Hospital Pickets Block Traffic; Sit-Down Ends in 17 Arrests

A demonstration in front of Massachusetts Rehabilitation Hospital Saturday resulted in 17 arrests when striking workers and their sympathizers blocked non-striking workers attempting to drive out of the hospital's parking lot exit.

A crowd of about 100 demonstrators picketed peacefully until shortly after 3 p.m., when the non-striking workers began to leave for home. Several demonstrators then sat down in the roadway in front of the cars, while others stood in the parking lot's entrance.

Boston Tactical Police, moving in with dogs, forced the standing demonstrators out of the lot's entrance, allowing the cars to leave. The sitting demonstrators were carried away shortly afterwards.

Elliot Small, area director for Massachusetts of Local 1199 of the hospital employees union, said Saturday that the hospital has refused to grant a union shop, wage increases, and health insurance for employees.

Small also charged that Josiah A. Spaulding, a part-owner of the hospital was using "his influence with the Nixon Administration" to have the Selective Service take punitive action against striking conscientious objectors who had agreed to perform alternative service at the hospital.


Spaulding, who run unsuccessfully as the Mass. Republican senatorial candidate in 1970, denied Saturday having any influence with the Nixon Administration. He cited as evidence his financial support of Senator George McGovern's presidential campaign and his affiliation with the Greater Boston Peace Action Coalition, an antiwar group.