Mark DeWolfe Howe '28, professor of Law, Tuesday contradicted Atty. Gen. Robert F. Kennedy's recent statement that President Johnson cannot really do anything in Mississippi.
"Even the inadequate legislation we have," Howe said, "gives the President the power to act." He spoke at a rally sponsored by the Summer Civil Rights Coordinating Committee (CRCC) to raise money for the students working on the COFO summer project in Mississippi.
CRCC members collected $150 at the end of the rally. Nearly all the 150 people present also sent telegrams to President Johnson, urging him to protect the civil rights workers.
Martin H. Peretz, teaching fellow in Government, said last night that he and John F. Maher '60 have collected an, additional $4000. The money will be used to equip the cars used by COFO workers with radio telephones.
Howe pointed out that the crucial question is not how many federal agents the President sends into Mississippi, or any other state, but whether these agents are responsible. "If local police beat up demonstrators," he said, "they are guilty of a federal crime, and can be arrested on the spot by the FBI."
Last week, for the first time in history, an FBI agent arrested a white man in Mississippi for interfering with a civil rights demonstration.
Howe also criticized the assumption that "the judges will take care of everything." "The way our society was built," he said, "and the way it has grown, encourage the hope that in the end, law is going to be the answer to everything.
Forces Outside Law
"Outside the law there are forces that operate, and perhaps in the end they are the ones that will be effective. When recognition, comes in the South that segregation is a lost cause, that will be the beginning."
Howe concluded by urging the audience to worry about the "problem of poverty that lies behind the problem of civil rights.