About 175 demonstrators opposed to Harvard's participation in Project Cambridge marched peacefully into Dean Ford's office in University Hall at 12:40 p.m. yesterday.
After Dean Sheppard 71, one of the demonstration's organizers, read Ford a statement demanding "the total dismemberment of Project Cambridge," the group left. The statement was written on the back of a leafter shortly before a noon rally attended by 300 in front of University Hall.
The rally, sponsored by the November Action Committee (NAC). was timed for the day of the Faculty Committee on Research Policy's meeting to begin considering Harvard participation in the Cambridge Project. (Details of that meeting are in another story on this page.)
The Project, funded by the Defense Department. would use computers for research in social science methodologies. Radicals say the Project would aid efforts to suppress national liberation movements.
NAC representatives argued before the rally with members of Harvard SDS (Worker-Student Alliance) about the number of speakers to represent each group. NAC's ideology is close to that of the Revolutionary Youth Movement (RYM). RYM and WSA are bitter opponents. Speakers from the two groups finally took turns at the microphone on the southeast steps of University Hall. All five- three from NAC and two from WSA- spoke against the Project.
One NAC representative, Frank Ackerman, denounced the Project as "raising the social sciences to the level of U.S. imperialism. The Project will not involve pure research but will further the purposes of American imperialism. We will attack the project in any form."
Jared Israel 67, a member of the Progressive Labor Party (affiliated withWSA), attacked the Project but also denounced Thursday's violent invasion of the Center for International Affairs, which he called "an attack on working people-absurdity, not militancy. We need to fight the administration, not the people."
At 12:35 Sheppard read the NAC statement to the group and said he was going upstairs to present it to Ford.
Ford was looking over lecture notes on the wars of religion as the demonstrators met outside. He had directed that the doors to his office be left open to make access as easy as possible.
But seconds before demonstrators reached the door leading to the secondfloor suite of offices, an agitated secretary-apparently afraid of a building takeover or a violent invasion-locked the door. Sheppard knocked on the door, and Ford ealled from his office, "Is somebody letting them in? Go ahead, let them in."
When the door was opened. Sheppard and a crowd of reporters led the demonstrators into Ford's office. Many could not get in; they filled adjacent offices and the hall while Sheppard read the statment:
"To the Faculty Committee on Research Policy:
"We demand the total dismemberment of Project Cambridge. This does not merely mean that Harvard disavow all institutional connections to it. though that is surely a part of our demand.
"We intend to build a citywide movement to stop Project Cambridge in whatever form it may assume. Please pass this message on to your allies in the Department of Defense and the social science academies and to your bosses in the Harvard and other corporations."
After Sheppard read the statement. Ford said, "Could I ask a question and make one brief statement?" He then asked who "we" in the statement included: several in the crowd shouted back "Us." Sheppard said he represented the NAC.
Ford promised that the statement would be read at the Committee on Research Policy meeting. and added that no decision would be reached at that meeting.
There was a brief period of silence, and then Sheppard started a chant, "Stop Cam." The demonstrators filed through Ford's office on their way out of the building. One student carried on his shoulder a briefcase with the sticker "BAN DDT."
Ford held an impromptu press conference as the demonstrators filed out. He asked reporters if the marching was going on in other parts of the building and was told it was not.
He said the group was "a perfectly orderly but large delegation." In response to a question. he said those involved "didn't sound like the same people" who invaded the Center Thursday.
"As of now." Ford said. "I don't have a strong moral feeling about the Project." but such a feeling "might develop as we hear more about the Project" He also said he has "moral reservations against any philosophy saying that the assemblage of knowledge" is evil in itself.
He added that he was "unable to define the other addressees" in the NAC statement- "your allies in the Department of Defense and the social science academies and. . . bosses in the Harvard and other corporations." Therefore, he said. he could not "pass the message" to them as the statement asked.
Back outside. the demonstrators listened to more speeches. One WSA woman told the crowd she had seen a frightened secretary inside the building holding a letter opener and a pair of seissors for defense. The meeting broke up a few minutes later.