More than 200 Harvard students will participate in Saturday's March on Washington for Peace in Vietnam, Eric Lessinger '68, chairman of the executive committee of Harvard-Radcliffe students for a Democratic Society, said yesterday.
But there will be more adults than students on the march, said J. Robert Hanson of Massachusetts Political Action for Peace (PAX), the New England coordinators for the march.
"This is to be a dignified, sober, middle-class march, not just a protest," Hanson explained. "Our goal is a negotiated settlement in Vietnam, and we will attempt to offer constructive alternatives to the present U.S. policy," he added.
Thireen members of the Faculty at the Haravrd Divinity School have signed a statement supporting the march according to Paul K. Deats, professor at the Boston University School of Theology. Written by the National Council of Churches, the statement calls for an end to the bombing of North Vietnam, a cease fire and negotiations. It also supports expressions of "patriotic dissent."
Bunch of Beatniks
George H. Williams, Hollis Professor of Divinity, and one of the signers, said "We don't want people to think that the marchers are just a bunch of beatniks."
PAX has signed up over 500 people to leave in nine buses at 9 p.m. Friday night from Freedom Square. Most Harvard students plan to go to Washington from their homes rather than leave directly from Cambridge, Lessinger said.
Both PAX and SDS hope to equal or surpass the estimated 10,000 to 25,000 turnout at last April's demonstration in Washington.
PAX hopes that the march will have an immediate effect on Administration policies. The organization will present proposals at the White House calling for a cease fire and will speak to members of President Johnson's staff.
The march will start at 11 a.m. Saturday in front of the White House and end at 2 p.m. with an outdoor meeting near the Washington Monument. Speakers will include Norman Thomas; Dr Benjamin Spock; Carl Oglesby, national president of SDS; and Mrs. Martin Luther King Jr.