200 Students Stage Boston Sit-In To Urge Federal Action in Selma


More than 200 civil-rights demonstrators spent last night on the eleventh floor of Boston's Federal Building and vowed to remain there until they are promised that the government will send marshals or troops to Alabama.

The sleep-in followed an all day demonstration that filled the outer office of U.S. attorney W. Arthur Garrity from 8 a.m. until the building closed at 5 p.m.

Julian Houston, a leader of the Boston University chapter of the Student Nonviolent Co-ordinating Committee, said the group would stay "until Johnson says he will send troops to defend the rights of Negro Americans and civil rights workers in Alabama."

The demonstrators decided to spend the night after learning late in the afternoon that they would not be forced to leave the building.

Later yesterday evening, the demonstrators were asked to leave. However, police officials declined to say whether the students would be removed by force if they chose to stay.

In Washington, President Johnson was quoted as saying that he would not be "black-jacked" into taking any hasty action.

Hundreds of civil rights demonstrators picketed the White House all day yesterday. Meanwhile, 4000 churchmen from all over the nation rallied near the Capitol to demand extended civil rights legislation and federal intervention.

Johnson scheduled a news conference for this afternoon with voting rights legislation expected to be his major topic.

In Boston, a spokesman for the Student Nonviolent Co-ordinating Committee said that if the Washington Branch of SNCC decides to hold a demonstration in the capital, the sit-in in the Federal Building will end and all demonstrators will be sent to Washington.

Alabama Governor George Wallace said he would come to Washington if granted an appointment with President Johnson. In a telegram to the President, Wallace said a solution leading to the cessation of civil rights demonstrations is urgently needed.

Attorney General Nicholas deB. Katzenbach has said he hopes to have a message to Congress on voting rights ready for the President by this afternoon. He said the message might go to Congress next week.

On Sunday, the Congress of Racial Equality and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference plan to hold a rally in the Boston Common. There will be speeches by people just returned from Selma and a memorial service for the Rev. James J. Reeb. who died Thursday.