1530 Signed Democrat's Watt Petition

The Harvard Democratic Club yesterday presented to the Sierra Club's New England director a petition protesting the environmental policies of Secretary of the Interior James G. Watt.

The Sierra Club-sponsored petition, which bore 1530 Harvard signatures, asked for Watt's dismissal and accused him of "sabotaging conservation goals supported by a vast majority of the American people. "It also accused Watt of "representing private economic interests rather than following the laws that define his responsibilities."


Priscilla Chapman, who accepted the petition for the Sierra Club, said the non-profit organization expects to reach goal of 1,000,000 signatures and plans to send copies to President Reagan and various congressmen within the week. She warned, however, that the petition cannot force the administration to change its environmental policy.

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Jess Velma, president of the Harvard Democratic Club, said the group had collected 50 per cent more than the 1000 signatures they originally hoped to collect from the Harvard community. Vince Chang, secretary of the Democratic Club, said before the presentation. "The main point of the Watt petition was to increase our visibility and general awareness on campus.

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Chang said the organization has recovered successfully from last year's slump in enthusiasm after conservative political gains.

While the number of dues-paying members is down 25 per cent from last year's peak of 120. Chang said he expects membership to rise in the next few weeks as some of the 300 people who signed up as "interested" join the club.

The Democratic Club has planned a panel discussion on abortion and a paper protesting the sale of AWACs to Saudi Arabia and the proposed MX missile and B-1 bomber.

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