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Non-violent protest best method to end apartheid (2)

We would like to express our concern over some of the events that transpired during the anti-apartheid rally on April 9. From our perspective in the crowd, the rally came dangerously close to an all-out riot. We must point out that these events were caused directly by the reprehensible actions of the Metropolitan District Commission Police and MIT Campus Police.

The random and violent harassment of protesters, and of a Tech photographer in particular, fueled the passions of the crowd, and could have easily led to tragic results. Perhaps this is all we can expect from our "peace officers." We certainly hope not.

Our purpose in writing this letter, however, is to remind fellow protesters that we have the moral high ground on this issue, and no degree of harassment or intimidation can change that. We feel that we have a responsibility to comport ourselves in a non-violent manner, and to keep in mind the goal of the struggle, namely to pressure the MIT administration into divesting from companies with holdings in South Africa.

Many protesters were swept away in a maelstrom of emotions in response to the despicable actions of the police officers, but we must remember that mob violence does not serve our noble purpose of freedom for all South Africans. We have made a commitment to attend future rallies as long as our presence will contribute to that goal. We have also made a commitment to try to remain true to the principles of non-violence that were the cornerstone of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s. We hope that all concerned members of the MIT community will share in these commitments.

Arya Akmal G->

Jonathan Pasternak '90->