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Over 200 members of the November Action Coalition (NAC) staged an obstructive sit-in outside the M. I. T. administrative offices yesterday afternoon, but left peacefully. The protestors blocked the corridor of the second floor on the main building for nearly four hours, then before breaking up around 5 p. m. to gather for the evening at the M. I. T. student center.
Although there were scattered incidents of scuffling during the afternoon, no demonstrators were arrested, and Cambridge police appeared only in small numbers around the campus throughout the day.
M. I. T. students who participated in the sit-in, however, will face disciplinary action, Paul E. Gray, assistant provost, announced at a press conference late in the afternoon.
The NAC is protesting six specific defense research projects currently being conducted at M. I. T. and has stated that one of their aims is "shutting down" these projects.
But Gray said that yesterday's sit-in did not affect the normal operation of M. I. T. Both the controversial Center for international Studies and Instrumentation labs, where most classified defense research is done, were open.
Secretaries and personnel from the eight administration offices blocked by the sit-in worked in offices "elsewhere on the campus." Gray said. The offices, which include those of M. I. T. president Howard W. Johnson. were locked when the demonstrators arrived.
Gray called the demonstration "obstructive at times" and said student and faculty members were present at the sit-in possibly to identify demonstrators. The observers were members of the Student-Faculty Advisory Group which was set up two weeks ago as a consulting body to the M. I. T. administration.
M. I. T.'s administration is presently seeking ways of prosecuting non-M. I. T. demonstrators, who constitute 70-80 per cent of the NAC, for violating an earlier injunction barring obstructive demonstrations, Gray added.
M. I. T. provost Jerome B. Weisner appeared briefly at the sit-in about 3:30 p. m. to read a warning telling the demonstrators that they were blocking the passage.
"We have received complaints from others who have the same rights that you have." he told them through a bullhorn. "Please clear the passage." His statement was met with clenched fists and chants of "Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh, NLF is going to win" from the students. At one point, a few students grabbed the bullhorn but pro-administration students pulled it away.
During the afternoon sit-in several faculty members mingled with the crowd to observe the situation and talk individually with the protestors. At least one faculty member has been identified as participating in the sit-in. Gray said. Other faculty members reportedly also joined in the NAC group.
At a late meeting of 250 ?AC members in the student center around 2 a. m., support for militant action today appeared to be waning. Protestors decided to split up and canvass in area high schools and colleges to explain the NAC demands and bring people to a final march Saturday from Government Center to the Boston induction center.
After a noon rally in Kresge auditorium sponsored by the Science Action Coordinating Committee (SACC), nearly 300 NAC and SACC members marched to the administrative offices across the street.
While the protestors sat in on the second floor. Newsreel, a radical news media, flashed films and a slide show on Wednesday's confrontation with the police on the wall of the first floor rotunda. About 125 students watched.
A few M. I. T. student's and faculty attempted to break through the line of NAC marshals at the ends of the second floor corridors, but were blocked and pushed back.
One person who identified himself as an M. I. T. student carried a can of mace into the crowd and sprayed a male demonstrator in the face before walking away.
In another incident, as the protestors were leaving the main building through the rotunda, a photographer from the Boston Record American threw a punch at a protestor after several students threw coats over his camera.
Two other reporters were reported injured during the Wednesday NAC demonstration. One of those. Parker Donham 69 of the Boston Globe, said he was injured when police viciously poked him.
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