Civil Rights Mail-In Planned for May 17

Rally Commemorates 1954 School Decision

Over 500 students are expected to participate in a civil rights protest on May 17, the tenth anniversary of the Supreme Court desegregation decision.

A short mass rally will be held in the Cambridge Common at 1:30 p.m., and then the demonstrators will march along a circuitous route to the Central Square Post Office for a mass "mail-in" to President Johnson.

The demonstration leaders, Robert E. Wright '65 and William W. Hodes '66, cite four purposes for the planned action:

*To protest "the slow pace of school integration and the failure of the federal government to implement the decision of the Supreme Court."

*To protest a bill before the Mississippi Legislature which requires all schools in the state to be licensed. "This bill is designed to destroy the Freedom School programs planned for the summer," Hodes said.


*Because of the educational issues involved, the students will probably march past President Pusey's house to demand that University officers and Faculty members speak out on both school integration and the Mississippi bill.

*All demonstrators will be asked to bring a stamped letter addressed to President Johnson, requesting federal protection for the students who will be working in the Mississippi Summer Project. The marchers will file past the Central Square Post Office to mail the letters.

100,000 Letters

"Mail-ins" similar to the one in Cambridge will be held in other cities on the same day. The Student Nonviolent Co-ordinating Committee, chief group in the Mississippi. Summer Project, hopes that over 100,000 letters demanding protection for SNCC workers will be post-marked May 17.

The rally is endorsed by the Harvard-Radcliffe Civil Rights Coordinating Committee, the Harvard-Radcliffe Socialist Club, Tocsin, Hillel Society, the Association of African and Afro-American Students, and the Young Democrats. But Eric A. Von Salzen '65, Chairman of the Young Republicans, said last night, "We're going to keep out of it."

Boston organizations endorsing the "mail-in" are SNCC, CORE, the New England Committee for the Chicago Convention, Boston Action Group, the Massachusetts Freedom Movement, the Northern Students Movement, and Students for a Democratic Society. The NAACP will probably give its approval tomorrow.

At the meeting in the Common, the demonstrators will join in a freedom hootenanny. Howard Zinn, former professor of History and Social Science at Spelman College and advisor to SNCC, will deliver a short address.