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Federal Building Groundbreaking Draws Protesters

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Federal Building
Groundbreaking Draws Protesters

News Staff Reporter

Congressman Marvin Esch called the
groundbreaking for the federal Jb»u^ding_
the beginning of an opportunity for a

,'tus for Ann Arbor. But other
t^- iiauno disagreed.

The Republican representative from -
Arsn Arbor, told the approximately 100
persons on the site this morning that this
occasion was a time to reflect.

Protestors had already reflected on the
project and they did not like what they

Ann Arbor Mayor Albert Wheeler not-
ed in his official remarks that "it would
be dishonest to say everybody is over-
joyed at the construction of a federal
building on this site. But progress must
1 go on for the welfare of all the citizens of
Ann Arbor."

Unofficial remark- made by sev-
eral groups of pin -, who were
asked to leave the site. They remained
on the sidewalk outside.

The most unusual came from a group
of pantomimists, who called themselves
the FBI (Fear Breeds Idiocy). A spokes-
man c •"• t1"' gorup said their actions

were designed to "temper justice with


Another group shouted and carried
picket signs throughout the ceremony
this morning. A coalition of three groups
demonstrated in oppostion to Senate Bill.
Number One, the proposed Criminal Jus-
tic Reform Act of 1975.

A spokesman for the Committee
Against the S-1 Bill, the Human Rights
Party and the New American Movement
said, "We are protesting at the ground-
breaking ceremonies because this new
building will house agencies such as the
CIA,,FBI, Justice Department and Inter-
nal Revenue, all of which will be respon-
sible for i' the repressive
provisions 01 ;.-. ^ n.e agencies men-
tioned, only the FBI is included in the
list of tenants.

Esch noted that the government i" tMs
country allows citizens ^here the n

A group which did not make a visible
protest at today's ceremonies was th
one interested in the preservation of his
torial buildings. Efforts were made to
save th" vr'-i^in,/. Temple building on the

federal building site, but they were in
vain. The new building will be on the
block bounded by Liberty, S. Fourth and
S. Fifth.

Esch called the groundbreaking "the
beginning of a new Ann Arbor. Many of
us look at the federal building as a first
step toward a new and revitalized Ann

"Since the founding of the university
of Michigan, the traditional town and
gown schism has existed. Now we have
an opportunity to bridge that gap and
/ join downtown Ann Arbor with the cam-
pus section. The new federal building
can move Ann Arbor toward that goal,"
he said.

On another point, Esch said "there is a
growing attitude among the American
people that government is trying to do
too much and stick its nose into many
areas of our private lives."

The congressman said, "Now is the
time to reflect and ask ourselves what
•ntial services we expect from our
suvernment, how much we are willing to
pay for those services and how those ser-
vices can be achieved more effectively."