October 1970

Student assesses effect of war moratorium
by Michalina

   A year has passed since the Oct. 15, 1969, Moratorium, which was designed to shown the Nixon Administration that large and growing numbers of Americans want out of the Viet Nam War as fast as possible.
   The protest was the brainchild of Jerome Grossman, a Massachusetts envelope manufacturer active in the peace movement. Mr. Grossman joined forces with Sam Brown Jr. and together they hammered out the details.
    The Moratorium, which was to consist of quiet discussions and debate, was at first to be confined to college campuses. However, the idea caught on and quickly spread across the nation. Businesses were suspended for the day in protest. Housewives marched with signs urging the end of the war. Students wore armbands proclaiming their displeasure with the administration's handling of the situation in Indochina.
   In Brunswick, Maine, 1000 candles were left burning atop the Seniro Center, the tallest building in New England. In North Newton, Kansas, an antique bell tolled forty thousand times for the U.S. deaths in Viet Nam.
    All in all, it was one of the largest anti-Viet Nam protests to that time. With its success, the organizers hoped for future moratoriums.
    Today, however, the Moratorium seems a dark and distant day. Little was said October 15 [1970] about the protest. The U.S. is still in Viet Nam and the troop withdrawals are lagging. Since a year ago, the U.S. has also become involved because of Cambodia, an event that glued the U.S. even more firmly to Indochina.
    President Nixon has made promises of working toward an end to the war. He has tried to stir Hanoi and the "provisional revolutionary government" into active negotiations in Paris, only to run into a stone wall. However, he is faced with a problem clearly not of his own doing. He must take into consideration U.S. global responsibilities and the consequences of a U.S. withdrawal from Viet Nam elsewhere around the world. Nixon campaigned on the promise that he had a plan to end the war. Thus, he raised false hopes and perhaps deserves a large scale protest such as the Moratorium.