NEW YORK (Jun. 15)
The 15 demonstrators–including 12 rabbis–who were charged with criminal trespass yesterday after handcuffing themselves to the United States Mission to the United Nations protested today the treatment they were accorded during their “moderate and respectable action.” In a telegram to Secretary of State William P. Rogers, Under Secretary John N. Irwin, Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Martin J. Hillenbrand and UN Ambassador George Bush, the demonstrators “deplored” their forcible removal from Mission premises yesterday as well as their ejection from the Mission June 9 after they stretched their half-hour appointment to four hours. Yesterday’s demonstration involved “responsible clergymen and their legitimate petitions on behalf of Soviet Jewry,” the participants claimed, adding that Mission business was not affected by their presence. A Mission official said yesterday that the blocking of the front entrance had required the use of side doors by entering and departing diplomats, and he deplored the demonstration as counterproductive.
The protesters, who were released on personal recognizance and are due in court June 22, asked Ambassador Bush for another appointment to press their demands for “meaningful” and “concrete” American action toward the release of Soviet Jewish prisoners and the cancellation of trials of Soviet Jews; the initiation of Yiddish and Hebrew broadcasts into Russia over the Voice of America, and Presidential support for the bill to provide 30,000 emergency U.S. visas for Soviet Jews. The demonstrators included Rabbis Irving Greenberg of Riverdale Jewish Center; Steven Riskin of Lincoln Square Synagogue; Avraham Weiss of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Monsey, N.Y.; Charles Sheer, Jewish chaplain at Columbia University; Zevulun Charlop of Young Israel of Mosholu Parkway, and David Haber of the Conservative Synagogue of Canarsie, and Glenn Richter, national coordinator of the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry. Seven of the 15 teach at Yeshiva University.