Pleasure as Usual
It spring has its way this weekend and behaves in an excruciatingly sunny manner it will be hard to resist the lure to loll along those banks of the Charles that have not yet been sacrificed to the upriver march of sewer pipes. It might be the sort of weekend to lie in the grass listening to songs of young romance on WROR--FM and read old Bennett Beach columns, to toss a whiffle ball or lick a yogurt cone strolling down Brattle Street. That sort of weekend is the oregano of our salad lays--and it might seem hard to knock.
But one doesn't have to be in love with politics to wince at the idea of a Cambridge idyll this weekend. Pleasure-as usual requires a certain peace of mind, and with the United States maiming Indochina to camouflage the open lie of Vietnamization, I find peace of mind hard to come by, No matter how much many of us have come to sneer at the value of anti-war protest in the past two years, I find it impossible to sit around passively while Nixon throttles this war up to a bloody new pitch. The memory of those dreary marches in the past that tottered between the inanity of Pepsi Generation DJ's and the chaotic in-fighting of splinter group radicals has inhibited many of us from political activity for two year. While we might have been fools then in an embarrassment of youth, we would be infinitely worse now if we let Nixon get away with massacring a people to save his proud and political neck. If we are to build again that sense of domestic crisis that succeeded in getting the U.S. out of Cambodia, we will have to lose our inhibitions, lose our weekend and do everything we can think of to end the war.
First is the national student strike. We learned two years ago who debilitating a strike can be when turned inward. There is little reason to lose time picketing classes in a vain attempt to "shut down" the university. Students can strike against the war regardless of the university--we need the university to close as little as we need its permission to go ahead demonstrating against the war.
Saturday instead of being out on the banks of the Charles you might go to New York for the anti-war march. A junior in Lowell House said that marching would be only "shaking your fist" at the Nixon administration. At the least it would be that-and for many people first shaking would be that-and for many people first shaking would be worth the eight hour round trip--but if the demonstration were as big as anti-war sentiment is, Nixon might begin seeing expediency differently.
The New York march is assembling at 72nd Street and Central Park West, right on the edge of the park, at 10 a.m. The march will begin at noon, go down Columbus Avenue, through "Times square to Bryant Park. A rally will begin at 1 p.m. across from the park at 40th Street and Sixth Avenue. Among the speakers will be Senator Mike Gravel (D. Alaska), Congressmen William Fitz Ryan and Bella Abzug--both Democrats from Manhattan, and a variety of labor, anti-war and fights leaders. The rally is scheduled to last until 4:30, Greater Boston Peace Action Coalition (GBPac) is coordinating plans for the march from here. They will have buses leaving Tech Square at MIT 1930 Main St., Cambridge) 6 a.m. Saturday morning, Tickets for the buses will be sold at tables set up arond town or at their office (15 Sellers St., Cambridge; 661-1090), Buses will return after the rally; the round-trip fare is $10.00.
Some people might groan at the suggestion of another march, but they are pitying themselves without reason. Two years ago Nixon backed down when faced with a domestic crisis, and there is every reason he will again. For many people sitting still while the United States annhilates the Vietnamese people is a simple impossibility. It would take nerve getting a suntan this weekend lieing on your back.