Tocsin Leader Claims SPU Protests Mistake, Calls N.Y. Walk 'Futile'
Peter C. Goldmark '62, chairman of Tocsin, said yesterday that a Student Peace Union demonstration in New York City protesting the planned resumption of atmospheric testing by the United States had been "a terrible mistake."
Goldmark maintained that Tuesday's protest, in which 200 SPU members marched near U.N. Headquarters, was "futile" and not based on very sound reasoning. SPU's planning for it, he added, had forced the cancellation Saturday of a meeting of the Turn Toward Peace Student Council, the group responsible for Project Washington.
The Tocsin chairman cited three reasons for his opposition to the demonstration--the "futility" of it, the lack of agreement within the peace movement on testing, and his own view that testing is not the central problem.
The success or failure of the negotiations at Geneva, Goldmark continued, "is the really crucial issue. Testing represents a continuation of the arms race, and as such is not anything really new."
Goldmark pointed out that his opposition to the Student Peace Union's demonstration does not mean he is opposed to demonstrations in general. "There are demonstrations and there are demonstrations," he said.
While emphasizing that Tocain had taken no stand on either the SPU protest or American testing. Goldmark said that "I myself feel that resumption is justified if all negotiations fail." But he added that there is a difference of opinion within Tocsin as to whether the U.S. should resume testing if no progress is made at Geneva.
Goldmark had some praise for the Student Peace Union, though. He said it had progressed from a position favoring unilateral disarmament to a view that what Tocsin calls "unilateral initiatives" are the way to fruitful negotiations with the Russians.