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N ANY movement for social change, violence is justified only as a last resort. Even in extreme circumstances, violent tactics are tolerable only when they aim at welldefined political ends and employ the minimum force needed to attain those objectives. By either of these criteria, yesterday's invasion of the Center for International Affairs must be judged a savage and infantile exercise in terrorism.
The group that entered the Center and violently ejected its occupants have never made a sustained attempt to change the pracices of the Center by argument or peaceful demonstration. In their assault on the building, they used massive force for no apparent political purpose. Yesterday's attack did not illuminate the alleged crimes of the Center for International Affairs and abandoned the restrained and intelligent action which might attract the mass support needed to accomplish social change most effectively.
The political futility of the action makes even more repulsive the pathological brutality with which it was carried out. In clearing the building, the occupiers repeatedly struck men who were leaving without protest. Most of these were struck from behind without warning and one man was kneed in the groin. then kicked and beaten as he lay immobile on the floor.
If revolution means beating people from behind for no intelligible reason, then muggers and revolutionaries have become indistinguishable.
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