AWARNING that the United States was in mortal danger because "an unfeeling power structure is responding to a social crisis and with violence d repression instead of constructive change" was given in Washington at the weekend by an American Protestant clergyman.
The Rev. Ralph David Abernathy, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addressing the general board of the National Council of Churches, said the recent killings of student protesters and negroes at Kent State University, Jackson State College and in Augusta, Georgia, were "no accident".
He continued : "In a society which places its highest priority on death and destruction, murderous repression is inevitable. Churchmen must take a vigorous lead in "reversing America's priorities" so that more resources were channelled into relief of poverty and of discrimination and less into war.
"Law and order cannot be achieved by repression," he said. "There will continue to he disorder in America until we can have an ordered society with justice — justice for all people."
Mr. Abernathy was sharply
critical of the Nixon Administration. He said the Cambodian invasion was viewed by most Americans as "the expansion of a terrible war.
He accused the Ad
ministration of trying to buy white votes by retreating from school integration, and of displaying "indifference to millions of black people."
Earlier, Dr. Edwin Espy, the general secretary .of the National Council of Churches, said : "There is a high degree of danger in the disillusionment and anger endemic in our land today." There was "a growing disenchantment and loss of faith in our social processes" among young people and minority groups."
They were angry and frustrated because they witnessed "the diversion of money and men from the building of a just society to a seemingly endless spiral of increasing military commitments."
U.S. priest gets 10 years' jail.
ACARMELITE priest, Fr. Nicholas Riddell, 0.C.D., who disappeared halfway through his trial on charges of raiding a selective service office in Chicago, has received a tenyear prison sentence. Fr. Riddell, along with two other defendants, reportedly went to Canada after fleeing from Chicago. All three had pleaded insanity, basing their plea on a statement by Vice-President Spiro Agnew that anti-war demonstrators were "criminally insane".