Friends' Slide, Tape Show Blasts Defense Contractors

A voice of an employee on the tape says "I never realized killing was such a practical product of our technology." On the screen flash pictures of electronics corporations in the Greater Boston Arca that hold defense contracts.

The slide and tape show, entitled "Business as Usual: War Production in Boston's Golden Belt," was produced over the past six months and released last night by the New England American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), located in Cambridge.

Indicating war production in the Boston area as well as working conditions in corporations holding large defense contracts, the slide production features photographs of major Boston electronic companies accompanied by a soundtrack listing their defense connections.

"New England," a woman's voice announces, "the cradle of American liberty." The production goes on to say that Massachusetts is the home of the new automatic warfare.

Polaroid Company, located in Cambridge, is criticized for producing filters used on terrain-following radar. However, Donald Dery, a spokesman for Polaroid, said yesterday: "We're not in the defense business." Dery also noted that he was "not familiar with the film at all."


Arthur Fink, one of the slide show creators, said yesterday that a previous AFSC production illustrated the connection between new technology and the war. The show released yesterday is designed to "bring this home to Massachusetts," Fink said.

The tape of "Business as Usual" contains selections from interviews with present and former employee's of the corporations mentioned in the production. Fink said that the makers of the slides and tape found working conditions in the companies characterized by "alienation."

"Secretaries who talked about their work over coffee breaks were always reprimanded," comments one former employee who says the atmosphere where she worked was one of paranoia.