Dec. 12, 1962 - President Kennedy today criticized boycotts against American merchants selling Iron Curtain imports as ineffective as an attack on communism. He suggested the John Birch Society and similar groups backing the nationwide drive devote their energies to supporting positive programs against communism. “If they really want to do something about the spread of communism,” the President said at his news conference, “they will assist the Alliance for Progress, for one thing, or they will encourage their children to join the Peace Corps…or be generous to students who come here to study and show them something of America. Those are the things that really make a difference, not going down and, because some merchant has Polish ham in his shop, saying he is unpatriotic.” The boycotts have been attempted in many cities around the nation by groups called “Committees to Warn of the Arrival of Communist Merchandise on the Local Business Scene.” If merchants refuse demands to remove Iron Curtain imports from their shelves, the committee distributes leaflets denouncing the store for selling Communist merchandise.
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