SDS Pickets Hong Kong
Charges Racial Discrimination
About 25 members of the Boston University SDS picketed the Hong Kong Restaurant in the Square Friday night protesting alleged racial discrimination against a black B.U. professor who attempted to rent an apartment from the restaurant's owner.
Several patrons took literature from the demonstrators, but no one boycotted the restaurant because of the picketing.
Unoka Okonjo, professor of Sociology at B.U., said Friday night that Mary Lee, the owner of the Hong Kong and landlord of 118 Columbia St. in Brookline, had reneged on a promise her agent made to rent Okonjo an apartment.
Okonjo said Lee had told one of her tenants, Laurie Antonick, a secretary at B.U., to look for someone to fill a vacant apartment in the building. "Laurie told me about the apartment and advised that I call James Chin, Mrs. Lee's agent," Okonjo said.
Okonjo said that Chin showed her the apartment two weeks ago and they agreed that she would rent it.
"When I came to school Monday, Laurie told me that Mrs. Lee had decided to rent the apartment to her son who already has an apartment upstairs," Okonjo said.
Lee said Friday night that she never put the apartment on the rental market. "Chris (Laurie Antonick's husband) called the rental agent on his own and told him the apartment was available. Laurie then told Okonjo to talk to the agent about the apartment," she said.
"I never tried to put it on the market, and if it were available, I wouldn't hesitate to rent it to a black," Lee said.
Chris Antonick said Friday that Lee's explanation is "a lot of bullshit," He said Lee has asked him to try to find tenants for the apartment on two occasions.
"I did call the rental agent to get him to show it to Unoka, but only after Mrs. Lee's son told me to," Antonick said.