Assisted by three Harvard police officers, Harvard Business School (HBS) officials prohibited a group of undergraduates representing the Progressive Student Labor Movement (PSLM) from handing out leaflets on the Business School campus yesterday morning.
About 15 students began handing out the flyers on in front of the Business School's Baker Library at about 9:10 a.m.
The police and HBS officials arrived at the Library shortly thereafter.
"It took about three seconds for them to come," said Miranda E. Worthen '01, one of the students involved.
Harvard has a policy of no solicitation and no protesting," Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) Officer Laureen Donahue told the members of the Philips Brooks House-affiliated group.
"The University, as you well know, is private property," Donahue said to the students. "Cease and desist handing out the literature on the property."
Sara R. Wunsch, an American Civil Liberties Union spokesperson, said that the police actions are questionable.
"Harvard officials should not be so certain that they can throw people off campus who are handing out leaflets peacefully," Wunsch said.
The University may have interfered with the students' civil rights under Massachusetts law, according to Wunsch.
The student group was handing out a flyer that criticized Business School Professor Regina E. Herzlinger, who is on the Board of Directors of Cardinal Health, a pharmaceutical company based in Dublin, Ohio.
The flyer accuses Cardinal Health of violating workers' rights during a strike at its Peabody, Mass. distribution facility.
"Tell Cardinal Health and Professor Herzlinger to respect workers rights and put the striking workers back to work," the flyer read.
The flyer further accused the company of hiring "goons, some of whom carry machine guns" who "have assaulted and threatened striking workers."
Connie Kastelnik, a spokesperson for Cardinal Health, said the allegations contained in the flyer are "totally false."
The National Labor Relations Board cleared Cardinal Health of wrongdoing in litigation brought by the strikers, according to letters and documents describing the issue provided by Cardinal Health.