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Last Ditch Washington Moves Fail To Stop Today's Allston Evictions


The last ditch efforts of two Allston families to delay eviction from their homes failed in Washington yesterday, when neither the Supreme Court nor officials from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would authorize an injunction preventing evictions which the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) has scheduled for today.

By a ruling delivered on Monday in the First Circuit Court of Appeals, the families "must be physically evicted forthwith" if they have not vacated their homes by 9 a. m. today. Spokesmen for the families have repeatedly said they will not move voluntarily.

Yesterday two of the four families originally fighting eviction left their homes on North Harvard Street. Mrs. Stanley Zalesky agreed to accept relocation during the day, and a large bulldozer razed her house shortly afterwards. In the evening Mrs. Emily Sweeney vacated, apparently to accept relocation. A Boston patrolman on the scene at midnight said that Mrs. Sweeney's house had been boarded up after she left.

The only families left as of midnight were the Albert Redgates and Mrs. Eunice Hollum and her daughter, Mrs. Mary Casey.

November 1 Deadline

The Committee for North Harvard, a community group which is sponsoring the construction of a 212-unit housing project on the Allston site, has said that the buildings "must get into the ground by November 1," if the project is to reach completion. After November 1, the Vappi Construction Company will not undertake the job for the funds presently available.

Three members of the families yesterday flew to Washington to request that HUD officials instruct the BRA to stay eviction proceedings pending a Federal investigation of their case. Their efforts were unsuccessful yesterday, and it was unclear late last night what further moves in Washington the families themselves planned, if any.

The group's lawyers, Edmund E. Fleming and Brian Michael Olmstead, also took the case to Washington yesterday. They presented their arguments for a temporary restraining order to Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr., but Brennan denied their request.

Lowry Hemphill '72, a member of the SDS anti-expansion committee, last night said that about 200 Harvard students would be present at North Harvard Street this morning if Deputy Sheriffs attempted an eviction. Students from other schools in the area will also be mobilized in an attempt to prevent the Sheriffs from evicing the families.

Miss Hemphill said that she didn't "anticipate fighting the police." If the Sheriffs see a lot of people there they might avoid violent eviction proceedings, and the BRA might offer the families much better relocation opportunities than have been presented in the past, she added.

Nine Year Fight

Today's prebable evictions will end a nine-year struggle between the North Harvard comminuity and utban renewal forest. The BRA initiated eminent domain proceedings in 1961 when about 60 buildings stood on the proposed buil ding site. Eviction proceedings erupted in violence in 1965, and the project was then changed from luxury apartments to low and moderate income housing.

Since 1965 the number of families resisting evictions has been reduced to two by BRA relocation efforts. These two will probably lose their nine-year fight sometime today.

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