|Spokesman-Review, Spokane/Washington 11.11.1978|
Rights trampled, says Tass
BUFFALO, Minn. (AP) - A correspondent from Tass, the Soviet news agency, is reporting the misdemeanor trial of 19 power-line opponents as an alleged example of how human rights are trampled in the United States.
According to Vladimir A. Reshetilov, the U.S. government hypocritically points to human rights violations in the Soviet Union but ignores violations at home.
Tass was drawn to this little town in western Minnesota by the presence of Dean Reed, a 40-year-old Colorado protest singer and filmmaker popular in East Germany and other communist-bloc nations.
Reed was arrested Oct. 29 along with 18 others in a peaceful demonstration against the 400-kilovolt power line. The arrests were the latest in a 2-year-old protest against the construction of towers across farm land.
On Thursday as the trial began in the Buffalo courthouse, protesters outside staged a singing of "We Shall Not Be Moved" for an East German tv crew.
"One last time. Loud," Reed shouted.
Correspondent Reshetilov, who moved around taking photographs as they sang, said he was calling attention to what he sees as violations of the rights of farmers.
"Very often the authorities try to impose criminal accusations against people who are involved in political struggles," he said. "So we try to raise these issues on international scales."
In the courtroom, the prosecution questioned several deputies about the arrests they made.