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Protest Moves to Washington

The University:


Students at Harvard and throughout the country groped for a new mode of protest against President Nixon's policy in Indochina this week, but the most noticeable thing about their initial efforts was a lack of organization.

While small groups pursued the worn tactics of the spring--university strikes picketing at federal buildings, nonviolent civil disobedience and sporadic trashing--the majority of dissidents spent the early part of the week plotting larger actions and lobbying in Washington.

The plans for Washington are the first to be directed at Nixon's center of the government this spring. Discussions now focus on whether the action will be shaped in the usual fashion of a peaceful march, or whether it will take on the character of 1971's Mayday disruption.

Republican administrators in Washington have said privately that the White House is counting only on a slight response at home to the President's decision to mine the harbors of North Vietnam. But it appeared that as the week progressed, antiwar demonstrations were gaining both in number and in size.

At Harvard, a group of about 40 demonstrators occupied the offices of Government Department Chairman James Q. Wilson for six hours Wednesday, ostensibly to protest Harvard's role in the escalation of the war. That role derived mostly from the person of Henry A. Kissinger '50, the former professor of Government who is now Nixon's chief international strategist.

But most students here spent time in meetings to map out a broad lobbying campaign in Washington Monday and Tuesday; some joined in civil disobedience at the JFK Federal Building in Boston where almost 400 persons were arrested in three days of demonstrations.

For the first time, other University groups that had been dormant since 1970 emerged to voice their dismay over U.S. policy. More than 300 library staff members signed a petition condemning Nixon's latest move; Librarians for Peace, an antiwar group begun in 1970, circulated the petition.

Another group of faculty members scheduled a professors' march for Monday in which Boston area professors will march to the JFK Building to support actions there. Students and faculty alike left for Washington to lobby in larger numbers than at any other time in the last two years.

And there were some indications that unlike the small immediate response (there were, for example, only 150 people at Tuesday night's "mass" meeting in Sanders Theatre), another broad-based show of antiwar sentiment may be building.

Certainly it has reached new levels of participation: yesterday, Dr. John William Ward, the president of Amherst, was among 20 faculty members arrested at a sit-in at Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee. Also in the group was Cornellia Mendenhall, the wife of Smith president Thomas Mendenhall.

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