'Militant Taxpayer' Blasts 'Creeps'
I would like to dissent from the prevailing view of recent events here. The group which occupied University Hall acted with disregard for the consent and sentiments of the rest of the university community, and showed little or no concern for the "civility" of their disobedience, as evidenced by the ejection of the Deans and by the rifling of files and the publication of their contents. The immediate removal of the group was justified; moreover, the character of the seizure overrode any obligation the administration might otherwise have had to make the civility of the removal their paramount concern.
It is unfortunate that police should club Harvard students, but no more or less so than that they should club anyone else. Suppose that some ROTC cadets had seized the hall to protest withdrawal of credit from ROTC courses. Suppose that they had similarly ejected Deans and rifled files, and had been removed by a similar police operation. Would there be the same anti-administration feeling as now exists?
SDS has been urging the oppressed classes to react militantly against their exploiters. How strange that when the thoroughly working-class police set aside their false consciousness at Harvard and club the sons of the ruling class, they are portrayed not as the agents of class-conflict but as fascist pigs. From accounts I have seen, the brutality of the police action consisted as much of psychological shock as of real physical abuse. Any abuse of police power is deplorable; still, if one wants to sponsor revolutionary, up-against-the-wall-type confrontations, one ought to accept the accompanying risks and not be too quick to cry foul.
By any fair standard, Harvard is a just and decent institution. It would be too bad if the university were damaged because of anger at administration action which was in my opinion, justified under the circumstances. LAWRENCE D. BROWN '69