About 100 people peacefully picketed the John F. Kennedy Federal Building yesterday afternoon to protest the escalation of American bombing of North Vietnam.
The demonstration was sparked by the recent expansion of U.S. bombing raids reported on Monday.
A group of approximately 20 students began the protest, carrying placards and chanting "One point peace plan--out now!" The picket line soon grew to over a hundred protesters, who continued the chanting. Other protesters distributed leaflets to passers-by and urged them over bullhorns to join the action.
The protest was jointly sponsored by the Boston Student Mobilization Committee and the Greater Boston Peace Action Coalition. Antiwar activists decided Monday night to organize the protest.
In a statement issued yesterday morning, the GBPAC called for participation in an emergency picket line to "rally against this latest attack on the Vietnamese people."
Five Boston policemen casually surveyed the proceedings from inside the Kennedy Building, but there were no cases of disorder.
Margaret Smith, office manager of GBPAC, last night called the protest "very successful and very significant," adding that the action indicates "the beginning of a change in antiwar sentiment."
The two groups plan further antiwar action in the near future, although no specific programs were made public last evening.
The renewed flurry of antiwar activity is the result of the failure of U.S. negotiator Henry A. Kissinger '50 and North Vietnamese negotiator Le Due Tho to reach an agreement in their Paris talks.
President Nixon responded to the impasse with U.S. bombing raids on North Vietnam, including strikes against Hanoi and Haiphong on Monday.
American B52 bombers members Monday staged heavy attacks on the Hanoi-Haiphong area for the first time in the months. During the raids, two B52 and one F111 were shot down in the outline air attack of the one.