Police Re-Take Building, Arrest Berkeley Students
Five hundred policemen moved onto the University of California at Berkeley campus early yesterday morning and cleared an administrative building of 72 students who had occupied it for a day.
Police arrested 76 students during their three-hour occupation of the campus. Two students and three policemen were injured in small fights that broke out.
Roger W. Heyns, Chancellor of the University, made a strong statement yesterday afternoon listing extensive damage to the Hall and recommending the explusion or dismissal of the students who occupied it.
A few hours after the police left, 3000 people rallied and called for a class boycott today followed by an official strike by students Monday. The United Federation of Teachers, the teaching assistants' union, has also called on its members to boycott today and strike Monday.
The building, Moses Hall, was the second students occupied this week in a conflict stemming from the California Board of Regents' decision not to give credit for a course in which Eldridge Cleaver is lecturing. One hundred students have asked to take the course for credit and 400 are auditing it.
The seizures and accompanying demonstrations are the biggest disturbances on the campus since the 1964 Free Speech Movement crisis.
Two hundred students seized Moses Hall, which houses most of the administrative offices of the College of Letters and Sciences, on Wednesday afternoon. Willis Shotwell, assistant dean of students, threatened the students with university discipline, and shortly afterwards all but 72 of them left the building.
About 350 students stayed around bonfires outside the building all night until the police dispersed them at 5 a.m.
The students inside voted not to touch any files, but later admitted that they had destroyed some. The dean of the college, Walter Knight, and six of his colleagues barricaded themselves in one room during the occupation to protect important papers.
After the police had cleared the building, the interior was found to be in a state of complete disarray. One reporter from the student newspaper, The Daily Californian, who was inside before the police came said, "It's my opinion that the police did more damage than the students."
Chancellor Heyns termed the destruction "an act of senselessness," and is holding the students responsible for all damage.
The 76 students arrested were charged with disturbing the peace, malicious mischief, and trepassing. Bail for each was set at $1650, and their arraignment is today.
Violence broke out briefly as the police were leaving the campus. A crowd of about 600 students, blocked by police barricades from going to 8 a.m. classes, gathered around departing police and started chanting "Sieg Heil," "Free Huey," and "Pigs off campus." Ten policemen broke off and started hitting students. Two students were injured and a reporter's camera was smashed.