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Two dozen black students broke into and occupied offices in Massachusetts Hall at dawn today to protest the Corporation's decision not to sell Harvard's shared of stock in the Gulf Oil Corporation.
The occupation continues at 2 p.m. as up to 100 black and whit supporters picketed and chanted outside the building despite a steady, cold sleet.
The Administration was considering several alternatives early this afternoon to deal with the occupation. An injunction had not been asked against the demonstrators by 2 p.m. but a high Administration official indicated that chances are three to one that one will be sought.
At a press conference ending at 23 p.m. Kevin Mercadel, president of H.R Afro, said that Walter J. Leonard, assistant to the President, had conferred with Afro leader and had decided on a course of action.
Mercadel said it was agreed that sometime this afternoon Harvard police would ask the occupiers to leave the building. They will refuse to do so, Mercadel said. At this point, Cambridge police would serve an injunction, if one is granted.
It is unclear how many of the occupiers would leave the building in compliance with the infunction.
Mercaded said at the press conference, "We feel that blacks at Harvard are not getting anywhere with petitions and discussions. Petitions and discussions have not move Harvard except for a few meager actions, so we are adopting direct action, direct tacties.
He added that al an Afro meeting last night, those present had voted to support the actions of the steering committee.
I he most likely recourse is that the demonstrators will be asked to leave without an injunction being served; in they refuse. Harvard police would move in and escort them out of the building, making arrests if necessary.
Charles U. Daly, vice president for Government and Community Affairs, said just before noon that Harvard police are legally empowered to make arrests.
The students broke into the Mass Hall through a side window at about 5:30 p.m. by using crowbars. According to Daniel Steiner '54 general counsel to the University, the demonstrators ejected two Harvard policemen guarding the building who tried to prevent their entry.
There was no apparent damage other than two windows broken when the occupiers first moved in. Persons inside the building said that nothing there was being tampered with.
Steiner, Dean Dunlop and other administrators appeared shortly after the takeover and paced outside the building as 14 Harvard police sealed it off to prevent other persons from entering.
President Bok was awakened at home shortly after the takeover. He and his staff monitored developments form the tenth floor of Holyoke Center.
Harvard-Radcliffe Afro and the Pan-African Liberation Committee issued a statement at 8 a.m. reiterating PALC"s demand that Harvard sell its Gulf stock, demand. They demanded from Harvard "a public statement that it will not be involved in racist imperialist adventures in the future."
Farlier in the morning, the demonstrators had roused students in the Yard by setting off tire alarms. At 5:55 a.m., a loudspeaker brought into Mass Hall by the protesters blared a challenge from a second floor building to the empty yard.
"This is a first step Harvard University is duty-bound to divest its Gulf stock. Harvard University is duty-bound not to take reprisals against the Mack students in this building."
At 6:02 a.m. one of then black bystanders attempted to rush the building's front door and was sent sprawling by four University policemen.
Shortly thereafter, power to the building was cut off, silencing the loudspeaker Occupiers also said that there was no heat in the building.
Within 30 minutes the protesters rigged an extension cord to Mass Hall from the second floor of Matthews-about ten yards away--restoring partial power to the occupiers. All telephone lines to the building except one remained shut down.
As fire alarms continued to go off in Yard dormitories and in at least two Houses. Adams and Quincy, the number of onlookers grew. The crowd later increased when people on their way to work or class stopped to observe.
Around 7 a.m. two Cambridge policemen in a patrol can drove into the Yard and, after steering down a footwalk between University and Mass Halls, calmly parked facing the pickets. Steiner immediately approached the patrolmen and asked them to leave; he also tries, without success, to find out who had dispatched them to the Yard.
When the police demanded identification, Steiner-what had left his wallet at home--had to call over Daly to produce identification and repeat the request. They then departed, making a wide turn across the grass.
Daly emphasized throughout the morning that the University is making every effort to avoid and presence by Cambridge police on the campus. If an injunction is served and the demonstrators do not leave the building, they would be in contempt of the court, which could then order in police without University approval.
"We are deliberately taking every step possible to protect both the University and the people in the building. We don't want anyone hurt." Daly said.
Throughout the morning, pickets and observers outside the building changed and listened to speakers criticizing the Corporation's decision.
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