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Blind Student Fights Sit-in Conviction Before Superior Court This Morning

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A blind Harvard student who was convicted last spring of obstructing a public roadway and being a disorderly person, will appeal his case in the Middlesex Superior Court this morning.

Paul Parravano '73 faces a maximum fine of $220 and a jail sentence of six months for the two charges which stem from a sit-in at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford on May 16.

Although 60 people were convicted along with Parravano, only he and William Salter, a student from Tufts University are appealing the decisions. About 15 other Tufts students dropped their appeals earlier this week.

The sit in was organized to protest Hanscom's role in developing electronic devices for the Vietnam War, Parravano said yesterday.

Parravano said that he will refuse to pay any fines even though he is only appealing the disorderly person charge. "I'm prepared to go to jail," he said. "By not paying the fine I hope to dramatize what's going on at Hanscom Field. Hopefully it will get people to think about the immoral devices that cause so many deaths and so much human suffering which are developed there."

Refusal

A week before Parravano's arrest, the Boston Police refused to arrest him at a demonstration at the Boston Naval Recruiting Station on Tremont St. "The captain said that they don't arrest blind people:" he said, "but the State Police at Hansoom didn't discriminate."

Parravano will represent himself at today's trial.

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