May Suspends All in Building; OBU Held Faculty Club Earlier
Nearly 100 members of the Organization for Black Unity (OBU) occupied University Hall for four and a half hours today, but left peacefully after the University obtained a temporary restraining order against the demonstration.
The demonstrators walked out of the building at 4:45 p. m.-two hours after the court issued the injunction and three hours after Dean May temporarily suspended all students involved in the demonstration.
The students filed out slowly, passed under the brilliant television lights, and chanted, "Black black power to the African people."
The occupation followed a similar occupation of the Faculty Club for three hours this morning and a dawn demonstration at the Gund Hall construction site on Quincy St.
The occupation of University Hall was the second in the last week by black students who are attempting to dramatize their demands on Harvard's hiring policy.
The administration obtained the temporary restraining order at 3 p. m. after a 45-minute hearing before Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Thomas Spring. Harvard was represented by Attorney John H. Harrington, Jr. and L. Gard Wiggins, Administrative Vice President.
The order named six members of OBU and Afro-Leslie F. Griffin, Phillip N. Lee, Gregory K. Pilkington, Edward Sanders-Bey, Roderick J. Harrison, and Mark D. Smith-and applies to all others in University Hall as well. The text of the order, which went into effect immediately, is "to keep them from occupying, trespassing, or remaining in or about University Hall, the Gund Hall construction site, the Faculty Club, or any other building or premises of the President and Fellows of Harvard College."
The students decided to leave as soon as the injunction was served because violation of the court order would have made them liable to jail sentences for contempt of court, one OBU member said.
May issued the temporary suspension at 2 p. m., with members of the Rights and Responsibilities Committee and several House members looking on. He then proceeded to announce the court injunction a few minutes later.
May appeared inside University Hall at 1:45 p. m. After knocking on his office door and trying unsuccessfully to open the door with his key, May read a statement to demonstrators over a bullhorn warning them of temporary suspension.
"The University wishes, insofar as it can, to handle this demonstration as a purely internal University matter. At the same time, we cannot accept the continuation of this or any other obstructive demonstration." he said.
May warned the students of even more severe punishment if they continued to occupy the building after being suspended and also warned of the court injunction.
May said he decided on temporary suspension, the first occasion it has ever been used, after consulting with members of the Subcommittee of Six on the Rights and Responsibilities Committee and "appropriate" other persons.
The five OBU leaders named in the suspension announcement are Mark Smith, Griffin, Bruce Smith, Harrison, and Bonnie Lee Carter.
The Committee of Six met in Wadsworth House at 3 p. m. with Dean May and representatives of the liberal and conservative caucuses of the Faculty. The meeting ended at 4 when about 50 members of SDS broke into the building. No incidents of violence were reported and the meeting had already adjourned when the SDS members entered.