To the Editors:

Ten days ago Fathers Dan and Philip Berrigan were denied parole. Dan Berrigan is being kept in prison despite the fact that prison doctors and outside physicians have testified that his health is being seriously jeopardized by further confinement. Several weeks ago he was near death.

The inexcusably vindictive treatment of Father Berrigan is one more example of the deliberate use of the prison system to repress political dissent. Prisoners in Danbury, including Harrisburg co-defendent Ted Glick, who have protested against this and other inhumanities practiced in the nation’s prisons have been put in solitary confinement. Those otherwise entitled to parole are denied it on no grounds other than that it is politically convenient for the authorities to keep them in jail.

The prisons are being used to silence those who are acting against what the Pentagon papers clearly show is an aggressive war against North Vietnam and the peoples of Indochina. We demand an end to this use of the prison system for political and social repression. We now declare our intention to work in every way to free the Berrigans and all other political prisoners and to alert the American people to the cruelty which is being practiced in American prisons whether in Danbury, Connecticut, or South Vietnam in the name of justice.

(August 9, 1971)

Mark Sacharoff

Eqbal Ahmad

Richard Barnet

Paul Lauter

Florence Howe

Rennie Davis

Mary Cain Scoblick

Tony Scoblick

Betty Jean Lifton

Seymour Melman

Richard Falk

David Dellinger

Tony Russo

Joseph Wenderoth

Howard Zinn

Noam Chomsky

Albert Appleby

Alice Mayhew

Daniel Ellsberg

John Froines

Salvador E. Luria

Paul Mayer

Ruth Wald

Jogues Egan

Francine Gray

Robert Lifton

Kenneth Keniston

Neil McLaughlin

Elizabeth McAlister

A perpetual vigil, which will last through September, is being held in front of the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut. Vigilers are needed. For information, contact the Harrisburg Defense Committee, Room 523, 156 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10010, telephone (212) 691-7410.

This Issue

September 2, 1971