Panthers Call for Nonviolence on Friday
NEW HAVEN, Conn., April 29-Officials of the Black Panther Party and members of the New Haven Panther Defense Committee-the group which is planning Friday's demonstrations-reaffirmed today their belief that the demonstrations will be nonviolent.
At a press conference this afternoon, Elbert "Big Man" Howard, Deputy Minister of Information of the Black Panther Party, restated the Panthers' support for the weekend's demonstrations by rereading a statement issued Sunday calling for support of the protest, described as "peacefully intended."
He then read a new statement which repeated the Panthers' desire for a peaceful protest but hinted that violence might occur as a result of possible provocations by "the FBI. State Gestapo troopers, and the New Haven Pig Department."
Ann Froines, a spokesman for the Defense Committee, told the press conference that the committee has organized groups of marshals who would "deal with certain situations which might arise and might need cooling off."
Douglas F. Miranda, Panther New England Area Captain, told a rally of 2500 students at Yale's Ingalls Rink that the rally was planned to be nonviolent. But he warned the students to be ready to defend the Panthers if police move against them before Friday.
A group of Yale faculty and students, which had hoped to monitor, the demonstrations, issued tonight a statement asking people to stay away from the demonstrations.
The group, organized by Yale Chaplain William Sloan Coffin, cited what they called "incomplete" arrangements for marshals and the absence of a clear chain of command, adding that "the possibility of disorder seems significantly greater" than in other demonstrations-such as the October Moratorium-which have taken place in New Haven.
New Haven Mayor Bartholomew Guida revealed yesterday that a National Guard unit-called "Task Force Bravo"-will be on standby for the Friday rally. State police will also be on hand.
The Yale campus was calm today. A "strike rally" called for Yale'sBeinecke Plaza drew only about 200 students. Later, 150 students gathered at Beinecke to watch an ad hoc student group present Yale president Kingman Brewster Jr, with a 3000-signature petition, supporting Brewster.
Brewster-who has been cooperating with student proposals to open college medical and dining facilities to demonstrators-has been the target of criticism from Vice President Agnew, who called yesterday for Brewster's removal.
William Horowitz, a member of the Yale Corporation, replied to the criticism today in a letter to Agnew objecting to the speech which he called "unjustified, irresponsible and self-serving."
"I frankly do not believe that your experience as a president of a PTA chapter qualifies you to evaluate the contributions to education by the most distinguished University President in the United States." the letter said.