Vietnam Referendum Planned for City

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Fifth Estate # 35, August 1-15, 1967

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The Detroit Committee to End the War in Vietnam will take initial steps to place a referendum on the war in Vietnam on the ballot in Detroit.

Dean Jabara, attorney for the Detroit Referendum Committee, submitted to the Corporation Council a proposed amendment to the Detroit City Charter, the amendment would create the office of the “Director of Peace Priorities,” who would work to bring about an “immediate withdrawal of all U. S. military forces from Vietnam.”

Jabara explained that once the Corporation Council ruled on the form of the proposed amendment, the committee would be able to begin petitioning to have it adopted by the Detroit Common Council. If the petition is signed by some 22,000 registered voters in Detroit, and the Common Council does not permit, then the proposed amendment will appear on the ballot in 1968.

David Chamberlain, chairman of the Detroit Committee to End the War in Vietnam, said that he foresaw no difficulties in obtaining the required number of signatures. “We have over 2,000 people on our mailing list who will want to be among the first to sign,” he said. “I am sure that hundreds of thousands of other Detroit citizens would like the opportunity to vote against the war.”

Chamberlain said that the idea of the referendum was inspired by the Dearborn referendum held last fall. Similar referendums are being petitioned for in New York, Cleveland and San Francisco. “We would like to suggest the idea of a national referendum of this sort, the results of which would be binding on the President,” said Chamberlain.

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