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Peace Action at Columbia

To the Editors:

This item from the Columbia Spectator may be of interest to your readers:

The following is a statement issued by Columbia’s football team:

We the Columbia football players have endorsed the nation-wide strike; in doing this we supported the three national demands:

  1. The immediate withdrawal of American troops from Southeast Asia.

  2. An end to the political repression in the US, including the systematic persecution of the Black Panther Party.

  3. An end to university complicity with the war effort.

Tonight, May 7, 1970, the members of the football team voted to cancel spring practice day and to direct their efforts in support of the strike.

The following statement was issued by Columbia’s football coaches:

The Football Coaches of Columbia University, both as individuals and as a group, are firmly convinced that the members of our team are motivated by the most sincere and deeply felt convictions in taking the stand they have taken and in pursuing the courses of action they have chosen. They have conveyed to us their deeply felt beliefs and have brought about an acute and new awareness in each individual on the staff of the powerful forces which affect their lives and the lives of all of us, and more important, of their willingness to commit themselves to decisive action. Their convictions and sensitivity have frankly overwhelmed us and we must state that we are moved by our association with them and feel a closer bond to them than we could ever have felt if they had not acted.

We, therefore, honor and support without qualification the right of our players to take the action they have taken and deeply admire the responsible manner in which they are conducting themselves. In addition, as individuals with personal beliefs and convictions, we the members of the staff support many of the specific resolutions they have formulated while clearly emphasizing that individually any one of us may disagree with some portions of their total statement.

Serge Lang

Columbia University

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