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Marching for Free Emigration

December 20, 1987

With 200,000 people, we marched in Washington on Freedom Sunday in support of the free emigration of Soviet Jews. Forty of us flew from Orange County. It was something we had to do.

Close to a quarter of a million of us descended on Washington, many carrying banners and placards urging the release of individuals held in the U.S.S.R.

Our contingent, marching with a banner proclaiming, "Orange County, CA, for Soviet Jewry," attracted "thumbs up" salutes from Los Angeles students observing from their vantage point high up on a lamppost. An Orange County couple visiting in Washington and not Jewish saw the banner and marched with us.

We were there to demonstrate our solidarity with Jews in the Soviet Union, to let Gorbachev know that there can be no peace without human rights. We will not stop until everyone who wants to leave Russia is permitted to do so.

We went because we had to. How often, after all, does the Soviet leader come to Washington? How often in my lifetime can I make my presence count?

LINDA SCHULEIN

Newport Beach

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