Seven folksingers gathered on the banks of the Charles yesterday to test their voices, their constitutional right of assembly, and the patience of the Metropolitan District Commission police.
The police, who had dispersed a much larger and more spirited gathering the previous Sunday, took little notice of this one, however. For over three hours the folksingers strummed and sang, undisturbed either by officials of the law or by the small crowd of 100 which gathered to watch.
Master Wylie and Mrs. Wylie wandered down from Quincy House "looking for some excitement," but found the whole thing pretty tame. So did the Dunster House tutor who lingered for a few minutes and then turned to leave, remarking that "this seems to be rather dull."
Ten feet away from the folksingers, a fine arts major sprawled out with a sheet of graph paper and his copy of introduction to Solid State Physics, and in the background a group of Eliot House jocks warmed up with a pigskin--in violation of Ivy League regulations--in preparation for next fall's defense of the House football title.
Most of the excitement of the afternoon was provided by the two-year-old who broke through the circle of on-lookers and advanced pell-mell on the small group of folksingers. An embarrassed mother rescued him before he had a chance to step on any guitars.
The folksingers were undaunted. When asked why they had come down, one of them explained, "We heard about what happened last week and thought it was pretty unfair." He said the folk-sing was "a kind of protest." The police haven't been by at all," he noted. "I wonder why."
But their valor did not go unrecorded. A German film company preparing a documentary on Harvard for the das deutsche Fernsehen shot hundreds of feet of the folksing, complete with soundtrack. The cameraman did not explain how they had gotten word of the protest. "Just passing by," he said.