Protest: The Banners of Dissent

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Evident Split. The diffuse sources of dissent have bred continual schisms. The basic split, which is becoming more evident every day to many in the movement, is between those individuals and organizations that are simply antiwar (though not necessarily for unilateral withdrawal from South Viet Nam) and those that are avowedly anti-American. Among the former can be counted Editor Norman Cousins, the United Auto Workers' Victor Reuther, Newark's Auxiliary Bishop John J. Dougherty, and such mild but pervasive agglomerates as the Quakers' Religious Society of Friends (123,000 members) and Women Strike for Peace (100,000).

Among the openly subversive groups are the U.S. Communist Party, the Maoist Progressive Labor Party, various Black Power groups such as S.N.C.C., RAM and shaven-skulled Ron Karenga's Los Angeles-based US, plus the volatile cadres of the New Left, which are so concerned with internal disputes that some of their organizations cannot remain in existence for more than a month at a time. Unsophisticated pacifist or antidraft outfits and digger do-gooders from the hippie subculture are frequently suckered into the hard-line camp and end up unwittingly propagandizing as activists.

The Mob. The split between antiwar and anti-American factions nearly put last week's Pentagon march out of step before it began. The New York-based National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Viet Nam (alias the Mob), the umbrella group that coordinated the march, found it hard to reconcile plans for civil disobedience with more moderate notions of a legal rally.

Headquartered in a noisy Lower East Side loft festooned with bare steam pipes and posters of burned Vietnamese children, the Mob is chaired by Yale-educated David Dellinger, 52, a smartly dressed, balding pacifist. Though he looks hardly more aggressive than Peter Sellers, Bellinger began his protest career during World War II by refusing to register for the draft, spent a total of three years in prison for his principled recalcitrance—and last week entered the cooler again, puffing a cigar, after his arrest at the Pentagon.

As editor of the leftist monthly Liberation, Dellinger visited North Viet Nam last November and met with Ho, was deprived of his passport on his return, but retrieved it from the State Department on a promise not to return to Hanoi. Appointed chairman of the Mobilization Committee, he nevertheless made a second trip to Hanoi this summer. In September, he went to Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, where he was one of 41 Americans who parleyed with twelve North Vietnamese officials and a dozen Viet Cong delegates. Dellinger had barely returned from the fruitless "peace conference" when trouble erupted in his own peace organization.

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