NEW YORK (Dec. 11)
Five thousand New Yorkers participated here today in a march and rally protesting against Soviet discriminations against Russian Jewry, culminated by an address by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Negro leader. The New York meeting, at Cooper Union Hall, was one of similar actions in 32 other American communities, involving an estimated 100,000 persons. The rallies and marches were linked both to Chanukah, currently being celebrated, and Human Rights Day, observed by the United Nations yesterday.
Dr. King spoke from his home in Atlanta, Ga., over a telephone hook-up that reached all of the various meetings, sponsored by the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry. Addressing the Cooper Union meeting were also Rabbi Israel Miller, chairman of the Conference, and Rabbi Jacob Goldberg, chairman of the New York City Coordinating Committee for Soviet Jewry.
In his address to the rally, Dr. King stressed that “a denial of human rights anywhere is a threat to every man everywhere.” He said that while Jews in Russia are not being killed as in Nazi Germany, they are “facing every day a kind of spiritual and cultural genocide.” “We must continue to make our voices heard. The world has a right to remind Russia it is repressing a cultural heritage that is part of world property,” he stated.
New York Mayor John V. Lindsay declared in a statement on the occasion: “It is a matter of concern to me, personally and officially, that human rights are being withheld from the Jewish population of the Soviet Union, even as these rights are guaranteed under the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as under the Constitution of the USSR.”