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The Organization for Black Unity has asked all black Harvard students to boycott classes and go home to rally "national and international support" in its battle with the Harvard administration.
OBU leaders would not say whether the members planned to resign from the University, or how long the strike would last. "It is an open-ended thing," said one OBU member.
In its statement yesterday, OBU also requested black Faculty members and administrators to join them. "White students can do as they please," OBU member Roger Wareham said.
The OBU statement accused Harvard of "racist and discriminatory hiring practices" and said that as an American institution Harvard has been built "on foundations of forced black labor." It said the only legitimate purpose of blacks on this campus is "to study and push for the liberation of all African peoples."
The strike officially begins this morning although some black law students left for home last night.
Archie Epps, assistant dean of Harvard College, had no comment. Martin Kilson, professor of Government, said, "I don't plan to boycott; my job is to teach." Ewart G. Guinier 33, chairman of the Afro-American Studies Department, was unavailable for comment.
OBU has demanded a 20 per cent quota of minority-group workers on Harvard construction sites. "For each day Harvard delays in meeting the 20 per cent demand, that percentage should go up. That is the price Harvard must pay for having benefited from the exploitation of black people," the statement said.
OBU said it is contemplating further action against the University. "The strategy committee will be preparing future attacks upon this most morally depraved institution," the statement reads.
OBU leaders also claimed that 86 students had been suspended for the takeover of University Hall last Thursday. They said the students were being identified from pictures taken as they left the building.
However, James Q. Wilson, chairman of the Subcommittee of Six-which is responsible for issuing temporary suspensions-said yesterday that no students had been suspended. "No notices have been sent out; no count of any students has been made; nothing officially has happened since Friday afternoon," he said.
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