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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Local prayer group predicts increased U.S. involvement

    Friday, November 9, 1984

    With President Reagan’s re-election, local critics of U.A. intervention in Nicaragua yesterday said they expect involvement there to increase.

    Members of a Tucson group that holds weekly prayer vigils protesting U.S. intervention in Nicaragua said the re-election has “”deeply saddened them.””

    “”I think it’s a disaster. What else can I said,”” said Ricardo Elford, one of the group’s founders. “”I just hope there are enough people in Congress to block the crazy things he (Reagan) wants to do in Nicaragua.””

    “”I don’t believe the U.S. has any business in Nicaragua,”” said Daniela Soleri, a group member. “”It is not our place to direct the policies of that country.

    “”There is going to be a lot of trouble outside our country under the Reagan administration,”” she added.

    The group met in front of the Federal Building, 301 W. Congress St., yesterday, marking the 195th week of its prayer vigil for social justice in Central America and an end to U.S. intervention in Nicaragua.

    The group of about 35 people who have been meeting in front of the building every Thursday since January 1981 plans to continue its protest “”as long as the government is supplying death squads and illegal invasions,”” said the Rev. John M. Fife, pastor of Southside United Presbyterian Church, 317 W. 23 St.

    “”Let’s let those people decide on their own and not solve their problems with our military’s help,”” said Dalton McClelland, a Tucson physician and group member.           

    The prayer vigil was originally conceived by Fife and Elford, a Catholic priest at Picture Rocks Retreat, 7101 W. Picture Rocks road.

    “”We’re out here to educate people and have them think while they drive by,”” Elford said.

    Along with its protest of U.S. intervention in Nicaragua, the group strongly supports sanctuaries for Central American refugees.

    “”With all the wealth and space this country has, why can’t we let a small group of people live here,”” McClelland said. “”The U.S. has a great opportunity to change their polices and take a step toward human rights.””

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