Thousands of demonstrators marched through Boston Saturday and rallied at Boston Common to demand an immediate end to the war in Vietnam.
The rally, one of 16 across the country, was sponsored by the People's Coalition for Peace and Justice (PCPJ) and the Greater Boston Peace Action Coalition (GBPAC).
Marchers started from Cambridge Common and six other locations. Separate rallies for blacks, women, gays, and workers were held at four of the assembly points.
Daniel Ellsberg '52, an MIT research associate who has admitted leaking the Pentagon Papers, told the rally crowd at the Common that President Nixon should be impeached for "his repeated lies and violence to the Constitution of his country and to his countrymen."
Ellsberg drew repeated standing ovations from the demonstrators. Police estimated the turnout at 4000, while rally organizers placed the crowd size at 10,000.
Hope in the People
Former Alaskan Senator Ernest Gruening '07, one of two Senators who voted against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964, told the crowd that the only hope to end the war "lies in the people and in demonstrations like this one."
Gruening said, "The Nixon Administration is guilty of genocide" just as "Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin. We do it in the name of freedom and liberation, adding hypocrisy to all our other sins."
Other speakers included Carol Henderson Evans, coordinator of the Boston United Women's Contingent (UWC), Jerry Frieworth, a Student Mobilization Committee (SMC) regional coordinator. Leo Fenster, an official of the United Auto Workers (UAW) in Cleveland, Ohio, and Don Gurewitz, a GBPAC spokesman.
Gurewitz attributed the relatively small turnout to lack of publicity. "The media has buried the war," he said. Threatening rain clouds and a chilling wind dampened crowd spirits throughout the afternoon.
The contingent that gathered at Cambridge Common numbered about 600, including George Wald. Higgins Professor of Biology, and Arthur MacEwan, assistant professor of Economics. Marching between rows of Boston Tactical Police, the contingent merged with groups of 500 from Boston University and Northeastern University and proceeded up Tremont St. to the Common.
UWC sponsored a women's rally at noon in Copley Square and drew about 100 supporters. Several speakers talked about women's issues which they related to the war.
Pat Galligan, Female Liberation spokeswoman, said, "American women and the people of Southeast Asia have the same enemy. We want the government out of the war, out of our wombs, and out of our way.