Trial Begins for 25 Bick Demonstrators
District Court Judge Haven Parker '22 heard all the evidence but failed to reach a decision, yesterday, on the seven trespassing cases stemming from a standin demonstration sponsored by Boston CORE in the Harvard Square Hayes-Bickford Cafeteria, on the evening of July 10.
Judge Parker also heard part of the testimony in the cases of 18 persons arrested outside the Bick at about 1:30 a.m., July 11, and charged with disturbing the peace. The court reconvenes to consider those cases at 9:30 this morning.
All 25 cases resulted from incidents occurring during CORE demonstrations protesting alleged discrimination in Hayes-Bickford hiring practices.
Two persons also arrested durng the picketing the morning of July 11 had their cases tried separately last Tuesday. Each pled guilty to a charge of disturbing the peace and was fined $75.
Those charged with trespassing entered the Bick at about 11:30 p.m. and, by their own admission, lined up with their backs against the counter so as to keep anyone from being served. The night manager then called the regular manager of the Harvard Square restaurant, Joseph Belinski.
Belinski arrived and announced that the store was being closed, and that everyone would have to leave. He had closed the Bick for about two hours earlier that evening, because of picketing outside the restaurant.
The CORE standers in did not leave, however. Belinski then called Cambridge police Sergent John Walsh, who also told the demonstrators that the Bick was being closed and that they would have to leave. George Carpenter, one of those arrested, testified that Walsh then had the following conversation with the leader of the group, James J. Bishop:
WALSH: "You have been asked to leave. If you don't leave, I'll have to arrest you."
BISHOP: "Under what section?"
WALSH: "I don't know the number, but I'll have to arrest you."
Bishop then turned around, according to Carpenter, picked up the sign he had brought with him, and started for the door. At this point, Carpenter said, Walsh said to one of the officers then in the Bick, "That's it. Take him away." The other six were arrested immediately after Bishop.
Bishop testified that he had intended to leave before he was arrested, as he and the others had in demonstrations earler that night in Hayos-Bickford branches in Brookline and on Massachusetts Ave. in Boston. Carpenter termed that "the formulated plan of the group."
Edward J. Barshak, who represented five of the seven defendants claimed in his summation that as the demonstrators had not been directly ordered to leave, they could not properly be charged with trespass. He pointed out that those arresed had left the other branches of the Bick when ordered to, and suggested that there must have been some sort of "misunderstanding."
He also claimed that as the statute in questions specifies those who "without right," remain after being asked to leave, the defendants could not be found guilty. Keeping a store open constitutes an invitation to the public, he said, and as the Bick management seemed in no hurry to clear out the other customers, that invitation could not be considered to have been revoked.
Barshak further pointed out that the official complaint filed against the defendents stated that they had refused to leave after being told to by Leonard McGlaughlin, a Hayes Bickford executive present at the time. Belinski had testified that McGlaughlin told him to handle the situation, and had said nothing at all.
"To convict me of robbing the bailiff, even if I have robbed the clerk," said Barshak, "would not be due proceed of law."
"Justice is Excluded"
Charles H. Wellman '22 waived his right to counsel. When his turn to question the first witness came, he asked, "Is it not true that the whole foundation of the case is the unfair and ..." The judge cut him off, ruled the question irrelevant, and excluded it. "Then sir," said Wellman, "justice is excluded."
Parker warned Wellman that any future comments in that vein would be taken as contempt of court. Thereafter, Wellman put forward the same question to each prosecution witness, but said nothing when Parker excluded it