Knowles Calls Up National Guard To Subdue Wisconsin Student Riot
Governor Warren G. Knowles called in the Wisconsin National Guard yesterday afternoon to quell student demonstrations on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.
The Governor's action came in the wake of arrests and violence on the fifth day of a student strike in support of 13 "non-negotiable" black demands, including the establishment of an autonomous black studies department.
The Governor said he is determined that the university "will not be closed down," but will continue to function "in pursuit of its primary mission--the education of our young citizens."
At noon yesterday, 1500-2000 black and white demonstrators blocked the entrance to all major buildings on the campus, including Van Hise Hall, where the office of university president Fred H. Harrington is located.
Fights with Right-Wingers
Groups of ten students each from the right-wing Young Americans for Freedom, forming what they called "Hayakawa squads," attempted to break through the pickets, and bloody fist fights ensued. Five students were arrested and Chambers University Hospital admitted several more with minor abrasions and facial cuts.
Black leaders called another large student rally for 8 p.m. last night in response to the Guard call-up. The rally was expected to draw the largest number of students since the protest began last Friday.
After the fights on campus yesterday, Harrington and university chancellor H. Edwin Young asked Madison Mayor Otto F. Festges to request assistance from the Wisconsin National Guard. Knowles ordered 900 soldiers to move onto the campus last night to "assist local law enforcement officers to restore order on the University of Wisconsin campus."
Young issued a statement Tuesday saying that the university intended to issue an academic response to the demands, but there have been no meetings between blacks and the administration yet to discuss specific proposals.
Even if the administration were to agree, the black demands must be approved by the State Board of Regents and ultimately the state legislature, where the demonstrations were vehemently denounced yesterday.
In bitter cold, the students picketed classes for three-and-a-half hours yesterday afternoon, then dispersed promptly at 3:30 p.m. "Apparently, they are using a hit and run technique," an editor of the Wisconsin Daily Cardinal said yesterday. Terming the tactics "spontaneous picketing," he said that the militant black demonstration leaders are keeping their plans for tomorrow quiet and will disclose them only at the scheduled rallies during the day.
An administration spokesman said the university planned to get tough.
"We're getting tired of being pushed around," a spokesman for the chancellor's office said. "They could play this Mickey Mouse game with us for 100 days," he added.