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poverty program and that Vickers and his crew were to be out of the courthouse by Sept 1. Some of the commissioners have since softened their stance. According to Vernon McGee, the governor’s assistant, Panola County Judge LeRoy LaSalle and some of the commissioners have agreed to hold another hearing on the VISTAs. The governor’s spokesmen have repeatedly emphasized that Smith does not want to arbitrate the local squabble. McGee indicates, however, that if the commissioners still want the VISTAs removed after the hearing, the governor probably will comply with their request. “We’re being highly attentive to the requirements of local government,” McGee told the Observer. We believe in relying on the democratic process. If the people don’t like what their local officials are doing, they can vote them out of office.” Judge Ammerman has a similar philosophy. During a recent meeting of the CAP board, he told a hostile audience that he represents the majority, not the minority. “If that’s not what you want, you can vote me out of office,” he said, and a crowd of about 200 poor blacks stood up and cheered. ‘K.N. Diary of a Convention In Search of Itself El Paso Tuesday, August 19The students are quite obviously in town, and El Pasoans are curious, suspicious, and aloof. This is the outside college world being brought uncomfortably closethe world they have -seen through television news coverage and Life magazine. Here are the thin young intellectuals with reddish, corkscrew hair flowing wildly as if they just stepped out of gloomy, Dostoyevskian rooms and dumpy girls in sweatshirts and sandals and no brassieres. Here are the Indian and outlaw costumes; here is Berkeley and perhaps SDS and who knows what else. Here are the delegates and their fearsome Student Power. El Pasoans watch them pass leisurely along the downtown streets and know there are to be more of them 1,300 in all. Why hold the congress in this particular city and during this month which happens to be the hottest August for El Paso ever recorded? . . . One of the “resource people” as the 200 non-student advisors who are taking part in the congress are called says that it is for the sake of the Mexican-Americans, the chicanos: a last ditch effort to involve them in NSA and prove that it is not a lily-white organization. For out of the 515 NSA delegates from over 400 campuses, only eight are Mexican-American. NSA has released a bulletin giving its position regarding Paul Nevins and his local GI’s for Peace movement: “USNSA extends its full support to you in your struggle for GI rights. We believe it is most important that student solidarity with the GI’s be fostered in the national struggle for your civil rights and an end to the war in Vietnam.” Nevins, a fast-talking, highly articulate, and intelligent young man stationed at Fort Bliss, three months ago decided to stage his own anti-war campaign. But in contrast to other protesting servicemen, he says that he decided to function legally Mr. Bode is an Observer contributing editor who lives in El Paso. 4 The Texas Observer to operate within the framework of existing army regulations. Last week Nevins received permission from Fort Bliss officials to hand out leaflets on the post for an anti-war rally to be held in McKelligon Canyon in northeast El Paso. The meeting, held last Sunday, was attended by a busload of early-arriving NSA delegates and an estimated 200 GI’s. Yesterday a civilian worker at Biggs Field, Elroy Bode a Minute Man, told Nevins: “We [the Minute Men in this area] were on the alert. We were watching what was going on in the canyon and could have killed all of you . . . There’s a $50,000 price tag on your head, you dirty communist.” Nevins, who was a candidate for a PhD at New York University before he entered the army, says that his telephone has been tapped since the rally and that members of the FBI and CIA are working with military intelligence in their investigation of his peace movement. U.S. Sen. Joseph Montoya of New Mexico addresses about 300 of the delegates in the Hotel Cortez. He tells the students that they should use reason, not violence, but some of the militants do not buy such talk. Faced at one point with a group of students backing the land-grant claims of Reies Tijerina, Montoya says, “I told Tijerina years ago I would join his movement if he would not try to pit Anglos against Mexican-Americans.” One of the students retorts that there was a. split between the two groups before Tijerina was born. WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 20 S o me facts and developments: Two-thirds of NSA is composed of colleges with enrollments of less than 5,000 students. And a large portion of these colleges are Catholic girls’ schools. . . .The downtown hotels are jammed, and there are now more students than beds. Mayor Peter de Wetter has arranged for 300 extra mattresses from the Alien Detention Center \(which should give some students those who believe that the government is already setting up concentration camps to house dissenters a taste of things to composed primarily of. black students but including also Mexican-Americans and trying to decide whether to stay in NSA or withdraw entirely and form a separate national black student union. There are around 200 members of the commission. . . . According to President Robert Powell of Princeton, NSA is $120,000 in debt and has a grim-looking financial future. The first plenary, held tonight in the . . University of Texas at El Paso gym, is not opened with a greeting from the mayor or from UTEP President Smiley. Instead, Powell introduces Father Dixon Hartford of El Paso, who brings greetings to the congress members from “the second city.” El Paso’s south side. While he speaks, mimeographed sheets are handed out to the delegates, informing them that Father Hartford led a group of South El Paso residents in a prayer vigil outside the City-County Health Center on Tuesday afternoon. The group held the vigil, the sheet says, to protest slum conditions which have long existed in South El Paso and also to show disapproval of Dr. Manuel Hornedo, city-county health director, who owns one of the worst tenements in South El Paso. The next speaker is Tony Moreno, 30, a short, slight, rather awkward appearing man who is an organizer for the self-help Project MAeHOS in South El Paso. In hesitant, faltering English he talks briefly about the bad conditions he has lived under in the south side and then asks the students, in behalf of El Paso’s poor, not to pay the one per cent city sales tax while they are in town. Attorney J. B. Ochoa, Jr., who has been active locally in pushing for better conditions for Mexican-Americans, speaks next, also asking the students to join together in an act of “creative dissent” by not paying the sales tax. He tells the delegates that a $15 million civic center is to be built in El Paso, financed by a 3%