Over 200 Columbia demonstrators yesterday surrounded an on-campus marine recruiting team for forty minutes. A flying wedge of athletes and ROTC members finally rescued the Marines.
The Columbia administration gave two Marine sergeants permission to set up a recruiting desk in the lobby of John Jay Hall, a cafeteria-dormitory complex.
At noon, the Columbia Students for a Democratic Society sponsored an anti-war rally around the nearby sundial -- a traditional center of campus demonstrations. After an hour of speeches, the demonstrators marched to the dormitory to confront the recruiters.
The students crowded into the lobby to question and heckle the recruiters. Shouts of "Hell no, we won't go" arose from the crowd. At least three fistfights flared between demonstrators and students supporting the Marines.
Dean Irving J. Koff requested the crowd to clear the lobby. The demonstrators refused to move.
A group of Columbia athletes and ROTC members then formed the flying wedge to help the Marines to safety.
At least one recruiting team plans to operate as scheduled today on campus. Columbia SDS leaders say they will again demonstrate against the recruiters.