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Four hundred protesters, including 30 Harvard students, picketed the opening of the film "Cruising" at the Sack 57 theater in Boston last night.
The protesters carried placards and banners, and urged passers-by not to go to the movie.
"Cruising" is the most oppressive, ugly, bigoted look at homosexuality ever presented on the screen," one of the protesters said yesterday, adding that the film is a direct threat to the public safety of all homosexuals.
Many of the Harvard students who participated in the demonstration are members of a new student group, Gays Organized to Oppose Discrimination (GOOD). The group gathered on the steps of Widener Library at 6:30 p.m., and then went to the Sack 57 to join fellow protesters.
Benjamin H. Schatz '81, coordinator of GOOD, said yesterday he was surprised at the large turnout at the demonstration. He added that while their protests will not close the movie, "we were successful in raising people's awareness of discrimination against gays."
"Our goal really wasn't to shut down the film," Robert L. Rothary '81, a GOOD member, said yesterday, adding that the protesters "got their opinion across, and turned people away from the cinema."
Schatz said the fact that some protesters were straight shows that "not only gay people are concerned about discrimination."
"All you see in the movie is thousands of gay men portrayed as masochistic, mean, maniacs," Schatz said, adding that he thinks the movie industry does not find it profitable enough to portray gays as they really are. "They just want to show the sickoes," he added.
The public relations office of United Artists, which released the film, yesterday said it will wait until after the demonstration to comment officially
The manager of the Sack 57 cinema refused to comment on the demonstration yesterday.
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