Pacifist discusses Washington
protests and cultural revolution
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THURSDAY: ROLLING STONES IN "GIMME SHELTER"
By JIM IRWIN
"The individual in the move-
ment often sustains so much an-
guish that he becomes callous to
it, he becomes mechanical. But
the Vietnam veterans really
brought the war home. They
opened up the movement," anti-
war and civil rights activist Igal
Roodenko declared Sunday.
Roodenko, current chairman of
the War . Resisters League,
(WRL), spoke Sunday morning at
the Friends Meetinghouse. Roo-
denko has been on the Executive
Committee of the WRL since
1948. During World War II, he
spent 20 months in prison for non-
cooperation with the draft.
Roodenko's comments in the
Washington demonstrations were
optimistic. "If the various anti-
war groups had not been split
there would only - have been one
week instead of three weeks of
activity," he said.
"The veterans did a magnifi-
cent job of setting the tone for
the following weeks. They didn't
bring heavy rhetoric but gut and
life experience. This authenticity
carried much weight with the
public and the movement. It
cleared away a lot of the rhetor-
ical froth of radical demonstra-
tions in the past few years,"
Now that the movement has
brought a great many people
away from the problems of
apathy it is more in danger of a
sense of paralysis, Roodenko
said. "The problem has become
more, what do we do?"
"As pacifists, we now have-
the challenge of creating projects
that will channel our energy into
activities that are not only con-
structive, but also will help peo-
ple keep away from violence. If
we expect our politicians to lis-
ten to us we must face them with
the assumption that they will,"
The sense of paralysis comes
from thinking the state of the
world is static and unchangeable,
Roodenko stated. "The intellect
gives us too much. We think we
can stand outside of ourselves
and see ourselves objectively
like a machine. This blinds ii
and freezes us. This is the way
the world is, we say, thus
cannot move with it," Roodenr)
"I'm not interested in fincir.g
what the state of the world is--
I'm interested rather in finding
the most promising view of
reality," Roodenko declared.
Roodenko believes social trans-
formation must be approached -;,
with a sense of optimism. "We
can talk about the tragedies of
the counter-culture; we've all
heard about the disappointments
and blind alleys," Roodenko
"People have nothing to lean
on, so they try experiments, and
many of them fail. But the trag-
edies in this search are inevit-
able. With confidence in the hu-
man spirit, in this searching,
new answers will come, and it is
this we must support and en-
courage. This is the essential
emphasis of the WRL," said J
. ... . ....... . .
.... ....Yurw F,,". ..
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