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August 02, 1995 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1995-08-02

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, August 2, 1995

Continued from page 1
Committee state that Jamal was rail-
roaded into the crime because of his radi-
cal political beliefs.
Jamal was a member of the Black
Panthers, MOVE and was the president
of the National Association of Black
The group marched first to City Hall,
where protests on Abu-Jamal's behalf have
been taking place since June 1 of this year.
The march then proceeded to The
Ann Arbor News building, where it pro-
tested the paper's lack of coverage of the
case, and finally to the Federal Building.
At the Federal Building, speeches from
members of political organizations like
Workers World Party and the Trotskyist
League called for Abu-Jamal's release and
decried his conviction as "racist."
"The death penalty is racist," Copi
If you th
call us
Any time
Fully confi
Serving St

said. "We're here to tell the federal gov- Delaware, in which a white
ernment it's not OK to kill people. We're supremacist's death sentence was over-
here to tell themit's wrong." turned because the jury was found to be
June Cutter, a member of the Workers biased against his political views.
World Party, gave a speech of support at The committee claims that because
the rally in front of the Federal Building. Jamal is Black, he is not receiving the ben-
"Our organization is opposed to the efits of this decision.
death penalty as well as the racism that Besides the Supreme Courtruling, the
comes with it," she said. group hints in its literature that there is tan-
Other organizations like the Black gible proof of Jamal's innocence. They re-
Student Union and the Ann Arbor Na- fer to "eyewitnesses" and "new evidence."
tional Lawyers Guild sent their support in In 1990 the Supreme Court turned
absentia. down Jamal's request for a new trial.
Paul Lefrak, one of the rally's organiz- On Monday, the committee is plan-
ers, said that the protests have gathered a ning a rally to ask the Ann Arbor City
strong voice. Council to pass a resolution calling for
"The intemationalmovementisalready Jamal's release, a step previously taken by
having an effect. The ruling class of this councils in both Detroit and Madison,
country is starting to have cold feet, fearing Wis.
outrage over the injustice," Lefrak said. Councilmember Tobi Hanna-Davies
To bolster its claims that Jamal's con- said was unaware of such a resolution
viction is racially motivated, the Free before the council.
Mumia Committee cites the U.S. Supreme "I think (the picketers) are right. It af-
Court's 1990 decision in Dawson vs. fects people nationwide if this execution
goes through," she said.
The group also plans to bus some of its
n0't P an C!! members and any other interested parties
ink you're prenant. to a protest taking place in Philadelphia
nkyoure p naon Aug. 12.
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Continued from page 1
sized the dangers of regularized exposure.
"Each day of operation adds more and
more radioactive material," Gunter said.
"The more we learn about radiation, there
are more and more concerns about chronic
low-dose exposure." Gunter added that
exposure can result in cell and chromo-
somal damage to natural organisms.
Turbine damage at Fermi II also con-
cerns environmental advocates. On
Christmas Day 1993, a mechanicalexplo-
sion shatteredsome turbine bladeshurling
them through steel casing into an adjoin-
ing area of the plant.
Detroit Edison, Fermi II's operator,,
will not replace the blades until the
plant's scheduled refueling in 1996. Un-
til then, said Detroit Edison spokesman
Guy Cerullo, stationary pressure plates
are installed to take the place of the dam-
aged blades in reducing steam pressure
the reactor generates.
A press release from June 1994 sup-
plied by Greenpeace labels this repair "pa-
thetic desperation on the part of the utility,"
to preserve its economic interests at the ex-
pense of safety. The same document warns
that Detroit Edison is "knowingly and will-
ingly placing the people of this region at
undue risk of a Chernobyl-type disaster,"
by making makeshift repairs to the turbine.
Additionally, 1.5 million gallons of
water used for coolant was contaminated
due to the accident. The radioactive water
was eventually released into Lake Erie,
prompting charges that Detroit Edison en-
dangered drinking water.
"We filtered out 99.6 percent of the
radioactive material from that water,"
Cerullo said.
A third area of concern for environ-
mentalists are cracks in the shrouds, two-
inch thick stainless steel cylinders that
route the flow of radioactive water. Mason
of the Fermi II Action Project alleges that
cracked shrouds would not contain radia-
tion release in the event of an accident.
Layton said one crack had been de-
tected, but that it was in a "non-structural"
area of the shroud and posed no danger.
He added that the shrouds are made of
steel thatis less susceptible to cracking.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
spokesman Jan Strasma backed Layton's

assertions, saying the NRC was satisfi
with the repair of the damaged turbi
and other safety precautions.
"We don't have any concerns abo
(Detroit Edison) operating the turbi
From our point of view the plant is sa
and we have no problem with them ope
ating it until their next scheduled refue
ing," he said.
Greenpeace's Conn disputed the a
sertions of Detroit Edison and of th
NRC. "They are operating in a nonstan
ard configuration. They are testing th
damaged turbine. The thing is not opera
ing up and fine," he said.
Conn went on to emphasize fu
hazards from nuclear waste disposal an
chronic low dose radionuclide release
dangers associated with Fermi II.
"We're going to be living here for th
foreseeable future, and we're going to be e
posed to food chain contamination,"he sa
Another contention of Greenpeac
and the Fermi II Action Project is that th
plant is an economic disaster that is for
ing Detroit Edison customers to subsi
dize prohibitive costs. 4
Mason said the volume of power Femi
B produces is unnecessary and that Detro
Edison consumers pay an inflated rate fo
electricity. "First and foremost, the powe
that the plant is producing is not needed
Very simple conservation measures woul<
require much less power," she asserted.
Layton said that not only was that as
sertion false, but that Fermi II producet
power more efficiently than alternatives.
"Fermi II produces electricity for cr
tomers at a rate of $8 per megawatt hou
where our most efficient coal fired plan
produces electricity at $11 per megawal
hour," Layton said.
Conn questioned Detroit Edison cal
culations, expressing doubt that govern
ment subsidies, fine and repair expenses
waste disposal and other fixed costs fig
ured into the utility's cost analysis. "Ferm
II doesn't pay for itself," he said.
Safety and economic issues regard
Fermi II were among those debated at th
July 30 to Aug. 1 conference at the SNRE':
Dana Building.
Greenpeace and the Fermi II Actiot
Project will continue focus on how tc
plan community outreach, picketing De
troit Edison corporate offices, nonviolen
protests, and a final rally near the Ferm
II site on Aug. 6.

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