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To the editors of the CRIMSON:
We would like to respond to the personal slander against us in the Committee of Fifteen's letter to those disciplined. They charge:
"But those who joined in what had begun as a violent take-over and who asserted through their presence their solidarity with the small group that had seized the building (a group many members of which broke that solidarity by seeing to it that they, at least, would be out before the police came in) made themselves willy nilly the pawns of that group . . . placed themselves at the mercy of the more violent ones . . . served those who . . . became the hostages of those who . . ."
"We "pawns" and "hostages" would like to explain our true relationship to our sixteen comrades who are now the victims of both expulsion and character assassination. First, many of the same people who were first into the building and removed the deans were also first to be beaten bloody in the building the next morning. Both the hundred or so demonstrators at the time and the several hundred later in the Faculty Room, where all matters were decided by democratic debate and votes, overwhelmingly agreed with those who showed such political clear-headedness and personal courage at a difficult moment. The Committee's attempt to portray them as manipulative and morally depraved is a vicious appeal to American stereotypes of communists.
Finally, the Committee's letter totally ignores the real issues--ROTC and expansion--and instead smugly invents "diverse motives" for us. Our common motive for taking University Hall was support for the six SDS demands and agreement that only militant action can be effective in fighting the violence and exploitation perpetrated by the Harvard Corporation on working people in Cambridge and throughout the world.
It is incredible that this illegitimate Committee, whose contribution to justice consists of purging Harvard of those who most effectively fight injustice, accuses them of cowardice and labels us "pawns" and "hostages". The Committee's eagerness to believe the Administration line about concentric "circles of students" (Dean Ford in Harvard Today, Fall 1968) and the Administration's falsification of what happened, rather than what we actually saw, shows that they are the pawns of the Corporation that pays them.
Their repression against us will not keep us from coming back even stronger next Fall!
Neal Koblitz, Jonathan Miller, Kidder Meade, Ruth Stolz, Nat Stillman, Nicholas Onisimov, Stephen P. Laverty, Terry Keister, Paul Easton, Bob Mac-Pherson, Elizabeth M. Harvey, Phyllis MacEwan, Rob Riordan, Jerry Loev, Susan Volman, Alan Zaslavsky, Alan Rubin, Anthony Giachetti, Leslie Lessinger, Jonathan Buchabaum, Marshall B. Crawford, Carl Pomerance, Melissa A. Brown, Jon Livingston, David T. Johnson, Richard Kornbluth, Lois Kessin, Art Small, Ron Capling, Reid Minot, Ellen Messing, S. David Finkelhor, Han Bennett, David D. Patterson, Maren K. Hill, Sheila Sondik, John Barzman, S. Mark Burr, Gregory K. Pilkington, Michael Kazin, Henry Norr, Elizabeth Stanley, Bonnie Britt, Michael L. Mavroidis, David Ahane.
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