Bumperstrips Brochures Campaign Cards Posters Flyers Specialties FUTURA PRESS I N C Hickory 2-8682 Hickory 2-2426 1714 SOUTH CONGRESS AVENUE P, 0, BOX 3485 AUSTIN, TEXAS The Demopolis Project THE DEMOPOLIS PROJECT is an attempt by a group of Southern students, teachers, clergymen, and other concerned persons to put into action their belief in human dignity and human rights by doing educational work among the deprived 62% Negro majority population in and near FOR THE SUMMER of 1966, a group of volunteers, believing that lasting progress will become possible only when the educational level of the community is raised, hopes to provide a start toward a remedy for the inequities of the county’s segregated educational system. SEND CONTRIBUTIONS AND INQUIRIES to: Demopolis Project Committee, Box 7076, University Station, Austin, Tex. 78712. late in showing up, but he got there. He said his employers had decided his civil rights guaranteed him the privilege of doing whatever he wanted to do in his own leisure time. Ben Levy, a Houston attorney who is an active civil rights advocate, was credited with being the backbone of the action group. Another leader there was Wilbur Clark, a Houston chemical engineer. From Austin there was Helen Mayfield, a dedicated young woman with a gleam of idealism in her dark eyes, and Thorne Dreyer, a black-bearded University of Texas student who is a member of the Students for a Democratic Society. There were all kinds of others. Housewives, clerks, engineers, teachers, college and high school students, office workers. Many of them had been there Christmas, and the Easter before. They formed a silent line along the shoulder of Ranch Road 1, braving the scrutiny of television and newspaper cameras, the surveillance of intelligence agents, possible derision and name-calling from the passing motorists. But there was no derision or name-calling. The day before, in Berkeley, Calif., four persons had been injured when a bomb blast wrecked the headquarters of a Vietnam Day Committee which was planning a similar Easter protest demonstration. Most of the people standing there near the LBJ ranch must have heard of that before taking up their vigil. Most of them had probably heard leading national congressmen call them “vietniks” and “traitors” and “communists” many times over the air waves, in newspapers and in public speeches. There they were. There was no dialogue or attempt at justification. Rules of the game said they were to stand silent. A letter to the President was to speak for them,’ outlining objections to the war in Southeast Asia, where even then dark clouds of death rose from napalm fires above wrecked homes and ruined rice fields. Where blood was eng spilled in a serious, costly, and baffling struggle. I thought of Christ, taking a stand against the Roman war-oriented foreign policy, being arrested by armed soldiers in the Garden of Gethsemane. There were armed representatives of the government here, but no arrests were being made yet. AS I DROVE homeward, full of thought \(wondering where all the ideals which fired the minds of Americans a centoldmotorists they were on the “Devil’s Backbone to Wonder Cave” in San Marcos.. I wondered what our national pathway should be called, and if it will lead to any wonders. r 110-41111041111111.1110001111111.11111110011111.01111141.11.0011111,011. Texas Society to Abolish Capital Punishment P.O. Box 8134, Austin, Texas 78712 memberships, $2 up 11Nomu NININN…r uomou NENN.4.NNu oimumws .m..w.air Nww. A Communication The whole purpose of demonstrations such as the vigil we held is to keep opposition to the war alive and in the minds of the public. I get a lot of criticism from . well meaning persons who are sympathetic but who see no purpose served by demonstrating. We realize the limitations of our action and have no grand illusion that marching in front of the ranch is going to change LBJ’s mind. We are convinced, though, that these demonstrations keep alive opposition to the war and nag at the consciences of those who see the madness but remain silent. If we could affect the behavior of those people, it would be a tremendous achievement, because their silence is read as full support by the Administration, just as the silence of the -moderates in the South is read as support of the racists. I grow very impatient with those who claim that they must remain silent because they do, not know enough about what is really going on. When a government undertakes an action which we know involves bombing villages 10,000 miles away, sending a quarter of a million troops into combat, risks a global war, and kills hundreds of people a day, the burden of proof rests squarely with that government to explain what it is doing and why it is doing it. In the absence of proof regarding the necessity or reasonableness of the action, the citizen must assume that it is unnecessary and unreasonable unless he Is willing to assume a -blind faith in the government the kind of faith exercised by the citizens of the Third Reich. I believe that it is the obligation of the government to explain to me why it is carrying out mass murder in my name. In The writer, Mort Bieber, was threatened with dismissal from his job as a psychologist working for the state because he made public his intention to participate in a Christmas protest of the Vietnam war. He won, by threatened legal action, his right to engage in such activity on his own time, and he participated in the Easter vigil at the LBJ Ranch. the case of Germany and Japan during World War II, the reasons were given and they made sense. They even made sense in the Korean War. Now, however, the Administration doesn’t even feel obligated to give reasons other than the nonsense about “commitments” and that garbage about face-saving. It is clearly the duty of every citizen to protest mass murder in his name and with his money until reasonable explanations are forthcoming. Then the individual can decide whether or not he can accept the explanations as sufficient to justify the action. If he can’t he continues protesting. So, to the person who says, “I don’t know enough about it to take a position one way or the other,” I say, “You have already taken a position by way of the government. The killing is being done in your name! If you don’t know why they are killing, then tell them to stop.” Mort Rieber, 435 Electra, Houston, Tex. May 13, 1966 13 MEETINGS THE THURSDAY CLUB of Dallas meets each the Downtown YMCA, 605 No. Ervay St., Dallas. Good discussion. You’re welcome. Informal, no dues. The TRAVIS COUNTY LIBERAL DEMO-CRATS meet at Scholz’ Garten at 8 p.m. on the first Thursday. You’re invited. ITEMS for this feature cost, for the first entry. 7c a word, and for each subsequent entry, 5c a word. We must receive them one week before the date of the issue in which they are to be published. A Demonstrator Tells Why
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