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Salient: Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32, No. 12. 1969.



Gordon Findiay's letter on the Demonstrations Co-ordinating Committee reveals an ignorance of a large number of political facts, the most important of which is the name of the organisation which he is attaching. An organisation called the Political Action Co-ordinating Croup does exist, and its objectives include the co-ordinating of all forms of political activity, including demonstrations, but also including teach-ins, public meetings, publicity campaigns and most other mediums of political communication and protest. The Group has in fact just organised a teach-in on Security Intelligence, and will be making submissions to the Statutes Revision Committee on the new Bill. Before the group was set up, people like Mr Findlay were in the position where, if they disliked some particular act of the Government, all they could do was improvise a usually rather badly organised demonstration; the existence of the Co-ordinating Group not only makes it possible to prepare demonstrations will in advance and so organise them properly, by using various people's skills and establishing reasonable communications, but also to protest by some other way than a demonstration where this is considered appropriate. That it can make a choice such as this between different forms of protest means, of course, that the group does Not endorse the view "and demonstration it a flood demonstration": It believes that only a few issues are worth demonstrating over, and that when demonstrations are arranged on such issues they should be well-organised.

There is some sort of consensus on campus That protests on a wide range of issues against the Government are justified, as anybody can see for himself if he observes the faces that recur over several demonstrations. It is in the interest of the people who share in this consensus that their protest activities be organised rather than disorganised. If Gordon Findlay thinks the public support the kind of march that results when Exec tries to organise one, he is welcome to his opinion. And if he honestly believe — which I doubt — that the group will march "no matter what the principle, no matter what the cause", let him try to organise a march in favour of the Vietnam war, or apartheid, and see how much group support he gets.

Owen Gager.