The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 17, 1995 - 5
Supreme Court deals new
setback to abortion foes
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Su-
preme Court handed anti-abortion ac-
tivists yet another defeat yesterday, re-
jecting a free-speech appeal by Califor-
nia pickets arrested for parading too
close to an abortion doctor's home.
The court, acting without comment,
turned away arguments that a San Jose
ordinance used against 16 anti-abortion
demonstrators unlawfully interfered
with their freedom of expression.
The ordinance imposes a 300-foot
buffer zone in banning demonstrations
that target private residences.
Although the action was not a deci-
sion and therefore set no precedent, it
extended abortion foes' recent high
court losing streak.
Earlier this month, the court rejected
a sweeping challenge to federal limits
on abortion-clinic protests. The jus-
tices let stand rulings in a Virginia case
that said the federal Freedom of Access
to Clinic Entrances Act does not in-
fringe on anyone's freedom of expres-
sion or religion.
The court had rejected a similar chal-
lenge to the law in June.
In the last year, the court also turned
away appeals by anti-abortion activists
who say they wrongly are being sued as
Strikes in Bangladesh AP PHOTO
Police officers chase a group of demonstrators on a Dhaka street during the first day of a 96-hour anti-govemment strike
yesterday in Bangladesh. The strikers are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and a general election
under a caretaker government.
Panama gets cold feet over
racketeers in their efforts to stop women
from having abortions.
The court in 1992 ruled that states
cannot ban most abortions, reaffirming
the constitutional right of abortion it
first announced in 1973.
In the abortion-protester case,. the
San Jose City Council banned "targeted
residential picketing" in 1993.
That year, 13 anti-abortion pickets
were arrested for peaceably walking
through the San Jose neighborhood
where an abortion doctor lives. Their
signs apparently made clear who iyas
the subject of their protest.
Five days later, three additional pick-
ets were arrested for carrying signs
across the street from the doctor's home.
No trial has been held for the,16
In seeking to scuttle their prosecu-
tions, they relied heavily on a 1988
decision in which the nation's highest
court said communities may not ban
pickets from marching through resi-
The Washington Post
PANAMA CITY- A looming dead-
line for a full withdrawal of U.S. mili-
tary forces from Panama is forcing this
small nation to come to grips with its
identity while weighing the value of
sovereignty against economic survival.
The United States has entered the
final phase of a military withdrawal,
stipulated under the 1977 Panama Ca-
anal treaties, that will see the entire U.S.
Southern Command headquarters move
to Miami by the end of 1998. And with
that withdrawal, the dream of unchal-
lenged independence is becoming a
haunting reality to Panama's leaders.
Having spent most of this century
cursing the U.S. "occupation" as the
single remaining barrier to economic
and political self-determination, Pana-
manian leaders now are telling Wash-
ington there is no hurry to end its more
than eight-decade military presence
Instead, senior officials saythe United
States should consider staying well into
the next century, warning that Wash-
ington may be putting vital security
interests at risk with plans to close all
10 ofits iilitary bases here and pull out
about 8,800 military personnel.
But U.S. officials say Panama is en-
gaging in a ritual dance around the
truth, attempting to hide the fact that its
economy desperately needs the 16,000
jobs and $330 million in wages and
sales generated by the American mili-
tary presence, which account for 8 per-
cent of Panama's gross domestic prod-
uct. On a U.S. scale, the economic im-
pact from the troop withdrawal would
be equivalent to shutting down the Big
Three automakers, along with IBM and
While senior Panamanian officials
have made this point in private talks
with their American counterparts, they
do not say it publicly because of domes-
tic political sensitivities, a U.S. official
in Panama explained.
The political careers of many Pana-
manian politicians, including President
Ernesto Perez Balladares, were built on
rabble-rousingpublic speeches demand-
ing an end to the U.S. presence. But
economic reality could force Perez
Balladares to eat his words.
"This has been sort of a minuet, a
question of who is going to ask whom to
dance," the official said. "For historical
reasons, the party in power is against
the U.S. bases staying here. Now it's
going to be tough for them tojustify it."
Perez Balladares's Democratic Revo-
lutionary Party became the country's
largest and most well-organized politi-
cal entity based on its long-standing
campaign to bring the Panama Canal
under full domestic control for the first
time since it opened in 1914.
This is the same party of former
military dictators OmarTorrijos -who
negotiated the canal treaties with Presi-
dent Jimmy Carter - and Manuel
I - --- --- - -
Noriega, successor to Torrijos. Noriega,
an anti-U.S. firebrand, is serving 40
years in a Florida federal prison after
having been convicted on narcotics-
trafficking charges following the De-
cember 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama.
So politically sensitive is the with-
drawal question that during a state visit by
Perez Balladares to Washington last
month, a U.S. official said White House
aides had to choreograph a "spontane-
ous" raising of the issue by President
Clinton so that the Panamanian president
could then begin discussing it publicly.
Nevertheless, the official line here is
that the entire issue of a military-exten-
sion pact wasraised by Clinton, and
therefore Washington has to come up
with the proper formula to compensate
Panama for the ongoing privilege of
using its soil.
"We are waiting to sit down with the
U.S. representatives to find out what is
the area of interest they have.... They
will have to make the first presenta-
tion," said Foreign Minister Gabriel
Lewis. "We don't know if it is going to
be advantageous if we don't know what
it is. ... Panama expects some eco-
nomic benefit if we are going to con-
sider the continued U.S. presence."
U.S. officials say the idea of compen-
sation for continued use of Panamanian
soil is out of the question, especially
considering that the only real justification
for keeping troops here is to help ease
Panama's economic transition.
Yale group protests polic
Yale Daily News
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A home-'
less activist and Yale students patrolled
the New Haven Green on Thursday
night to investigate what they had been
told would be a police "clean-up" of
homeless people before and during Par-
Two groups ofstudents from the Yale
Hunger and Homelessness Action
Project walked on the Upper Green
Thursday night, normally a haven for
the city's homeless population, and said
they felt the park was uncharacteristi-
"Youj ust don't see the normal people
you're used to seeing around, asking
for change, asking for food... Normally
they're here. Why aren't they here on
Parent's Weekend?" group member
Jamie Lachman said.
But Yale Assistant Police ChiefJames
Perrotti said the accusations that police
remove homeless people on Parent's
Weekend are "entirely untrue" and the
Yale Police Department engaged in "just
our normal, everyday practices" during
The group was alerted to the potential
situation by Teny Davis,amemberofWe
the People, a homeless advocacy group,
and a homeless man himself. He said that
last year the police turned offthe lights on
the Green to make it a dangerous place to
stay, to hide police actions and to keep
passers-by from enteringthe Green. Davis
said he was forced to leave the area last
year by the police.
"We do not participate in targeting
mny group for any reason," Perrotti said.
Nor had the Yale Police Departm nt
ever engaged in such practices during
his 23 years on the force, Perrotti added.
Accusations like this are alwaysmade
around Parents' Weekend or when
prominent speakers are due to speak at
Yale, he said.
University Secretary Linda Lorimer
agreed there had been no attempt to
oust the homeless people.
"I know of no effort directed towards
Parents' Weekend but I do have a con-
cern about (homeless people) making
Yale campus their home," she said.'
She added that the city and Yale'are
working together to solve this problem.
However, the group members said they
were unconvinced that last week was
business as usual for the Yale police.
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