Takeover at University of Texas; Vow More Protests at Cornell With AM-South Africa-GM Bjt
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ Sixteen people were arrested Monday after they took over the president’s office at the University of Texas and demanded that the university get rid of any investments in South Africa.
UT President William Cunningham was not in the office at the time of the non-violent demonstration, which occurred shortly before 8 a.m.
Joyce Pole, spokeswoman for the university, said the 12 students, two former students and two non-students will be charged with misdemeanor counts of disruptive activity.
The protesters barricaded the entrance to Cunningham’s office with furniture before their arrest by university police. One police officer suffered a minor injury when he kicked in a glass door and cut his leg.
More than 180 students and non-students were arrested by UT police last spring during demonstrations on the campus over South African racial policies and free speech regulations.
Joe Roddy, spokesman for the University of Texas System, said the market value of the stock invested in companies doing business in South Africa totals $871 million.
In Ithaca, N.Y., a leader of the student-led divistment movement said more shanties will be built on the Cornell University campus in the coming weeks unless the university agrees to change its policy on investing in South African companies.
Authorities tore down five of the makeshift structures Saturday. Two weeks ago, 23 people were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after they prevented campus security police from demolishing several shanties they had built.
Graduate student Phil Gasper said Monday the demonstrations showed trustees and alumni the ″strong feelings″ that students hold about Cornell’s South African investment policy and about free speech on campus. The trustees and alumni were on campus for a series of meetings and a Saturday football game.
Several hundred students gathered on the arts quad Friday to sing, chant and erect five shanties, designed to represent the living conditions of blacks in South Africa. University officials say the shanties violate campus regulations and a federal court injunction.