A quiet crowd of about 100 people gathered in front of Austin Hall last night to protest the Supreme Court decisions handed down under Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. Burger was at the Law School to judge this year's Ames Final Argument.
The demonstrators from fourteen student groups hoped to "educate the Law School community on the impact of the decisions of the Burger court," Lori Potter, a coordinator of the event, said yesterday. Potter cited the court's decision on the Bakke case as one that will effect "almost everybody."
The protest included music, several speeches and a skit. "Underground Railroad," a local group, sang political songs as the crowd started to gather.
Boston lawyers Harry Wilson and Laurie Rosenberg spoke briefly, encouraging continued political activism. "We've got to let everybody know that we think what's going on is wrong, "Wilson said.
The demonstration featured an original skit called "The Discreet Charm of the Burger Court," written and performed by members of the Law School Guild.
The skit attacked the logic of the court's decisions as well as their constitutionality and their treatment of minorities. Steve Smith a second-year law student who played Burger, said that he and the other authors wanted the skit to satirize "the reactionary nature of the court."
"I think that the court has really cut back on the advances of the civil rights movement that were made before the Burger court," Smith added.
Prostesters carried placards that said "Burger came; Justice went" and "Courts are for rights not for the right." "This is the law school's way of protesting," a graduate student, who asked not to be identified, said.
Angela Davis, another participant in the skit, said that she thought it was especially important for Harvard students to protest the Burger court because "Harvard Law School is seen as a leading institution in the U.S. and has a reputation for being fair."