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The CFIA Incident


Last night's rampage through the Harvard Center for International Affairs was a desperate action that served no purpose. Such random vandalism only diffuses and debilitates the antiwar movement. We condemn the attack on the CFIA without qualification.

Yesterday's action resulted when a small group at an antiwar rally in downtown Boston knowingly diverted about 1000 persons at that rally to Cambridge. Without revealing their destination, this group led demonstrators to the CFIA--even though they had explicitly stated that any protests would center on corporate, and not university, targets.

Isolated attacks on universities, and corporations as well, are pointless when serious efforts are being made throughout the country to protest the latest escalation of the war in Southeast Asia. History has shown that under sufficient pressure the American government, and the American people, respond to united and disciplined expressions of discontent. Just as surely, they are repulsed by aimless violence.

It should be pointed out that the ransacking of the CFIA was not the intent of those 2000 persons who gathered on the Boston Common yesterday. It was the intent of a small minority of those 2000 who led the crowd blindly to Harvard and, once here, accomplished their planned assault on the building. We censure this minority which, in a five-minute span, seriously endangered the good this week's antiwar protests could effect.

At the same time, The Crimson reemphasizes the urgent need for unified, visible and disciplined demonstrations of opposition to the Nixon Administration's continued aggression in Southeast Asia. Thursday night's strike meeting can provide the kind of coordination for antiwar protests that will prevent a recurrence of yesterday's action at the CFIA.

Yesterday morning, along with 15 other newspapers, we called for a nationwide student strike. We reaffirm that position. And we repeat that this strike--the form of which will be determined by students at different campuses--is not a strike against the universities. It is a strike against the war. Classes need not be cancelled, exams need not be forgotten, but students here and across the country must interrupt their placid college lives to deliver once again the ultimatum to the Nixon Administration: You cannot expand the war in Asia without risking massive protest at home.

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