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Greeting from the Third World!

  Greetings from The Third World! 
  Ever wonder why Louisiana's so polluted?  It's not that the people want
  to commit suicide or violent crime to which pollution may contribute. 
  It's because of politics and dictatorships --Louisiana-style.
  Shintech, the proposed world's largest dioxin factory, was mentioned on
  the front page of the state paper --the Baton Rouge Advocate on Tuesday,
  July 22, 1997.   Since the article is no longer online, I'm sending it
  to the list at-large.  Pardon this repeat!
  Susan Snow
  Governor's threats on aid criticized
    Capitol news bureau
  Gov. Mike Foster is interfering with academic                         
  freedom by threatening retaliation against Tulane
  University because its law clinic is supporting
  environmental interests in a battle with industry,
  academic leaders said Monday.
  Professors and the head of Louisiana's independent
  college group said Foster's threats against the
  university could have a "chilling effect" on
  university independence and academic freedom.
  The Tulane Environmental Law Clinic has been
  active in representing some St. James area residents
  concerned about the location of a Shintech chemical
  plant there.
  The clinic's lawyers have challenged the state permit
  for the $750 million plant in a rural area populated
  by poor people -- most of whom are black.
  Foster has called the staff of the law clinic "a bunch
  of vigilantes out there to make their own law," and
  said they are stymieing economic growth.
  Foster threatened to go after Tulane's tax breaks and
  ask supporters to reconsider their financial
  contributions because of the clinic's activities.
  Tulane President Eamon Kelly, who is out of the
  country, has defended the clinic in the past. He said
  he has no intention of interfering with the clinic's
  opposition to the Shintech plant site.
  Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and
  Universities executive director William Arceneaux
  said Kelly has told him he plans to meet with the
  governor to "explain to him the role law clinics play
  and the role of academic freedom in our colleges
  and universities that we need to safeguard at all costs."
  Arceneaux said the governor's threats are troublesome.
  "Our first thrust will be to try to educate the governor how these
  clinics operate. I don't think he understands the whole academic freedom
  issue as it operates inside a university," said Arceneaux, who
  represents eight private colleges, including Tulane
  and Loyola universities, which operate law clinics.
  At the schools, senior law students get a chance to
  work on real cases under a lawyer's oversight.
  Arceneaux said the environmental law clinic sees its mission as defender
  of the environment and of these poor people ..." who live near
  potentially hazardous sites.
  Arceneaux said this is not the first time Tulane's
  Environmental Law Clinic has been "under the gun."
  "They don't hesitate to take on the big boys. I look at
  it as a healthy situation for the state and everybody else."
  Robert Kreiser, associate secretary of the American
  Association of University Professors, said anytime a
  politician interferes with "the appropriate function
  of a college or university," there is reason for concern.
  Kreiser said Foster's threats "could have a chilling
  effect" on academic freedom and clinic operations.
  "If the clinic is assisting individuals pursuing complaints, if that is
  consistent with its mission, it is quite inappropriate for a governor to
  threaten the operations of the clinic," Kreiser said.
  "It's not appropriate for political, ideological or other reasons to be
  threatening to the academic freedom for those who are part of the
  clinic," Kreiser said.
  Dr. George Strain of LSU, past president of the Association of Louisiana
  Faculty Senates, said Foster is directly facing freedom of speech
  "This could be viewed as suppression of freedom of speech and academic
  freedom," Strain said.
  "Faculty commenting on a law is certainly within their academic right
  and academic freedom to comment," Strain said.
  In a Louisiana Public Broadcasting segment of "Louisiana: The State
  We're In" recently, Foster accused the law clinic of trying to do
  everything in its power "to hold up this (Shintech) plan to the
  point that it was not economically feasible for it to come here."
  Foster said Louisiana could lose jobs because of the law clinic's
  "They are a law unto themselves. They have decided who will come to
  Louisiana and under what rules," Foster said.
  Foster was asked what was wrong with St. James residents getting legal
  help from the clinic.
  "Tell them to spend their own money to do it. Quit spending Tulane's,"
  Foster replied.
  Louisiana Environmental Action Network executive director Mary Lee Orr
  said residents living next to the proposed Shintech plant do not
  have the financial resources to hire attorneys.
  Orr said the Tulane clinic has given them the kind of voice which until
  now has only been available to "big business."
  "It sounds like he is afraid of the new dynamics," Orr said.
  Foster did not return a phone message seeking reaction.
  However, Foster's deputy chief of staff, Terry Ryder, said, "those who
  cheaply holler academic freedom need to think it through very carefully.
  Sometimes the clinic goes too far."
  Ryder said the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic needs to be "less
  extreme" in its approach.
            (Story ran on July 22, 1997)