NEW YORK (Mar. 31)
With Israeli flags and “Free Marina Tiemkin” banners flying, 500 young New York Jews, together with contingents from nearby counties, joined legislators and dignitaries for the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry’s second annual Walk-A-Thon yesterday. The youths obtained “sponsors” for each of the 10 miles they walked through Brooklyn under rainy skies; the proceeds will be sent to families of the Soviet Jewish Prisoners of Conscience by the SSSJ.
Rep. Stephen Solarz (D.NY) led off the first contingent of walkers who wore symbolic prisoner uniforms, declaring “We must continue to march for Soviet Jews.” especially in light of the increasing harassment. August Stern, whose father Dr. Mikhail Stern’s eight-year sentence was confirmed last week, joined the marchers and thanked them for their continued protests on behalf of his family. Dr. Stern was tried after his sons applied to leave for Israel. Stern was accompanied by Bronx Borough President Robert Abrams.
Many of the marchers said they came in spite of the rain to show their anger at Soviet police attacks on Jews attending the Moscow Synagogue last Wednesday and Saturday. Others said they were walking for Marina Tiemkin, whose large photo they held aloft. Marina, a Moscow teenager, was kidnapped by police agents after she and her father applied to leave for Israel.
Members of the SSSJ went today to the office of Aeroflot to protest against the trials and sentences of Mark Nashpitz and Boris Tsitlionok. The demonstrators held aloft mops and brooms, which they said symbolized the looked courtroom, barred to Western newsmen and spectators, which bore a sign on its door, “Close for cleaning.” The youths urged passersby to “Fly Aeroflot to the ‘friendly’ USSR and be with Jews as they are put on trial, dragged from the Moscow Synagogue, threatened with trial for ‘treason’ as was Prof. Alexander Luntz, and faced with loss of jobs for seeking to live in freedom.”
JDL PICKETS SOVIET MISSION
In a related action, 22 members of the Jewish Defense League were arrested early yesterday while picketing the Soviet Mission to the United Nations to protest the dispersion of Jews from the Moscow Synagogue during Sabbath-Passover services. The JDL pickets poured animal blood on the Mission building, symbolic of one of the 10 plagues. The pickets were taken to police headquarters in lower Manhattan where they were held several hours on charges of disorderly conduct and malicious mischief and released. They vowed to continue their actions until all Soviet Jews were freed.