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Thursday Night


THE LINES drawn at Thursday night's mass meeting are now to be tested. The lines are good ones: resolutions of shared outrage with Angolans and Indochinese, pledges to suspend normal activities in favor of anti-war actions, statements of support for present PALC demands.

One thing is clear: any glimmer of hope we give the oppressed peoples we support depends not on the duration of our college work suspension, and not on the extent of the damnation we register against those university members who've shown complicity in imperialist wars. A "strike" line like that of 1970 would put real pressure neither on Nixon's war or the Harvard Corporation's holdings in Gulf.

A series of escalatory acts of protest and civil disobedience against the federal government, and the support of anti-war candidates, are the only valid actions against the war. Continuing support of actions already initiated, like the takeover of Massachusetts Hall by PALC and Afro, which turned public opinion against the Corporation's callous irresponsibility, are similarly valid. At the same time, any attempts to direct the all-too-limited amount of political determination into purely local confrontations are sure to diminish the meeting of the long-term goals of Africans and Asians.

For that reason, supporting amnesty for those who bravely layed their college careers and jobs on the line in seizing Massachusetts Hall, is obviously right--and just as obviously an issue which may prove to be tactically debilitating.

Now that the affirmations of the meeting have been made, there are really two things to do: act in the most direct way possible to help Angolans and Indochinese, and avoid any issues which will deter us from helping these people. In the excitement of the moment those things may seem easy. But as we have seen before, they must remain the central--and the only--concerns. Otherwise the effects of Thursday's meeting and the actions that follow may, in the end, tally up to nothing.

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