8 Protesters Called Before HUAC Board
Local Radicals Fear 'They Will Be Next'
The House Un-American Activities Committee subpoenaed eight members of Berkeley's radical Left, last Thursday, to give testimony about their Vietnam protest activities.
At Harvard, members of SDS, SNCC, and the Massachusetts Committee to abolish HUAC are making plans to protest the subpoenas and have expressed concern that they "might be next on the list."
The eight protesters will appear for questioning in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 16. Their testimony will probably be used to decide whether the Pool amendment to the McCarren Internal Security Act (1950) should be passed into law--the House recently referred the Bill to HUAC.
The protesters being subpoenaed included: four members of the Vietnam Day Committee in Berkeley, a member of SDS who helped organize the attempt to block troop trains, a faculty advisor to the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, the Chairman of the VDC anti-draft committee, and two others who have been involved in sending medical supplies to North Vietnam.
Contacted in Berkeley, Calif., last night, Arnold Lockshin, chairman of the Anti-HUAC Committee said that he planned the following protests in reaction to the recent subpoenas:
* A protest of HUAC's release of the names of those subpoenaed before the hearing (Under HUAC's own procedural rules this is illegal.)
* A call for the cancellation of the Aug 16 hearing under the first amendment.
* A protest to protect the citizen's right to dissent.
"This recent action on behalf of HUAC is reminiscent of the McCarthy era," Lockshin said, and there is no guarantee that the Pool amendment could not be applied to the most modest protesters of U.S. policy.
Rev. Richard E. Mumma, treasurer and member of the executive committee on the Anti-HUAC Committee, said that although no definite plans had been made yet, "some of our members will probably go to Washington next Monday." The job of alerting a number of lawyers and clergymen who have protested HUAC activities is now in progress, Mumma said. There is every hope that they will respond, he added.
"We probably won't argue the specific merits or demerits of this case," Mumma continued, "but will rather concentrate on HUAC's methods instead." Mumma said that there was reason to believe that HUAC will "jump" on members of SNCC and SDS next.
"I have that disgusted feeling of welcome that this whole issue is out in the open at last," said Mumma, a member of the Harvard United Ministry.
A staff worker at Students for a Democratic Society said that they would probably distribute a special bulletin of their New Left Notes dedicated to the problem of what to do about HUAC. "We've been encouraging people to write their Congressmen and ask them to "reevaluate the Pool Bill," the spokesman said.
There is a proposal presently being discussed by members of SDS at Harvard which would make an anti-HUAC campaign one of the major programs. "We are convinced that HUAC is an organization which inhibits free speech," the spokesman said.
"HUAC is almost finished with the Klan, and now I guess it's our turn," the spokesman said. In an issue of the New Left Notes on May 6, he continued, Sen. James O. Eastland (D-Miss.) is quoted as saying that he was going to introduce an anti-subversive bill which would investigate the peace programs, the War on Poverty, SDS, SNCC, the DuBois Club, and the National Coordinating Committee.
Martha S. Kocel, a SNCC staff worker, said that SNCC felt its main responsibility, at present, was to inform people about what HUAC does and "how to defend yourself against it."
"We have been calling on people to write their Congressmen and ask them to examine the constitutionality of the Pool amendment," Miss Kocel said. There will probably be a demonstration in Washington before the hearings, she added.
"This country is losing the war at home, and Johnson has had to contend with growing student dissent and opposition to the draft. To end the opposition they had to find a scapegoat," Miss Kocel continued. "There is no telling how far the prosecuiton will go," she said, "but I feel we have to defend these guys--if you attack anyone in the Movement, it's like attacking the New Left."
There were hints from a member of SDS that Thomas Boylston Adams would try to talk other peace candidates into taking a position on HUAC's recent activities, but Adams' campaign headquarters had no comment on the issue.
Other action against the HUAC subpoenas will include sit-ins in Washington by Women's Strike for Peace directed by Dagmar Wilson, who was once cited for contempt of court in a HUAC hearing.
A secretary in the Dean's office at The University of California at Berkeley said last night that HUAC had subpoenaed the list of officers of the VDC. The list has been sent to Washington, she explained.
Those who will have to appear in Washington include: Stephen Cherkos, Jerry Rubin, George Ewart, Stephen Hamilton, Prof. Stephen Smale, John Windham, Anatole Ben Anton, and an unidentified girl. Last Friday an additional subpoena was issued to Harold Supriano, a member of the DuBois Culb who once made a trip to North Vietnam--he will appear in Washington on Aug. 23.
A member of SDS described the Pool amendment, the source of contention as making the McCarren Act look like a progressive civil liberties bill