Protests, such as this January 1988 sit-in, a
subject to civil rights violations by the ad

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