Students Leave Shanties
Safety Reasons Cited
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.-- When a town official said anti-apartheid protesters who build rickety shanties shouldn't live in them for safety reasons, Williams College students complied.
About 15 protesters remained camped out yesterday next to the four shanties that they began building one week ago on the lawn of the private school to protest its South Africa-related investments.
Town building inspector Michael Card said his request that students refrain from going inside the shanties was not an attempt to enter into a political debate and not an effort to evacuate them for destruction.
"Unfortunately, their protest took a form in which there are overtones of public safety," Card said. "I was very concerned about the students actually staying inside the buildings. They could collapse in a heavy wind, and there's also an issue of fire safety."
Meanwhile, college President Francis C. Oakley agreed to implement three of four proposals put forth by Williams Students for Divestment to educate students about selling stocks as a means of pressing for an end to racial segregation in South Africa, college spokesman James G. Kolesar said Thursday.
"We moved all our sleeping bags and stuff outside, and we still plan to stay here. Since we're not allowed to sleep or live in the shanties, we now regard them as pieces of art," one protester said.