There has been enough talk about Vietnam within the University community this year to last another ten years of cocktail parties and courses. The trouble is, in fact, that the discussion has remained for the most part within this community--among teachers and students who already almost all oppose the Administration's policy. With minor exceptions, these students and faculty have made no concerted effort to influence opinion in the rest of the country. And if the opinion polls are anywhere near correct, a majority of Americans still express support for the Administration's policy, though they are becoming increasingly concerned and discontent.
Now students and Faculty from this University -- and from others throughout the nation -- will have a chance to turn that concern into opposition, to organize large numbers of people in other communities into a pressure group for peace. Vietnam Summer, an anti-war program headquartered in Cambridge, will provide funds, advice and workers to any group (whether radical SDS or moderate Republican) seeking to reverse the Administration's present course. It will support education programs for conscientious objectors and slumdwellers, but its major tactic will be the teach-out, community organizing in middle class neighborhoods.
The Vietnam Summer project in Cambridge -- one of the most important in the national program -- has already organized a petition, signed by over 50 per cent of those contacted, to bring Congressman O'Neill home for hearings. The meeting of this group last night to chose future tactics illustrates Vietnam Summer's method of involving the community in decision-making.
Such programs will provide intellectuals, here and on other campuses, with an opportunity to alter public opinion across the country. Articulate and knowledgeable, these students and professors could prove the most articulate and effective spokesmen against the war.
If they are really serious in their opposition to the Administration's present policy, they will support this program. Even if they already have summer plans, they can provide funds and part-time help. Students returning home can organize projects in their own communities, and faculty can spend time in nearby Massachusetts towns speaking to local discussion groups and forums. This project needs funds and workers, and we urge members of this University and others across the country to provide both.