To the Editors of The Crimson:
In recent weeks The Crimson has published several stories about activities of the Radcliffe-Harvard Peace Alliance or about actions of certain Peace Alliance members which contained inaccuracies. The Peace Alliance greatly appreciates the extensive coverage of our activities in the pages of The Crimson, since this is one of the most effective mechanisms available to us to make the Harvard community aware of our work against militarism and the nuclear arms race. But the value of this coverage is substantially reduced if the stories create false impressions of our group. For this reason, we would like to call attention to inaccuracies in two recent articles.
On September 30 The Crimson ran an article entitled "Campus Radicals Plan to Seek Council Seats." This article reported that activists, including Jamie Raskin and Mike Anderson, had said that representatives of the Peace Alliance and other progressive organizations "would seek to play a 'major role' in Harvard's first funded and centralized government." In fact, the Peace Alliance is not planning to run any of its members for council seats. If any students affiliated with the Peace Alliance are running in the election, it is a result of individual decisions, not a result of group plans.
This same article reported that progressive organizations would line up behind a single radical candidate for chairperson in the new government. At the moment, we have not endorsed any candidates for election, nor do we have any plans to do so. We would, however, of course be pleased if a chairperson were elected who is in favor of an expansion of peace and disarmament activities on campus.
Finally, in an article on October 5 about the previous day's anti-draft rally. The Crimson reported that Michael Anderson '83 was president of the Peace Alliance. This is incorrect. The Peace Alliance makes all its decisions by consensus, and has followed this procedure since 1980. We have no hierarchy and no elected officials. There is a facilitator for every general meeting, and this position is shared among members of the group on a rotational basis.
We hope that The Crimson continues to cover Peace Alliance activities in the future. This letter is simply intended as a friendly reminder that responsible journalism includes checking the facts before you run a story.
This letter was approved by all those present at the Peace Alliance meeting on October 7. Jeff Knopf R.H. Peace Alliance