The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, May 02, 1990, Page 2, Image 2

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    Associated Press NdjKISkan
Edited by Brandon Loomis Wednesday, May 2,1990
- --- -ZIZ——t-- ———————i
Thousands protest at Soviet May Day parade
MOSCOW - Tens of thousands of
protesters in Red Square unleashed
their fury at Mikhail Gorbachev on
Tuesday, turning the traditional May
Day parade into an outpouring of
complaints about the economy and
the blockade of Lithuania.
The Soviet president has allowed
free debate in the press and politics
and endured public criticism. But never
before has he had to personally face
such an outburst of discontent over
his policies, from both right and left.
The criticism included jeers to the
faces of Soviet leaders.
Gorbachev, 59, tapped his fingers
on the parapet of the red granite re
viewing stand during the protest,
showing his impatience, but other
wise was impassive. He and the other
officials left after enduring the unof
ficial demonstrators for about 20
Neither Gorbachev nor any of the
other Communist or government lead
ers on the reviewing stand spoke to
the crowd.
Dozens of the demonstrators car
ried the yellow, red and green na
tional flags of the breakaway Lithu
anian republic and shouted “Shame!”
and “Freedom For Lithuania!”
Some waved their fists at the lead
ers, numbering about two dozen, and
shouted “Resign!” over the holiday
music blaring from loudspeakers.
One caustic sign likened the So
viet leadership to Nicolac Ccausescu,
the Romanian dictator executed in
December after a popular uprising.
“Kremlin Ccauscscus: From Arm
chairs to Prison Beds,” it read.
The leaders clearly expected some
criticism. They authorized the unof
ficial demonstration, and took con
trol of the traditional parade that pre
ceded it from local Communist Party
and government officials.
But they likely did not expect the
tone to be quite so angry or the scale
quite so large.
Gorbachev’s popularity has waned
during his five years in office because
his reforms have failed to resolve
chronic economic problems. Many
people believe supplies of food, hous
ing and consumer goods actually arc
worse under Gorbachev.
He also is under fire for the block
ade of oil, raw materials and other
goods he imposed on Lithuania to
force the Baltic republic to back off
its March 11 declaration of independ
For decades, the Red Square rally
on May Day has been an orchestrated
show of support for official policies.
Entry onto Red Square was rigidly
controlled. This year, there was little
of the usual polite praise. Just about
anyone could join the march on the
gray cobblestone stretching from the
Historical Museum to the multi-col
ored St. Basil’s Cathedral.
“We are all so very tired of these
formal galas, when long before the
holiday the lists of demonstration
participants were put out,” said the
official news agency Tass.
Soviet leaders went on record this
year as preferring a parade like those
before the 1917 revolution, when May
Day was marked with smaller, spon
taneous affairs aimed at voicing
workers’ grievances about the czarist
What they got instead were post
ers that declared, “Down with the
Empire of Red Fascism,’’ and “To
day a Blockade of Lithuania, Tomor
row a Blockade of Moscow.’’ The
black flags of an anarchist group stood
out in the sea of colors.
The wave of protesters continued
to file through Red Square, which
holds about 5(),(XX) marchers, for more
than an hour after the leaders left.
Police gradually, and apparently gently,
moved them along. A tew thousand
trekked almost a mile to a square
across from Gorky Park to renew their
The nightly newscast “Vrcmya”
noted briefly the raucous nature of
the unofficial protest and showed some
of the marchers, including a woman
who appeared to be shaking her fist at
the Soviet leaders.
“The last minutes of the celebra
tion were somewhat marred by the
actions of certain people, actions which
were dissonant with the general
mood,” the newscast said.
There were also protests in Lenin
grad, the Soviet Union’s second-larg
est city and birthplace of the revolu
tion. Marchers on Palace Square waved
banners that read, “Communism is a
Universal Shame’ ’ and ‘4Freedom for
Lithuania,’’ according to Leningrad
journalist Maxim Kor/hov. They also
demanded Gorbachev’s resignation.
Ethiopian rebels have upper hand
MASSAWA, Ethiopia - Day and
night, heavy artillery and tank bar
rages thunder along a 90-mile front,
in what might be the decisive battle of
the nearly 30-ycar-o!d Eritrean civil
war, Africa’s longest-running con
The battle raging between Ethio
pian government troops and Eritrean
rebels in Ethiopia’s northernmost
province is possibly the most destruc
tive conflict in the world today, re
sulting in thousands of casualties on
both sides.
The rebels appear to have the upper
hand in the fighting along what is
called the Ghinda front. So fierce arc
the artillery and tank exchanges that
their distant rumble can be heard clearly
in the strategic Red Sea port of Mas
sawa, about 37 miles away.
Massawa, now in rebel hands, was
the target of six Ethiopian air raids in
April by Soviet-built MiG fighters.
Rebel spokesmen say at least 110
people, many of them civilians, have
been killed in the cluster bomb at
The antagonists in the fight are the
Marxist government of President
Mcngistu Haile Mariam and rebel
forces dominated by the Eritrean
People’s Liberation Front, which seek
independence for the province of 3.5
million people. The Eritrean Front is
considered left-leaning, but its lead
ers say they reject any political iden
tification tag.
The government forces’ immedi
ate objective is to recapture Mas
sawa, one of only two Ethiopian Red
Sea harbors that have traditionally
handled most of the country’s trade
and international relief supplies for
millions of famine victims.
The port was captured by the Erit
reans on Feb. 11, three days after they
launched a major new offensive in
their 29-ycar-old war ol secession.
The rebels have their sights set on
a bigger objective -- the capture of
their ancient, hallowed provincial
capital of Asmara and the end to a
conflict that has claimed hundreds of
thousands of lives.
The Ghinda front straddles the only
road from Asmara to Massawa, a two
lane ribbon of asphalt stretching 62
The Addis Ababa government has
issued few war communiques, but in
a rare pronouncement acknowledged
last Friday that the battle had “reached
a decisive final stage.”
The last previous government state
ment on the conflict came in mid
February, shortly after the fall of
Massawa to the rebels.
At that time, Mengistu told parlia
ment that failure to recapture Mas
sawa would mean the loss of his 2nd
Revolutionary Army, Asmara, and
Eritrea itself.
That now seems likely.
Mengistu’s 2nd Army, more than
100,000 strong, representing almost a
third of Ethiopia’s military strength,
is virtually surrounded in the high
lands around Asmara. Its only re
maining supply route is a tenuous air
link from government-held territory
far to the south and cast.
the record shop is
Grandpa's Ribs Specials
All you can eat country
style ribs for only
Every Thursday
25$ Taco Special
_ 99$ pitchers
23rd & Holdrege_476-6076
i Broke? i
i i
Need Extra Money?
This Coupon is worth
| $20.00 j
■ on your 1 st and 2nd donations (w ithin 6 days or
* if you have not returned within 2 months). ■
. Present this coupon-Eam Extra Cash! «
j For more information call the
® "Friendliest Staff in Town.” 474 2335 t
Lincoln Donor Center 126 N. 14th Suite #2
Managing Editor
Assoc News Editors
Page Editor
Wire Editor
Copy Desk Editor
Sports Editor
Arts & Entertain
ment Editor
Diversions Editor
Graphics Editor
Photo Chief
Night News Editors
Art Director
Graphics Editor
General Manager
Production Manager
Advertising Manager
Sales Manager
Publications Board
Professional Adviser
Amy Edwards
Ryan Steev/es
Lisa Donovan
Eric Planner
Dob Neiscn
Brandon Loomis
Darcie Wiegert
Jell A pel
Michael Deeds
Mick Dyer
John Bruce
Dave Hansen
Jana Pedersen
Diane Braylon
Brian Shell tlo
John Bruce
Dan Shattll
Katherine Pollcky
Jon Daehnke
Kerry Jettrles
Bill Vobejda
436 9993
Don Walton
The Daily Nebraskan(USPS 144 080) is
published by the UNL Publications Board, Ne
brasna Union 34, 1400 R St., Lincoln, NE,
Monday through Friday during the academic
year, weekly during summer sessions
Readers are encouraged to submit story
ideas and comments to the Daily Nebraskan
by phoning 472 1763 between 9 a m and 5 I
p m Monday through Friday, The public also
has access to the Publications Beard For
information, contact Pam Hein, 472-2588
Subscription price is $45 lor one year
Postmaster Send address changes to the
Daily Nebraskan, Nebraska Union 34,1400 R
St .lmcoin, NE 68588-0448 Second-class
postage paid at Lincoln. NE
Government to restart
South Carolina reactor
WASHINGTON - The govern
ment will restart in December the
First of three nuclear weapons reac
tors shut down for two years over
safety concerns, Energy Secretary
James Watkins said Tuesday in
announcing resumed production for
the nation’s atomic arsenal.
Watkins said the Energy De
partment will also resume building
atomic warhead triggers this July
at the Rocky Flats plant in Colo
Watkins said the K reactor at
the Savannah River plant in South
Carolina will be restarted in De
cember and, after a period of low
power testing, begin producing
tritium for nuclear weapons in
The P and L reactors at Savan
nah River will be restarted in March
and September of 1991, respec
tively, Watkins told a subcommit
tee of the Senate Armed Services
He said facilities at the Rocky
Flats plant, shut down since last
November because of safety con
cerns, will reopen in June and July
to resume production of plutonium
triggers for atomic warheads.
mis urne, mere aoes not
seem to be any alternative for the
nation other than keeping Rocky
Flats on line to deal with warhead
management," Watkins said.
With the shutdown of the three
Savannah River reactors in 1988
and a suspension of operations at
Rocky Flats last fall, restocking
the nation’s atomic weapons arse
nal has ground to a halt for several
In the past three years, Watkins
said, the government has spent $7.5
billion modernizing the aging plants
to bring them up to current envi
ronmental and safety standards.
Environmentalists and antinu
clear activists - particularly those
living near the plants - have called
for a continued moratorium and
vowed to fight reopening the plants
in court But Watkins expressed
confidence his department can now
defeat any legal challenges.
' ‘ A month ago, for the first time,
I began to feel confortablc about
Savannah River,’’ he told mem
bers of the Senate’s strategic forces
and nuclear deterrence subcommit
tee. "1 hadn’t felt that way before.
Everything has turned around down
Walk ins said that this Friday his
department will release a draft
environmental impact statment on
the Savannah River reactors. And
he predicted the government will
overcome any challenges that would
prevent issuing a final environmental
report before the units are restarted.
Despite the environmental con
cerns, members of the Senate panel
at Tuesday’shearing all agreed the
United States cannot afford to
continue forestalling a resumption
of weapons production.
“I wish I could say we don’t
need any production of weapons
material,” said the subcommittee's
chairman, Sen. J. James Exon, D
Neb. “That is not the case. The
Soviet Union is going to be relying
on its nuclear deterrent as a strat
egy more than ever before.”
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.,
said the Soviets have 11 weapons
production reactors in operation,
including three for making pluto
nium, despite a “marginally
greater” stockpile of plutonium than
the United States.
“They- have the capability to
turn a switch on and make more.
We don’t,” he said.
Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C.,
said it is “intolerable” that envi
ronmental objections continue to
delay the resumption of nuclear
weapons production at what he said
was the expense of the nation’s
military security.
I think u s a risk, but I think
we can meld the two things to
gether,” Watkins said of the envi
ronmental and weapons produc
tion goals.
Watkins declined to discuss in
detail the state of the nation’s trit
ium stockpile, other than to say it is
deteriorating at a rale of 5.5 per
cent a year with the Savannah River
reactors shut down.
“We’re going through a very
dramatic period now,’” he said
before the hearing went behind
closer] doors for a classified brief
ing on the state of the stockpile.
“In the near term, we can meet the
majority of our national security
With the modernization, Wat
kins said die Rocky Rats plant can
meet the need for plutonium w ar
head triggers until a new facility
there is completed. He also esti
mated the remaining life of the
aging Savannah River reactors at
15 years following their renova
tion the past two years.
In the meantime, he said, the
department is on schedule for de
signing two new weapons produc
lion reactors, one at Savannah River
and the other to be built in Idaho,
for completion by the end of the
“We believe we can get both
reactors at power generating the
material by the year 2005,” he