SoHo Tutor Claims Assault After Protest

The case of a South House tutor and a Spartacist League member who have charged each other with assault in connection with a recent clash between the league and a group of Harvard student protesters begins tomorrow in Third District Court.

Three weeks ago a small group of Harvard students demonstrated outside Harvard Hall, where a league speaker criticized the Independent Polish labor union Solidarity because of what he called its ties to Western Imperialism.

Melanie B. Yun, assistant senior tutor at South House, has charged Keith Manning, a Cambridge resident and a member of the league, with assault and battery after an alleged scuffle with him outside Harvard Hall November 12, Steven Brooks, Yun's attorney, said yesterday.

Yun contended at the time of the in- cident that Manning punched her when she tried to enter the building. Yun added that she was unaffiliated with the student demonstrators and simply interested in hearing the speech.

But Yun declined comment yesterday because of her pending court action.


Neither Manning nor his attorney, Robert Hernandez, were available for comment yesterday, but Brooks said Manning has counter-charged Yun with assault.

Archie C. Epps III, dean of students, declined comment on the pending court action. James A. Sharaf, assistant general counsel for the University, also refused comment.

The league, whose members describe it as a nationwide socialist group, has recently distributed leaflets defending Manning. "We've distributed several thousand leaflets, all over campus, since Monday," Alison Spencer, a spokesman for the league, said yesterday.

The leaflet is a reprint of a November 23 letter to The Crimson from Spartacus Youth League member Alden Cavanagh. In the letter Cavanagh calls Yun "the spearhead of a provocative attempt to bring the [Harvard student] demonstration inside," and the leaflet includes a photograph of Yun holding a sign that criticizes the Spartacists.

Cavanagh claims that the photograph proves that Yun was not an innocent bystander, as she described herself, at the time of the protest. "Yun is now on record as a public, bald-faced liar," Cavanagh stated in the leaflet.

Yun refused comment on the letter, but her attorney said she was correct in calling herself an innocent bystander if she was attacked without provocation, as she alleges, whether or not she took part in the protest.

The letter also charges that the demonstrators, "Harvard Democratic and Conservative Club members," tried by "provocation" to "set the forum organizers up for police harassment, the cancellation of the event or worse."

Christopher S. Forman '83, president of the Conservative Club, said yesterday that although none of the clubs sponsored the demonstration, most of the participants were members of the clubs. "It was a non-partisan group counter-demonstration, and there was no intent to disrupt the talk," Forman said