50 Protesters Are Arrested At TV Station

Police arrested 50 antiwar demonstrators last night who broke into the newsroom of WBZ-TV demanding that they be allowed equal time to reply to President Nixon's latest statement on the Vietnam war.

Regular programming was forced off the air for 20 minutes.

Jim Thistle, news director at WBZ, said that the police, called in when the demonstrators refused to leave, escorted the protesters peacefully out of the building and that no damage was done to the newsroom.

In the statement that was to have been read over the air, the demonstrators claimed to be speaking for the "silenced majority."

"Last night Richard Nixon appeared on TV on behalf of the masters of violence and destruction. We demand equal time for the forces of opposition and resistance," the statement said.



A spokeman for the police said the demonstrators would be charged with trespassing.

Thistle said that 50 persons rushed by a guard at the front door of the WBZ building at 6 p.m. and went immediately to the newsroom. They were waving "what appeared to be Viet Cong flags" and were chanting, "Stop the bombing, end the war."

The demonstrators would not identify themselves with any organized group.

At the time the demonstrators entered the newsroom, a videotape news report of the Apollo 16 splashdown was just ending. The station immediately ran several commercials and finally put on a station identification slide.

WBZ was able to resume normal broadcasting at 6:23 p.m.