The Harvard chapter of the Students for a Democratic Society has decided to raise money for ten Michigan students who were reclassified 1-A for sitting-in last October at a Selective Service office in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Michael S. Ansara '67, treasurer of SDS, said yesterday that the money will help pay the legal expenses of appealing the reclassifications. It will be raised as part of a general SDS campaign for funds to be held at the beginning of next semester.
Earlier this week the Justice Department announced that it agrees with the students. In a letter to a group of law professors, Fred M. Vinson Jr., Assistant Attorney General argued that the students should be punished under the general law rather than under the draft laws.
Vinson added that if the students challenge the reclassification in civil court, the Justice Department would not support the Selective Service.
While defending the right of the draft boards to reclassify those who violate the Selective Service laws, Vinson said that in this case the draft laws were not involved and that reclassification was therefore not an appropriate punishment.
The opinion of the Justice Department is not binding on local draft boards.
Richard Short, one of the Michigan students, said yesterday that $1000 had already been raised, but predicted that it might cost as much as $30,000 to conduct the defense.
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