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News from Viet Nam via Paris that We Don’t Get from Our Press
by The Editorial Collective
The bourgeois press is attempting to obscure the true picture of the events in South Viet Nam. They lay great emphasis on the so-called “invasion” from the North and ignored the role of the popular forces in the South.
When the offensive began, the people of Nam Bo, in the delta area, rose up and smashed 100 enemy posts. Regular forces, guerillas, and regional forces accomplished this in co-ordinated action. The Saigon press is covering up such popular uprisings.
There has been very severe repression of movement activities in the cities. In Saigon, 13 faculties of the University went on strike from 5 to 9 April, to demand the release of students who had been arbitratily arrested.
On 23 March, 10 leaders of the students were brought before a military tribunal for trial. A large group of students protested the trial; they marched into the tribunal and one among them read a 45 minute declaration denouncing the U.S. intensification of the war and the fascist policies of Thieu. At the end of the 45 minutes, while the student was still reading, the police broke into the tribunal and clashed with the students. The students slit their own wrists and with their blood wrote slogans on the wall of the tribunal—”Freedom or Death.” The police removed all the students, taking them to police headquarters; many had fainted from loss of blood. The tribunal was temporarily suspended. At the same time as the above battle in the tribunal, Buddhist students demonstrated outside the tribunal and battled with police.
Also at the end of March, thousands of students of the faculty of Letters staged a strike opposing U.S. policies and the Thieu regime.
From 25-30 March, students in Hue demonstrated in front of the Municipal Buildings. A number of students were arrested. They have also staged hunger strikes to protest the fascist policies of Thieu.
AFP (French press agency) reports that the Thieu administration built an execution site in Hue to execute without trial anyone making communist propaganda.
In Saigon, Mme. Ngo Ba Thanh, of the Women’s Committee for the Right to Live, who had been in jail for some time, was brought to trial on a stretcher. People present in the court demanded that the trial be stopped. Despite her severe illness, Mme. Ngo Ba Thanh rose from her stretcher and held a brief press conference in which she denounced the U.S. and Thieu fascist policies.
The PRG spokesman concluded his remarks in stating that at this time, “we are very proud of the students and intellectuals in Viet Nam who are displaying great heroism and courage. In the liberated areas we have to contend only with the American bombings; but they have a very difficult time contending with the severe and brutal repression of the Thieu administration. We admire them greatly.”