New York Students Stage Dramatic Protest Rally Near Soviet Embassy
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New York Students Stage Dramatic Protest Rally Near Soviet Embassy

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A demand that the Soviet Government “break the chains of oppression of Soviet Jewry” was dramatized by a gathering of 60 students wearing chains in a block from the Soviet U.N. Mission headquarters here today during a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution. The youngsters, draped in prayer shawls, sat on mourning benches in symbolic protest against the treatment of Jews in the USSR, chanted Hebrew songs and read recitations.

The demonstration was sponsored by the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry and the Center for Russian Jewry which demanded the release of thousands of Jews confined to Soviet forced labor camps merely because they desire to live as Jews. They also demanded that the Soviet authorities “grant the institutions of a free people to Soviet Jewry” and ‘fulfill Premier Kosygin’s public promise made in Paris in December, 1966 to permit Soviet Jews to be re-united with their families.” Another demand was that the amnesty for criminals given by Moscow to Soviet “thieves and swindlers” be extended to “the thousands of Jews imprisoned only because they are Jews.”

The Soviet Mission to the United Nations barred all Jewish journalists, including representatives of American and foreign newspapers, from its celebration today. The absence of Jewish correspondents from the invitation list regardless of their nationality or the media they represent, was considered unprecedented by observers here and at the U.N. In past years, Israeli newspapermen and correspondents for several Jewish newspapers were invited to the annual Soviet Mission celebrations.

(In Ottawa, 600 young Jews from Montreal and Ottawa staged a demonstration in front of the Soviet Embassy in the Canadian capital protesting against “spiritual genocide” inflicted by the USSR against Soviet Jewry. Dancing in front of the Embassy, the demonstrators sang Hebrew songs affirming that “the people of Israel live.”)

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