COFO, Miss. Draw Battle Lines

The Congress of Federated Organizations and the state of Mississippi have begun to formulate their final plans concerning this year's Mississippi Summer Project.

COFO, the omnibus civil rights organization which is sponsoring a proposed two-month "invasion" of Mississippi by rights workers, has accepted about 800 voluteers, 38 from the University, for its project.

The deadline for applying for the COFO project was May 15, but Mrs. Dorothy Zeliner, New England representative of the Student Non-Violent Co-Ordinating Committee, pointed out that not all the applications have been processed yet.

Thirty students from the College and the graduate schools have been accepted already, along with six Radcliffe undergraduates and two students at the Law School who will help out the projects's legal staff.

In addition, seven Harvard students are on the project's "provisional" list--"that means they haven't completed their applications or else the applications haven't been processed," Mr. Zellner explained. She said she was "very pleased" by the number of applications.


A total of 70 New England area volunteers were accepted for the project. Mrs. Zellner said she expected New England, New York, and California to provide the bulk of the volunteers.

Training plans for the project workers have been altered since the project got underway. The site for the training of workers has been changed from Berea, Ky., to the Oxford, Ohio campus of Ohio Wesleyan University.

Voter registration workers will train at Oxford from June 15 to June 20, and teachers in the project's "freedom schools" will be trained from June 21-26. Both groups will remain in Mississippi until August 24.

About a quarter of the volunteers are expected to work on voter registration projects, with 45 percent working in freedom schools. COFO also hopes to provide 100 workers in community centers, 100 lawyers and 10C clergymen.

Meanwhile legislators have been fully as busy as COFO In preparing for the summer. In addition to a number of bills that have already been passed, a "criminal syndicalism" law was introduced in both houses on May 6.

The bill would prohibit "criminal syndicalism," difined as a doctrine of precept which "advocates, teaches, aids, or abets" the commission of "crime.... violence and force ... as a means of accomplishing a change in agricultural or industral ownership or control . . . . or in affecting any political or social change."

Criminal syndicalism would be punishable by fines of $200 to $1000 or by a jail sentence of one to ten years.

Other laws already passed by the legislature would prevent picketing; deter boycotts (maximum fine, $500, maximum sentence, six months); outlaw "false statements" to federal authorities concerning the denial of constitutional rights ($1000 and/or 5 years); permit towns to set curfews; and allow an enlarged state highway patrol to suppress "mob violence, intimidation, and terror" whether the local government requests it or not

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