The Words of the Shimizu Family

Boston CARP Spring Semester 1990

Masa Shimizu and Paul Musembwa
April 26, 1990

A standing-room-only crowd attends the Boston CARP Forum.

Boston CARP had its biggest and best event in recent years during the last days of April 1990. We held a forum on Thursday April 26 to which we invited the most prominent student leader of the Czechoslovakian revolution of November 1989. On Saturday, we held a reception in his honor at the Boston CARP student center.

Our efforts to organize this event began in January when three Boston CARP members -- Masa Shimizu, Paul Musembwa and John Juster -- talked about holding a dinner at the Boston CARP Student Center for student leaders in the Boston area. In the weeks that followed, all Boston CARP students got together and discussed the event. It was during that time that we became aware of the November 17th Czechoslovakian revolution and also read the speech that their new president, Vaclav Havel, gave to the joint meeting of Congress last February. We were very inspired by his principled content. Based on his speech, we created "Project CHIP" (Creating Hope for International Peace). The project will collect computers, calculators, other educational technology and books to send to universities in the Eastern bloc. It will also send English instructors. Czechoslovakia became our first choice for a nation to work with.

Because we had two successful forums in 1989, we wanted to hold an event that would prove more challenging than before. We planned to gather student leaders, explain our vision for American student leaders, introduce them to "Project CHIP", and invite them to work with us. This is no easy task. The reality of students in this country is exemplified in the meeting of American Student Leaders held in Washington, DC last February. What were the topics of discussion? How to bring big bands to perform on campus, how to fight the administration, how to spend money, and so on. Not once did they discuss topics related to addressing problems in society and assisting other countries. We were disappointed at the content of that conference and planned our event to help broaden their awareness. For the event, we coined the theme: "The Impact of American Students in the 1990s."

Martin Mejstrik meets with Harvard University student leaders.

Czechoslovakian Student Leader

We planned to hold the forum on Thursday, April 26th. Just eight days before the forum, we got two professors from Boston University to agree to speak. We were also looking for a student speaker at that time and could not find anyone who could realistically present a Headwing view. It was around this time Martin Mejstrik, the most prominent student leader in Czechoslovakia, contacted us from Washington, DC.

In our interest in Czechoslovakia, we had read a detailed article in the March issue of The World and I. Among the people mentioned in the article was Martin Mejstrik, who led the student demonstration that culminated in the November 17th revolution. They preached nonviolence and tolerance, even though the communist authorities were beating them up. The revolution was a bloodless one.

We had written him a letter a month earlier asking him to support "Project CHIP" and maybe act as our liaison in Czechoslovakia. When he called us, we made plans to see him in New York the following Sunday morning, which was the same morning Father spoke at Belvedere, and Dr. Bo Hi Pak gave a report of the World Media Conference. Based on that inspiration we were determined to bring Martin to Boston and create a "Little Moscow" victory. Masa Shimizu, Boston University CARP leader, and Paul Musembwa met Martin in New York City immediately after the speech. He readily agreed to visit Boston.

Back in Boston, Masa called an emergency meeting of all people involved with the forum. We planned a massive publicity blitz for the event. We also planned to hold a reception on Saturday night in honor of Martin Mejstrik for the work he did in Czechoslovakia. We now had two major events to worry about.

We made some incredible arrangements in the next three days. Jin Goon Kim, a blessed child at Harvard University, arranged to have Martin meet the Vice President of the European Economic Community Harvard University on April 26. He also arranged for Martin to meet student leaders at Harvard over lunch and planned a professionally guided tour of the university. It was a program worthy of a dignitary.

Paul met the Student Government at Boston University and asked them to meet Martin on Friday, April 27th. Mark Turner, one of our members at Northeastern University, arranged a tour there.

Next was our advertising effort. We had the Public Relations Office at Boston University arrange to have the Boston area media present for the forum; we blanketed Boston University with posters announcing the event; we had book tables and massive displays all day long Tuesday and Wednesday. It was hard work. Day of the Forum Martin, Jin Goon and John attended the invitation-only breakfast with the Vice-President of the EEC at Harvard University. Later on, Martin talked to student leaders in Harvard and introduced them to Education for Democracy, a project he is working with to help support Czechoslovakia's growth. He had an excellent tour of the university and visited the newspaper facilities. He has a lot of experience with publications, having founded his own magazine a few years ago. It was through this magazine that he contacted President Havel (who was in jail at that time) and helped influence students during the revolution. Martin's visit to Harvard was covered on the front page of the daily, The Harvard Crimson.

Meanwhile, Paul called up the professors who were scheduled to speak to remind them of the event. Unknown to us, a negative student had visited one of the two professors earlier that morning and told him that we are "Moonies." When Paul called the professor, he said he was not going to speak because of our affiliation.

Paul then called up the other professor, and said, "Professor Palmer, our other speaker will not speak at our forum because we are members of the Unification movement founded by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Our affiliation is dearly stated in the student organization directory. I do not want you to feel perturbed about us in front of an audience."

"Oh no, I have no problem with that. I will be very happy to speak. I will see you this evening," Prof. Palmer said.

The forum was a success. It was one of the best programs done at BU this semester. By a conservative estimate, one hundred and sixty people showed up in a room designed to seat one hundred and ten. It was the most well-attended CARP program we could remember. Usually, university forums dealing with a theme of such high quality have thirty to forty people in attendance, most of them graduate students. We had undergraduates pack the room.

Paul welcomed the participants to the forum and delivered the opening speech which he entitled "The Creation of a Headwing Ideology." He gave an academic version of the introductory chapter of the Divine Principle book. We found out later that some of the audience were upset that Paul mentioned Rev. Moon in his talk. However, they could not oppose us. Whenever a student organization sponsors an event, it seeks to further its own interests and goals. CARP cannot be an exception simply because it is affiliated with Rev. Moon. After all, we had made our foundation to speak and Martin was CARP's guest, not Boston University's. Still, the power of the talk was not lost and the audience applauded.

The second speaker, Prof. Palmer, gave a highly principled talk which he entitled: "Idealism and Reality: American Students at the Grassroots in the 1990s." He challenged students to balance idealism with reality. He chided left-wing students for their unrealistic view of the world and advised them to focus on real problems. He also asked inactive students to get more involved in people's lives through participating in community service and peace-corps-type projects.

Martin Mejstrik was the third speaker and spoke on the failure of communism in the East. Most of the audience was composed of liberal undergraduate students, and Martin said:

Forget Marx. Democracy is the only way. It means equal opportunity for all. American democracy is not working because American people are too comfortable and are now self-centered. We have to change that, make it work, not introduce some version of communism or socialism. If you are for some form of communism then you are against humanity. None of you would survive one day under communism in Czechoslovakia. Don't even try to suggest to me that it can work here.

He was extremely confident and very challenging. He gave moving testimonies of the misery he experienced under communist rule. There was a time when he was the third most closely watched individual by the secret police in Prague. Fortunately, he was never arrested.

During the question and answer session, students asked him how he managed to gain victory under such difficult circumstances. He testified to his belief in God and to the fact that it was the religious people who had the strength to endure communist rule. He explained his belief in tolerance and patience, virtues that a priest taught him early in his life.

Ice-cream toast to Martin during his surprise farewell party at the Boston CARP student center.

University Tours

On Friday morning, Mark Turner took Martin on a tour of Northeastern University. Martin had a meeting with a representative of the Dean of Students and also met some student leaders. At 1:15 p.m., he had an unofficial meeting with the assistant to the President of Boston University, along with Paul, John and an interpreter. The President's assistant was surprised that CARP could invite such a dignitary. During the half-hour long discussion, Martin introduced his project, Education for Democracy, in detail, and asked if Boston University could assist Czechoslovakia in improving its educational system. The assistant could give no definite assurances, but said he would make all requests known to the President of Boston University.

Later on, we took Martin to the office of the Boston University Student Government. He insisted on speaking to the student leaders in their working environment and thus conducted an informal meeting. He asked pointed questions, trying to find out exactly what they did, what kind of influence they held in the school's decision making process, and how they led the students. Within minutes he had figured out that student government was not overly effective. He told them:

You have to get everybody involved in more than just your university and the United States. Become global in your thinking. Initiate a worldwide student information exchange; you have the facilities here. Form partnerships with student leaders in Europe and Asia. I can help you get in contact with them. Your thinking has to become much broader.

The student leaders respected his opinion and sought his advice on a number of issues. He was very challenging, his perspective obviously different. The meeting lasted an hour and a half, much longer than we had planned.

In the afternoon, Martin had what in our opinion was one of his most significant Boston meetings. He met with student leaders in Harvard concerned with the revolutions in China and the East bloc. He has taken upon himself the task of helping revolutionary leaders understand unity. In China, for example, the student leaders disunited causing their revolution to lose its power. Martin said, "At a time of war, we have to ignore petty differences and work together to defeat our common enemy. After we gain victory we can then work to solve our personal problems. Otherwise, we will never win."

East/West Cooperation

A lot of effort was placed in the preparation for the reception due to be held that evening. We made huge displays of the World Media Conference in Moscow. The Boston CARP Student Center was transformed into a banquet facility. As a highlight, we invited Martin's friend and fellow revolutionary, Peter Mathern to give a prepared presentation of the revolution. Peter is an important student leader at Charles University, Prague, the most prestigious school in Czechoslovakia. He had a film and slide show of the actual events leading up to the final victory last November. He had already given his presentation to Cornell, Princeton, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, NYU and other universities.

The reception was well attended. We had a group of distinguished guests present, most of them student leaders. Many guests were curious about Father's meeting with President Gorbachev. During dinner, the guests got a chance to meet Martin personally. For the final part of the program, Peter gave his intense and yet inspiring presentation. He told us later that of all the audiences he had talked to in the United States, ours was the best. After the presentation, Paul introduced Project CHIP to the guests and also explained Martin's project, Education for Democracy. We invited everyone to participate in the projects and pledged CARP's support for Czechoslovakia. We then gave gifts to both Martin and Peter. After the reception, some participants expressed their desire to teach English in Czechoslovakia. Others wanted to start working with Project CHIP. The response was very encouraging.

On Sunday morning, Peter Mathern met Tony Devine, the regional CARP leader. They discussed the possible cooperation between CARP and Czechoslovakian students. That afternoon, Martin had a lunch meeting with Tony that lasted over four hours. Tony explained Father's vision for the East bloc. Gradually Martin could understand that the Unification Movement is truly the only group of people working sacrificially on a worldwide level for the sake of the world.

Martin left Boston on Monday evening, after a surprise farewell party we arranged for him. He met Dr. Seuk at the World Mission center on Tuesday evening. He is now in close contact with the staff at the CARP headquarters. He understands the Unification Movement and we should be seeing and hearing more from him.

After this event, the atmosphere around campus is much different. CARP is now regarded as a serious organization, capable of arranging top-quality events on campus. However, once all the dust has settled, the ultimate test will be our witnessing victory. How can we take this external victory and gain an internal victory? We are working on that and gathering momentum for the fall semester. We are determined to bring victory for God and True Parents. 

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