10,000 Gather Near UN for Soviet Jewry Day As Part of Global Protests
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10,000 Gather Near UN for Soviet Jewry Day As Part of Global Protests

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An estimated 10,000 persons, old and young, massed at Dag Hammarekjold Plaza across from the United Nations today in one of many rallies planned around the world this week on behalf of Soviet Jews. Rabbi Gilbert Klaperman, chairman of the New York Conference on Soviet Jewry, declared at the rally: “We are here to say the Russian bear, ‘Let my people go!” The “one hope” of those gathered in the Plata, he said, was “freedom for Russian Jews.” Posters read “United Nations, Please Be Aware of the Plight of Soviet Jewry,” “Stop Soviet Slavery” and “No Scapegoat Trials.” Representatives of the New York conference dramatized the trial of Boris Kochubiyevsky, the 34-year-old Kiev engineer sentenced in 1969 to three years at forced labor for anti-Soviet “slander.” Numerous passages in the transcript were cheered loudly by many in the Plaza, although many around the edges of the crowd chatted among themselves. Political and religious figures and celebrities scheduled to participate included Mayor John V. Lindsay; state Attorney General Louis J. Lefkowitz; Rabbi Herschel Schacter, president of the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry; Rabbi Steven Riskin of the Lincoln Square Synagogue; Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton; Bronx Borough President Robert Abrams; actor-singer Theodore Bikel, actress Marian Seldes and singer Nancy Waldman.

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