News

The New Gen Ed Lottery System, Explained

News

Armed Individuals Sighted in Harvard Square Arraigned

News

Harvard Students Form Coalition Supporting Slave Photo Lawsuit's Demands

News

Police Apprehend Armed Man and Woman in Central Square

News

107 Faculty Called for Review of Tenure Procedures in Letter to Dean Gay

Pickets Close Down University Hall, Block Administrators From Building

By Michael J. Bishop and Shirley E. Wolman

About 350 strikers formed a militant picket line around University Hall yesterday to prevent deans and other Harvard administrators from entering the building.

The action, voted by a mass meeting of strikers Thursday night, was taken in support of three demands:

that workers be allowed to strike without official or unofficial reprisals;

that all employees receive their pay for the rest of the year regardless of the strike's outcome;

that workers' time on strike not be deducted from paid vacation time.

Members of a "non-violent vigil"- strikers who opposed this tactic and students who oppose the strike-were at University Hall well before the picket line was set up.

One of their leaders, Christopher Easter '73, president of the Freshman Council, called for a new meeting to "reassert the original premises of the strike, [including] that tactics are nonviolent."

The demonstrators dispersed when the Strike Steering Committee agreed to call a mass meeting for Sunday night (9 p.m. in Sanders Theatre).

The strikers formed two moving circles, completely surrounding the building. Members of the Steering Committee told the pickets, "If an administrator comes, we do not take physical retaliation; we obstruct him and block him non-violently with our bodies."

At 11:50 a.m., Archibald Cox '34, Samuel Williston Professor of Law and spokesman for the University, and acting dean Dunlop approached the line and asked, "Will you let us through?" The pickets answered, "Not until you pay the striking workers."

Cox and Dunlop stood near the line for about a minute before leaving, but did not attempt to break through it.

The picket line obstructed only administrators. When a secretary asked to enter, a member of the Steering Committee escorted her into the building. However, administrators had told employees who usually work there not to try to enter.

Garrett Birkoff '32, Gordon Putnam Professor of Pure and Applied Mathematics, told the pickets he wanted to go through, but he was refused entrance because he would not identify himself as a non-administrator.

At noon the pickets voted overwhelmingly to remain until 3 p.m. when the Yard buildings closed. They discontinued the moving line but remained on the steps of the building.

The strikers said that a news release from the University personnel office-which was intended to "clarify the status of hourly paid employees"-did not satisfy their demands.

The release reiterated President Pusey's earlier declaration on striking employees, and said that it is "equally applicable to salaried and hourly employees, and authorizes supervisors to permit both to participate in anti-war activities during working hours without reduction in pay."

The release did not, however, in struct supervisors to do so.

At a final meeting at 3:10 p.m., a motion was unanimously passed calling on the pickets to reassemble at University Hall at 8 a.m. Monday as an ad hoc group.

The Steering Committee was thereby released from responsibility for the picketing, but the motion included a phrase which made the pickets' decision subject to review at Sunday night's mass meeting.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags