U. of Mich. and Harvard University Students Spend A Night in Protest
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) _ About 150 protesters camped out on the front lawn of the University of Michigan’s president after 16 people were arrested at a sit-in against the school’s plans for an armed campus police force.
After Thursday’s arrests at the administration building, the demonstrators camped out overnight on the lawn of President James Duderstadt’s campus residence. Most were gone by daybreak today.
″This campus is ours,″ protest leader Corey Dolgon told the crowd early today. ″We’re not giving it back.″
Meanwhile, in Cambridge, Mass., 25 students spent the night inside Harvard University’s main administration building while others slept outside in a protest seeking a stronger commitment to African-American studies.
The protest inside University Hall in Harvard Yard ended this morning, and police reported no arrests.
″We’re not expecting to have six professors tomorrow,″ said Anthony McLean, a junior Afro-American studies major. ″But we would like a firm commitment to hire people because that would make Afro-Am more stable.″
In Michigan, organizers called for a boycott of classes Monday.
The 16 demonstrators were arrested late Thursday afternoon after refusing to vacate the Fleming Administration Building. They had held the sit-in outside Duderstadt’s office since Wednesday.
″The police came in and said, ‘We have a warrant for trespassing. You have five minutes.’ Those who had legal defense and bail money stayed. Those who didn’t left,″ said student Jeff Anderson.
During the arrests, a university security officer suffered a fractured hand, Public Safety Director Leo Heatley said.
The protest was staged by a group calling itself Students for a Safer Campus. The group objects to campus police who carry guns, saying they would present a danger to students.
The school’s board of regents voted in June to hire a campus police force rather than rely on Ann Arbor for police protection.
Eight officers are in training and are expected to begin work early net year. The force will expand to 24 over three years, university spokesman Joseph Owsley said.
Walter Harrison, executive director of university relations, said the arrests were regrettable but unavoidable after the students rejected a request to leave the building and meet with university officials after Thanksgiving.
″There was no hope of negotiating a way out,″ he said.