Sunday’s Rally One of a String of Peaceful Protests Planned
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Sunday’s Rally One of a String of Peaceful Protests Planned

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Refusenik Sabbath preceded Freedom Sunday here.

It was a series of peaceful demonstrations and day-long prayers outside the Soviet Embassy and the offices of Aeroflot, the Soviet airline–two of the most visible properties of the USSR. The protests will continue for most of the week, while Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is here for his summit conference with President Reagan.

The SSSJ along with the North American Jewish Students Network organized the events. They began at the embassy at 3:30 p.m. Friday with a refusenik kiddish, followed by a Sabbath eve service at 4 p.m. outside Aeroflot.

There was a Saturday morning minyan at the airline office and a day-long prayer vigil ending with a havdalah service 6:30 p.m. Saturday, which brought Refusenik Sabbath to a close.


Plans call for setting up a “Refusenik embassy” at Aeroflot Monday, sponsored by Network and supported by the SSSJ. Former prisoner of Zion Yosef Mendelevich will serve as “chief ambassador” and other former refuseniks as “consuls.”

During Refusenik Sabbath, the demonstrators obeyed the local ordinance that prohibits demonstrations closer than 500 feet from a foreign mission. This Tuesday, however, a brief demonstration will be held inside the imaginary line. The demonstrators will submit to arrest, by prearrangement with the District of Columbia police.

The same groups plan to demonstrate Thursday while Gorbachev is speaking to 60 American business leaders at a meeting arranged by Secretary of Commerce C. William Verity.

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