Peace Groups Will Picket If Johnson Visits Boston
Every peace group in the area has made plans to picket President Johnson should he attend the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People which is going on this week at the Sheraton Boston Hotel.
The NAACP and the many peace people believe the President will show up at 8 p.m. tonight. That's when the convention will honor Senator Edward Brooke (R. Mass.) with its annual award for highest achevement by a Negro.
But the White House had given no word on the President's plans by late last night. Boston police headquarters said yesterday afternoon they had gotten no word from the Secret Service to set up security measures for the President.
The peace groups--including the Cambridge Neighborhood Committee, Mass Pax, the Mobilization Committee, and the Boston Draft Resistance Group -- have alerted their members to listen to the radio for the earliest announcement of the President's plans.
All the groups are planning orderly demonstrations, and none of the peace workers expect anyone to stage any extreme protests such as draft card burnings.
Something Might Happen
But a member of the Mobilization Committee, John Barzman, said last week, "If they [the demonstrators] see they've got numbers, some of them may want to move in. You can't tell what might happen."
There has been speculation that the reason the White House has refused to confirm the President's plans is simply to avoid a big protest like the one in Los Angeles several weeks ago which ended in a serious clash between police and demonstrators.
The peace workers say that the uncertainty of Johnson's trip has hampered their plans to protest. They believe the most demonstrators they will be able to turn out if he comes is 300 or 400.
The NAACP conference opened last night with welcomes from Cardinal Cushing, Governor Volpe, and Mayor Collins and a keynote address by Roy Wilkins, executive director of the organization.
Wilkins made a plea for no more riots. Our group cannot make solid progress cs a result of the actions of a riotous few," he said. But he also warned Congress which is now considering an "antiriot" bill that "riot prevention consists of crackdown laws and crackdown police."