Shortly after noon today, more than 100 demonstrators occupied University Hall. As of 6 p.m., the demonstrators numbering 200–down from 350 at 4 p.m.–were still holding the building.
The demonstrators ejected all Administration officials and staff members from the hall, early in the afternoon, some by force.
Before leaving peacefully at 12:50, Dean Glimp several times told the demonstrators that their continued presence in the hall would subject them to disciplinary action. “You are obstructing the movement of individuals in this building. This alone merits disciplinary action. Furthermore, I am now instructing you to get out of here,” Glimp said.
Shortly after 4 p.m., Dean Ford ordered the Yard sealed and warned that any students remaining in the building after 4:30 would be subject to charges of criminal trespass. University Policemen locked the Yard gates at 4:30, and only freshmen with bursar’s cards were allowed to enter.
The demonstrators within the building did no major damage to offices, although several spray-painted slogans on the walls. Others attempted to erase some of the slogans. Two secretaries leaving the news office in the basement of the building said that some files had been removed from offices in the building for safekeeping elsewhere earlier this morning.
After 3 p.m. most telephones in the building went dead.
Throughout the afternoon, supporters–and some opponents–of the seizure rallied outside the building. A vote at 1:15 found 800 of those outside supporting the occupation, and 400 opposing it. The rally was generally peaceful, although several scuffles occurred, and an effigy of an SDS member was burned at 3 p.m.
The movement into the building came just after the beginning of the rally, which was sponsored by SDS. The rally began at noon with a reading of demands upon the university.
The demonstrators’ six demands are:
* “Abolish ROTC immediately by breaking all existing ROTC contracts and not entering into any new ones;
* “Replace all ROTC scholarships with University scholarships;
* “Restore all scholarships to the Paine Hall demonstrators;
* “Roll back rents in Harvard University-owned buildings to the level of January 1, 1968;
* “No destruction of black workers’ homes around the Medical School;
* “No destruction of University Road apartments for the construction of the Kennedy School.”
After the reading of the demands was finished a few minutes after noon, a speaker shouted, “It is time for us to tell the Corporation now by action what we’ve been telling them all fall by words and action.” Chanting “Fight, Fight,” more than 100 members of the crowd surged into University Hall.
At 12:15, several demonstrators barred Deans Glimp, Watson, and Archie C. Epps from entering the reception room of the Dean of Students’ office. John C. Berg, 5-GSAS, one of the demonstration leaders and a member of the Progressive Labor Party, shouted, “We’re going to have to throw some people out.”
Between 12:25 and 12:35, Watson, Epps, Freshman Dean F. Skiddy von Stade, Freshman Senior Advisors James E. Thomas, Christopher Wadsworth, W. C. Burrris Young, and two photographers were ejected from the main reception room.
Most of the administrators put up at least token resistance, and Epps resisted strongly. All, however, were shoved out of the building. Thomas was carried out bodily, slung over the back of a demonstrator. As Thomas was carried out, Berg grabbed his head, and Thomas’s glasses fell to the floor. Other demonstrators returned them to him.
Ford and Glimp, who had been conferring in Ford’s office on the second floor, came downstairs and addressed the demonstrators. When a student unconnected with the demonstration was forcibly prevented from entering the building, Ford said, “I hope it’s clear to you all that you’re obstructing the free passage of members of this community.” After getting their coats and arguing with demonstrators, Ford and Glimp left.
As the administrators were ejected, the demonstrators began chaining shut the doors to the building, though they later reopened two, and allowed anyone who did not appear to be an administrator to enter.
Several of those occupying the building rearranged the letters on the hall directory to read:
“Liberated Area . . . Che Guevara Hall . . . Fight Racism . . . Get out of Vietnam . . . Power to the People . . . Lieutenant Fraud . . . Smash Imperialism . . ROTC Must Go . . . Amen.”
At 1:30 nearly 300 demonstrators gathered in the Faculty lounge on the second floor of University Hall to discuss tactics and rally support.
Open discussions, chaired by Richard E. Hyland ’69-3, lasted all afternoon. By 3 p.m. groups were organized to go to all the Harvard Houses and Radcliffe dorms to gather more people. A rally back at University Hall was tentatively planned for 5:30 p.m.
tA 6 p.m., the meeting voted not to destroy file cabinets.
After an hour of debate the demonstrators voted unanmiously to exclude all non-Harvard press from this and subsequent meetings, and to hold press conferences outside the building. Reporters from the CRIMSON and WHRB were permitted to remain by a vote of about 3 to 1.
“The press should be excluded completely. They distort everything we do,” Carl D. Offner 1G said. “We can make our position well known by ourselves.”
One student suggested that certain members of the press, screened for their sympathy with the demonstrators, be allowed to stay. “This shouldn’t be a political test,” Eugene H. Jenness ’69 answered. “But even the most honest reporting will be distorted. We should try to keep the Administration from finding out what goes on here — we only lose by giving out information that we don’t want public.”
The vote to exclude non-Harvard reporters came at 2:30 p.m., but no steps were taken at that time to carry out the decision.
The other extended debate concerned allowing Faculty and Administration members to remain in the building. The question was raised by the presence of Arthur Smithies, Master of Kirkland House, who was observing the proceedings and speaking to students.
“Smithies said he came here to see what we were doing,” one student said. “He said he’s a Faculty member and this is a Faculty room. He said he didn’t want to abolish ROTC, and is going around approaching people and asking them what they’re doing here.”
The student proposed that Smithies be “asked to leave politely,” but the group voted against this proposal. “There are dangers to having Faculty here,” another student said, “but there are dangers to excluding them. We may lose our strongest link with the outside.”
Later it was decided to exclude from the building only non-Faculty administrators–Masters and senior tutors–who it was feared would take names for punishment.
Several committees were appointed at the meeting, including one in charge of mimeographing literature on the machines in the basement of University Hall, one in charge of supplying food, and one in charge of sanitation. Committees to handle security and the press were planned but not organized.
Early in the meeting several demonstrators asked that all present get rid of any drugs. At least one person was smoking marijuana at the time.
“This is not the time to liberate yourself,” one student said. “We have a collective responsibility to everybody here–a bust could be dangerous. We’re here to get rid of ROTC and stop Harvard from expanding.”
King Collins opposed the motion. “I don’t limit my demands to those of SDS,” he said. “I am taking this building because no one tells me I don’t.”
The meeting voted to ask anyone who wanted to smoke to leave.
Dean Ford made his 4 p.m. statement to the demonstrators from the steps of Widener Library. Using a loud-speaker held by Dean Glimp, Ford said that he and everyone else in University Hall who was conducting University business had been ejected from the building at 12:30 p.m. “Dean Elder, Dean Glimp, and I were the last to leave at 12:45,” Ford said. “When I asked someone who appeared to be a spokesman for the group what he wished to discuss he said ‘nothing,'” he added.
Ford also read a list of four points which he said legal advisers had told him must be heard by all those inside University Hall:
* All gates to the Yard will be locked except the one on Quincy Street near the Freshman Union and the Yard will be closed until further notice. “We are aware that many here don’t support those in University Hall but it seems best in order to prevent violence to close the Yard,” Ford said.
* No effort will be made to induce bystanders to leave the Yard until they wish to do so.
* Freshmen who live in the Yard will have free access in and out of the Yard with proper identification.
* All those who refuse to leave University Hall wihtin the next fifteen minutes will be subject to charges of criminal trespass.
Ford also said that there would be a meeting at 5 p.m. in Lowell Lecture Hall for all those who wish to discuss issues relating to the University Hall seizure.
After reading the statement Ford said that it did not mean that police will be called in, although he did not rule out that possibility. Dean Glimp added that the Administration is determined to get the demonstrators out of the building, but that no time limit for any forcible ejections had been made.
Several upperclassmen reported that their senior tutors had specifically instructed them to leave the Yard, even though Ford had stated that no one would be forced to leave.
After Ford’s statement was given, the demonstrators voted 80-35 to offer non-violent resistance if police were called to clear the building. The atlernative motion was to keep the University Hall doors open, and offer no resistance to police.
Jared M. Israel ’67 told the demonstrators, “We’ve all gotten a little super-panicked too quick. The likelihood is not that they will arrest us in ten minutes.”
Michael S. Ansara ’68 said, “You’re in a very, very strong position, not a weak position.”
Cambridge police reported that 150 police officers — without dogs — had assembled late this afternoon at the Fire Station on Quincy Street, across from Burr Hall.
(Personally, I have issues with large-scale demands that are supposed to the demands of the ‘masses’, primarily because I find it difficult to believe that people actually agree. I think people free-ride on the beliefs of some, and follow blindly without thought. When we repeat ‘we’re the 99%’ for example, do we compute where exactly we are? Or do we just take ‘their’ word for it and repeat with ‘them’? I’m not saying that I or people are not a part of the 99%, but there is a HUGE difference between an individual who belongs in the bottom 5% and an individual who belongs in the bottom 50%. And that difference means that their needs are different, and so, their demands should be different too! As such, rooting for the same cause may or may not be advantageous to all. Individuals need to think for themselves, as well as for the group, and then regroup when necessary, based on actual shared interests. But that’s just my opinion.)