Police Arrest Five Yale Students In Mississippi Civil Rights Work
At least five Yale students and two non-Yale members of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee have been arrested in Mississippi for their part in the political campaign of Aaron Henry, president of the state branch of the NAACP and a candidate for governor.
Harassment of Henry's political organization has become particularly severe in the last several days. According to Michael L. Sayer '61, who is in Mississippi, "It is almost impossible for campaign workers to leave their offices anywhere in the state without the fear of being arrested. We expect arrest every three or four months."
Sayer said yesterday that many workers have been arrested recently on trumped-up charges of running stop signs and reckless driving. In one incident cited by Sayer, a Yale student was forced to leave campaign headquarters to hear a lengthy and abusive lecture from four policemen. The next morning he was arrested on a charge of reckless driving.
State and local police seem to be concentrating on out-of-state workers, whom they consider "moddlers and agitators," Sayer said. They arrested a Yale student for distributing leaflets, but failed to question a local Negro girl who was aiding him. Other out-of-state workers were followed for hours before their arrests.
Aaron's campaign manager, Robert Moses, has protested the police action against his workers in a telegram to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy '48. "If voter registration is to be meaningful," he said, "there must be opportunity for political action. We urge you to intervene on behalf of democracy."