Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

W. Bruce Springer

SDS Members Picket Boston Army Base

First Published: Harvard Crimson,  March 14, 1967.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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About 50 members of SDS and other anti-war groups – including 35 Harvard students – picketed outside the Boston Army Base early yesterday while Jared M. Israel ’67 underwent his pre-induction physical.

Israel, a member of SDS and the Progressive Labor Party, handed out leaflets to soldiers and other pre-inductees during his physical.

The 50 outside pickets called their demonstration “supporting action” for Israel. When they arrived at 7 a.m., they approached the base gate and were immediately herded back off federal property by a Boston policeman.

They did not try to approach the gate again and there were no other incidents during the 90 minute protest. Several policemen and a paddy wagon were on hand in case of trouble.

One year ago 11 anti-war demonstrators were arrested when they tried repeatedly to enter the base.

The coordinators of yesterday’s protest apparently had not agreed whether or not to try to enter. One apparent leader, Steve Newman of PLP, urged 17 pickets in a VW microbus to try to get by the guards at the gate. They refused.

Jonathan M. Harris ’68, another demonstration coordinator and a member of SDS, said there had been no plans to get the pickets inside yesterday.

He indicated last night, however, that he is now considering the possibility of another demonstration in which pickets would enter the base.

Israel gave up his 2-S deferment by refusing to file an SSS Form 109 last fall. He said he regards 2-S an “unfair class privilege,” and that he will enter the army if inducted.

Base officials tried to obstruct his leafleting, Israel said. “One sergeant ran along behind me and grabbed the leaflet from people before they could read it.” He also claimed they threatened to induct him immediately if he did not stop agitating.

Three other pre-inductees helped Israel distribute leaflets inside the base. The three – including a Harvard graduate and former graduate student – withheld their names because they said they were afraid of losing their jobs.