Revolution at Columbia
with Tom Hamilton, Craig Spratt, Kip Shaw, George Weiss, Marge Werner
NEW YORK, April 29 (LNS, NY) A new, more fluid style of revolutionary activity on the American campus has been introduced by Columbia University students, black and white, who held physical control of the campus for a week.
The following is a day-by-day recounting beginning with the original demonstration Tuesday, April 23rd, on Low Library Plaza at noon.
TUESDAY, April 23
The revolution began with a routine call by SDS for a massive demonstration for Tuesday at noon at the sundial on Low Library Plaza in the middle of Columbia’s ten-block campus. The demonstration was called in response to the university’s refusal to cease construction of a new gym in Morningside Park, one of the few city-owned parks available to the community.
The proposed fifteen-story gym, which will take up two acres of park land now being used by Harlem’s black community, was decided on by Columbia’s administration and the city government without prior consultation with the leaders of the Harlem Community.
In addition, SDS’s 900 people were out to protest the unfair suspension of six Columbia students who had protested inside a university building (it is against university regulations to protest inside a campus building) in a demonstration held two weeks ago against the Institute for Defense Analysis.
IDA is a secret research group concerned with counter-insurgency research in both South America and the black ghettoes of this country. The university had cynically denied that IDA (sponsored by the federal government and with Columbia’s President on the Board of Directors) and the CIA had a contractual agreement, but SDS subsequently revealed that such a contract between Columbia IDA, and the Defense Department and CIA does in fact exist, and that there is a clause written into the contract stating that the existence of the agreement be kept a secret by both parties.
The plan for Tuesday’s SDS demonstration was to march into Low Library, the University’s main administration building, and demand of the President of Columbia that work on the gym stop, that IDA must go and that the six students who were suspended without a hearing be re-instated. Surrounding Low Library which had been previously locked by campus security guards to prevent the SDS group from entering, were about three hundred Columbia athletes, business and law school students, and a small group which calls itself the “Ad Hoc Committee for an Orderly Campus.”
For the past two years, a favorite administration tactic has been to ignore left-wing demonstrations, allowing Columbia’s athletes to assume that this lack of official action is their cue to restore the law and order which the university is either unwilling or unable to provide. This had previously resulted in brief scuffles between demonstrators and the conservative “jocks.” On Tuesday, however, the “jocks” and their well-manicured business school cronies were hesitant in attempting’ to block the SDS group from entering Low Library. Perhaps they were dissuaded by the size of the SDS group which was more than 900 strong. Others, perhaps, some of them graduating seniors, are feeling a little closer toward anti-war demonstrators as their time fast approaches.
Whatever the reasons, the SDS demonstrators marched right up to Low, which was locked. Rather than disperse, Mark Rudd, SDS Chairman, leaped onto a parapet and called for the demonstrators to march down to Morningside Park where construction had already begun for the “Jim Crow Gym.” Of the nine hundred, approximately three hundred and fifty continued on to the park where they encountered a few New York City police. Demonstrators began pulling down a thirty-foot high fence and after having pulled away a good forty feet of it, they were attacked by police with their nightsticks. Fortunately, there were not sufficient police to cause much injury, although one student was repeatedly clubbed and then arrested. He was later released on bail.
At 3 p.m., the momentous energy which had been growing since noon, showed no sign of letting up. Rudd, again reacting in the beautifully spontaneous fashion which has characterized the entire rebellion, led the jubilant demonstrators back up to the campus and into Hamilton Hall. Many classes were just ending and forty or so college administrators in the building’s main floor were preparing to leave.
The demonstrators swarmed into the main floor lobby, and Rudd, with a portable bullhorn, announced that SDS was going to hold acting Dean of the College, Henry S. Coleman, as hostage until at least the first demand, that the six demonstrators against the IDA be given re-instatement, was met. Rudd explained that if the university was really going to meet with the students, it would have to agree to the first of the demands in order to show the students that the administration was going to act in good “faith.” Vice-President David B. Truman, who was in contact with Dean Coleman by phone, said that the university could not possibly agree to any demands which were called for with “coercion.” As the word rapidly spread around campus, students began entering Hamilton lobby and joining the take-over of the building. Secretaries and other office personnel were allowed to leave, but Coleman had to stay as SDS students had completely surrounded his door. Action on the first “front” had begun.
Later in the evening, around nine or ten o’ clock, a large contingent of black Columbia students arrived in the building. Black students at Columbia had notoriously and conspicuously been joining neither anti-war nor pro-war groups. But this was their fight, too, because of the “Jim-crow Gym” issue and the university’s ever-increasing encroachment on the tenants of the Morningside community, many of whom are black.
Many black militants from the New York City area also entered the building Tuesday night and it was rumored that pistols and such ammunition had been cached throughout Hamilton Hall. On either side of Dean Coleman’s door were taped huge personality posters of Stokely Carmichael and Malcolm X. A picture of Che Guevara with the inscription “In the Revolution One Wins or Dies” went up on the wall and the students cheered vigorously. On each of the seven floors of the classroom building, students were stretched out on the floor, many with blankets and large cartons of foodstuffs.
WEDNESDAY, April 24
At around four a.m. Wednesday morning, the Black Caucus, composed of black Columbia students and New York militants, decided that they were “playing for keeps.” John Shabazz, SNCC organizer, announced that the black people were going to “take over the show to take care of business.” After a brief meeting of white students, Mark Rudd decided that the best thing was for the whites to leave the building and to show solidarity with the blacks by taking the revolution elsewhere, spreading it to other sectors of the campus.
Rudd left with all the white students, leaving almost two hundred blacks, students and non-students alike, in control of the building. They immediately barricaded the entrances with chairs and bookcases so that in order to get through one would have to climb over small hills of furniture and debris.
A small sign went up in the glass-panes of the door announcing the Malcolm X Building of “Malcolm X University-A.D. 1968.”
Inside the plush office of President Grayson Kirk, several beautiful American would-be Che Guevaras with long hair and beards sat behind wide, well-made mahogany desks puffing on expensive cigars, especially made for president Kirk in Tampa, Florida. Students were busy weeding through stacks of confidential files and Xeroxing important documents for possible use later as bargaining and embarrassing material.
Only the four rooms of the presidential suite in Low Library were occupied. Around nine-thirty Wednesday ‘morning, a small crew of NYC police and campus cops entered a different room in Kirk’s suite and removed a $45,000 Rembrandt and several other objets d’art which the university holds in high regard, such as two golden shovels used at an official groundbreaking ceremony in 1867. But SDS was in control, and one could not help but be reminded of the photos of the Sierra Maestra rebels in Batista’s Roy Havana Palace in 1959.
Several Barnard girls left Low Library to buy goods for the duration. They returned, via a not-too-perilous window climb, with several cartons of bread, sandwich meats, orange juice and cigarettes, plenty of cigarettes. The same sort of activity was taking place in Hamilton / Malcolm X Hall, where black men and women from the Harlem Community were bringing their brothers cartons of home-made food and provisions.
Rumors were started that the blacks were also bringing in the ingredients for Molotov cocktails, but these rumors were never verified. Around noon on Wednesday, Cicero Wilson of the Students Afro-American Society announced over Columbia’s FM radio station WKCR that there had been several guns and a “hell of a lot of ammunition” in Malcolm X / Hamilton Hall, but that they had been removed at the students’ request.
There was no question but that the black college students were running the show. LNS reporters saw several of the more militant blacks (non-students) leaving the black-held building Wednesday afternoon and many of them were carrying bulky book-bags which did not seem to be filled with books or food.
Wednesday was tense, but the driving rain served to mitigate the tension. At around 4:30 p.m., Dean Coleman and two others emerged from Malcolm X / Hamilton Hall. Coleman stated that four black students had entered his office and told him he might leave if he wishes. The apparent reason for this move was that the students who were holding the building felt violence (between themselves and NYC police) was in the wind and did not want to be responsible for Coleman’s health. Outside the building, Coleman stated that he had been treated “very nicely.”
The blacks then called a press conference, stating their conditions to the hungry pack-of newsmen, yipping to be allowed inside. The blacks announced that one man from each press service would be allowed in, but the New York Daily News reporter would be excluded because the News, an arch-conservative tabloid, was a racist paper. White student sympathizers outside Malcolm / Hamilton Hall cheered this move. The order of admittance for newsmen was: 1) black newsmen from black media, 2) black student press, 3) white student press, 4) black reporters from white media, 5) whites from white media.
By now, both the black and white students had formulated demands, each separate but basically asking for the same things. The demands were:
1) All work on the Columbia Gym must cease immediately.
2) Institute for Defense Analysis must leave Columbia.
3) Six students involved in IDA demonstration in March must not be suspended.
4) Amnesty for all in current demonstration.
5) Dropping of charges on arrests of previous community demonstration against the gym.
6) Edict on no indoor demonstrations must be dropped.
THURSDAY, April 25
On Thursday night, the threat of police intrusion on campus became more apparent. Police were present in increasing strength, since the beginning of the revolution but on Thursday night it seemed likely that the cops would come in and bust students in the liberated buildings.
New York SNCC, Harlem CORE, and many other black-oriented community groups had promised to come up to the Morningside Heights campus to demonstrate in support of the blacks in-Malcolm X / Hamilton Hall, and in sympathy with the white SDS members and their groups who were now holed up in Low Library, Avery Hall, and Fayerweather Hall, the “third front” which was opened Thursday Afternoon.
On Thursday night a mob of approximately three hundred Columbia athletes formed at the 116th street entrance to the campus, a forty-foot wide open gate facing Broadway. Earlier Thursday, at the request of Dean Coleman, the University had sealed off the entire campus by closing approximately thirty entrances, leaving only the two main campus entrances, 116th and Broadway and 116th and Amsterdam Avenue, open.
At the Broadway entrance, the jocks were trying to keep back a crowd of slightly larger size composed of the Harlem groups who had sworn to come on the campus in support of their barricaded brothers. There were only a handful of police present and they were mainly concerned with trying to keep traffic moving past the community people who couldn’t push their way on to the campus and were spilling over into the street.
Charles Kenyatta, a prominent black leader and head of the Harlem Mau Maus, stood up on a car and spoke to the crowd of jocks through a bullhorn. “You depend on mob support. Man for man you are nothing. You wouldn’t be able to attend this university if your grandfathers hadn’t gotten rich off the black man’s backs. We are going in to support the black students and their white brothers who are defending the Harlem community, representing a community which has been ignored so far by the Columbia racist administration.”
While Kenyatta was addressing the crowd, the athletes, who were beginning to feel the surge of those outside the gate area, began chanting “Hold that line, hold that line.” At that point, an unidentified SNCC organizer took the bullhorn from Kenyatta and said, “If you people don’t move away and let us through the campus there is going to be violence. I don’t intend to let any college-educated honkie stop me now, especially you jocks. I used to be a jock too, a BLACK jock”
Police at this point decided to enter the confrontation. Surprisingly, they opened up a pathway for the black people from Harlem and the supporting students from NYU and other local schools to come through. Dean Coleman, recently released from Malcolm X / Hamilton Hall, took the microphone and announced, “We are going to walk’ these people through the campus, and there will be no violence.
Although there were minor scuffles with some of the athletes, there was no major action. The five hundred marchers walked briskly through the college walk, 116th Street from Broadway to Amsterdam Avenue, and then followed Kenyatta down into the Morningside Park area where speeches were made against Columbia’s racist gym.
Sensing that everything seemed to be slowing down, I went over to Low Library where the SDS Group was in control of President Grayson Kirk’s office suite of four rooms.
As I had heard that another front was opening up in the Mathematics Building, I climbed back down out of Low in order to go over to Mathematics, about one hundred yards away. A large group of counter demonstrators had formed around the Low Library windows and were screaming for blood. But they could not get near enough to get into the liberated president’s office.
By quietly sneaking into the all-but-deserted building, SDS students liberated Mathematics Building. There were several night maids working, but they were quietly escorted out of the building. Barricades were quickly set up, but the university at that time (approximately 12:30 at night) was not aware of the new front.
When Vice-President Truman was informed of the fifth building taken over by students, he issued a statement that police would soon be called in to free the buildings. Truman had been pressured by the jocks who claimed the administration had deserted them by taking no action against SDS.
Another general faculty meeting was called. About three hundred faculty attended. The faculty voted to link arms in front of all five “liberated” buildings in order to force the police to go over the faculty members if they wanted to get into the buildings.
WKCR shut down for approximately one-half hour after threats by the trustees that its license would be revoked. This example of the trustees’ arrogation was a predictable concomitant of WKCR’s unbiased reporting. But it resumed broadcasting after V.P. Truman responded to protests and ordered the station to continue.
Thirty to forty plainclothes police were the first to arrive at Low Library. They attempted to storm into the building, clubbing several faculty members in the process. Prof. Greenman, of the French Dept. and a member of SDS, was hit on the skull and was led away bleeding profusely.
Vice Pres. Truman, who was inside Low Library, stopped the plainclothesmen who had succeeded in passing the faculty, from entering the barricaded presidential offices. Around 3:15 a.m., Truman came out and announced to a crowd of approximately a thousand faculty, athletes and demonstrators that he had originally called police but rescinded the decision at faculty request, and that Mayor John Lindsay and President Kirk had decided to stop work on the Columbia Gymnasium until “everything is worked out.”
Truman also announced that the entire university would be shut down until Monday, April 29th, and that Friday morning at ten a.m. a faculty meeting would be held. Police then began departing, leaving behind skeleton crews at all entrances to the campus.
FRIDAY, April 26
Friday was a stalemate. Around three thirty in the afternoon, four hundred high school kids from Harlem flooded’ the campus. Immediately thereafter, police moved in on the remaining two entrances to the campus, the two 116th Street entrances, and set up a checkpoint whereby people would have to show Columbia identification to get on campus. I spoke with some of the high school kids, who told me that they had come to show support for the black students who were holed up in Malcolm X / Hamilton Hall.
Ted Francis, a senior from Brandeis H.S., on the west side, held a huge sign which read “LBJ & RUSK—YOU COOK IT.” Francis said that “The black people haven’t known who they were for hundreds of years. Now we know, old men and children, every one knows who we the black people are. No more NEGROES-just black people.”
The students who ‘were barricaded in Malcolm X Hall did not admit the high school kids for fear of loosening security measures and depleting food and water supplies. They also did not want to assume responsibility for the safety of the high school kids in the event of violence.
At around 3:30 on Friday, Rap Brown and Stokely Carmichael showed up. They had a bit of a hassle at the guarded gate but strode right through and walked briskly to Malcolm X/Hamilton Hall. They were inside for about forty-five minutes when both suddenly came out.
Brown took the reporters’ microphones and spoke to a mixed crowd of leftists, athletes, black high school kids, and concerned faculty and administration members, numbering over a thousand. “The black students and some of the community brothers have held Hamilton for over fifty-six hours in protest against the racist policies of the university which has refused to alter these policies-under normal protests. We have exerted every possible means to stop this racist activity but can no longer resort to non-violence.
These are our demands:
1) if the Jim Crow-Gym in Morningside is built it will be blown up,
2) amnesty for all students participating in these demonstrations here at Columbia,
3) Institute for Defense Analysis must go. It is a tool of the government, the racist government, to suppress the poor peoples of the world, Latin America and the ghettoes of this country.
“If the university meets the first two demands then the black students will negotiate the third. If the university refuses to deal with us, with the black brothers inside this building, then they had better be prepared to deal with the black brothers in the streets.”
On Friday evening around six o’clock the entire ten block circumference of the campus was ringed by an enormous number of NYC policemen. The situation seemed to have reached an impasse with black and white students in the buildings refusing to leave, the cops in position, and the university dickering with the faculty, who were not authorized by the rebel students to speak for them. It was almost impossible for the majority of people, reporters and activists alike, to distinguish the days and hours, one from another.
At around 3:15 a.m. Saturday morning, Vice President Truman announced that the university had rescinded the decision to call in the police and that school would shut down until Monday.
I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in the Mathematics Building. It was truly a beautiful scene, democracy evolving before “one’s very eyes!”
A large meeting was being held on the main floor on the question of the police bust and what to do when it came. Mathematics had been billed as the most “militant white” liberated building. Its main door was barricaded with heavy steel desks, chairs, filing cabinets and metal and wood items.
“What we have to decide now is what is going to be done in the event of a cop bust. Are we going to lie down and link arms, hold out in the building as long as we can, what are we going to do?” Tom Hurwitz, a tall Columbia junior, who wears a red bandanna around his forehead, Apache-style, spoke quietly to the students.
Hurwitz was the head of the defense committee in Mathematics, and you could tell he hadn’t slept more than four solid hours since the “thing” began on Tuesday.
But everyone was tired, no one had really slept. People raised hands, spoke, and the whole place seemed divided yet somehow unified.
The main floor where the students had barricaded themselves was a large L-shaped room. In the leg of the L, the lights were out and if you looked you could make out sleeping forms, bodies snuggled close to other bodies, brown university-dorm blankets, colorful blankets brought in from apartments nearby, and a few sleeping bags.
For many of the kids, this was the first opportunity for sleep in three days. The university had shut down until Monday, so the possibility of a police bust would not materialize again until Sunday night. There would always be another meeting to attend when you woke up.
SATURDAY, April 27
I woke up Saturday morning to find a huge sign over my head which read “Sarah Lawrence is Here for the Duration.” Sarah Lawrence? Sure enough, there were some twenty Sarahloo chicks spread out around the floor, mingled in with the Columbia and Barnard people.
It was pretty funny to think that only three weeks earlier, there had been a big hassle with Linda LeClair at Barnard, who had been “discovered” living with her boyfriend.
Here was a community voting, joking, holding out against the superstructure; a community talking, sharing meager food supplies and cooperating in night watch.
At a defense committee meeting, several girls adamantly demanded to be allowed to participate on the night-watch.
Hurwitz calmly explained that it would be slight “security risk” if a group of jocks” decided to try to bust in and kick the sleeping protesters out: they wouldn’t feel intimidated by two girls on the window sill. However, the liberated women won out in Mathematics just as they did in Fayerweather, where a group of girls raised their voices to the cry of “Liberated women do not cook.” So men and women cooked together.
The bathrooms in Mathematics were no longer segregated. Instead of the old “Men” and “Women” signs, they had signs reading “Liberated John: Men and Women.” Inside the Liberated John was a community toothbrush, community bandaids, and community Tampax. It was a beautiful scene.
SUNDAY, April 28
There was enough conservative and moderate support for yet another group to form, this one calling itself the “Majority Coalition.” The group had been trying to get started after it became apparent that the SDS and Black groups were “playing for keeps,” but their first decisive action came on Sunday when they decided to form a blockade of bodies around the area of Low Library where the students were holed up in President Kirk’s suite.
They refused to allow anyone to enter the building (by climbing up the twelve-foot wall) with food for the people inside. Medical teams were allowed to go in and inspect, but no food could be taken in. The “Vigil” as it was called by the Coalition, consisted of five to eight hundred athletes, egged on by several aged alumni who wanted to see Columbia brought back to its “senses.”
The athletes ringed the area and threatened anyone who tried to run the blockade with bodily harm. It was obvious that the jocks, who had felt left out since the takeover began last Tuesday, wanted to have a “good time, too.” Outside of Low they were singing football fighting songs, arms around one another’s necks, beer cans everywhere, determined to starve out the occupants of the president’s suite.
Late Sunday night the “white militants” of Mathematics, which is about one hundred yards away from Low, decided to rush the “jock blockade.” They met with little success. It was a matter of “psychological” concern, not being able to get food in to Low. People in other liberated buildings began to worry that morale would fall if everyone knew that no food was getting into Low.
MONDAY, April 29
Monday morning there was another assault on the blockade. Two hundred SDS sympathizers led by Tom Hurwitz and John Jacobs from Mathematics met in a knock-down drag-out fight with the protectors of “law and order.” Again they were repelled. No food had entered Low for over twenty-four hours except for an apple tossed through the window.
At three o’clock Monday, two black brothers from Hamilton/ Malcolm X Hall with around fifty or so white demonstrators approached the blockade surrounding Low Library. The athletes girded themselves for a charge. It didn’t come. Instead, the food-bearers began lobbing loaves of bread, sandwich meats and other hard goods through the one open window in Low.
After futilely trying to intercept the air-borne foodstuffs, the jocks began to threaten the relief detachment but from out of nowhere came a line of police. At first, the counter-demonstrators cheered, assuming that the police would contain the food throwing radicals, but much to their surprise, the police, who had been their compatriots in informal chats, formed a cordon around the “jock blockade” and allowed the food to be thrown in.
The occupants in Low, rescued at last, cheered loudly as did those who were throwing the food from outside. The jocks, betrayed by their own, merely grimaced.
The first report on an impending police bust came about 10 p.m. Monday night and the word was passed into the liberated buildings. By midnight, the police had sealed off the campus and no one was getting in who could not show university identification.
Mayor Lindsay made a final telephone call to President Grayson Kirk about this time, begging him not to request the police to eject the students.
By 2 a.m. there were six large fire engines parked on Amsterdam Avenue, along with four paddy wagons, a large police bus and half a dozen mounted police. A group of 20 plainclothesmen walked by pretending to be faculty. Students in Fayerweather shouted to them in a friendly manner, “Hey Officer. Joining Us? Where you going officer? The police ignored them.
At 2:30 a.m. there were about three dozen plainclothesmen about, and uniformed police were seen entering Columbia at a delivery entrance on 119th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. The situation within the building became unbearably tense as everyone now believed the raid to’) be imminent. Within Fayerweather and other buildings, those who were asleep were awakened and warned.
In the Fayerweather lounge, a dozen students burned their draft cards and a girl entertained by playing a cello.
Beginning about 2:30 a.m. police vehicles began moving on to the campus from Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues. These included trucks loaded with barricades, paddy wagons and buses. A dozen mounted police lined up at both entrances.
Over 200 police entered the campus on 116th Street from both ends, and electric lines were strung from a police communications van to all university buildings, including Philosophy Hall, which had been used throughout the week as headquarters for the faculty.
About 2:45 a.m. the police made a feint at Low Library. The hundred or so people in front of Hamilton/ Malcolm X Hall rushed to Low with reinforcements from a sleep-in demonstration on the sundial. The police immediately erected more barricades, cutting off the upper campus, where four of the liberated buildings were located, from the South Campus, site of Hamilton/ Malcolm X Hall.
The police next advanced on the people who had been at the sleep-in on the sun dial. There were about 400 of these people, plus another 100 students opposed to the demonstration lined up on stone walls watching. All were driven across South Field in wild disorder. According to Jim Wallen, a senior at Columbia, “people were running across the field away from the cops. I saw a girl and two fellows stumble and fall to the ground in front of me and as I ran past I tried to pick up the girl and the cops were on all of us. Even while the girl was lying there, cops clubbed her.” The students fled into the student activities building, Ferris Booth Hall, and the police barricaded them in.
The next police move was to enter the tunnels connecting the buildings. Eight of them got to the front door of Hamilton/Malcolm X Hall, which they pried open with crowbars. At least 150 police went in to face the 65 black demonstrators who had held the building since 5 a.m. Wednesday, April 24.
It was now 3:05 a.m. Tuesday, April 30. The blacks lined up against the wall and sat down. The police carried on a long dialogue with them, pointing out that resistance at this time would be hopeless. The blacks agreed to go without a fight and were led from the building via the tunnel to prevent anyone on campus from seeing what had happened. The student radio observation post was cut off the air several times.
Faculty ringed all the other buildings preventing attack from outside. Police charged in a double line with plainclothesmen in front (with no badges or identification showing).
A 60 year old faculty member, Mrs. Mary Goodwilly, assistant to a Dean, was pushed from the 2nd floor of Low Library to the ground eleven feet below.
As the plainclothesmen attacked, their initial target was women faculty members blocking the buildings. Many of Columbia’s most illustrious professors were clubbed and hit with swinging handcuffs, which were a popular weapon with police.
Rabbi A. Bruce Goldman, advisor to the Jewish students, was hit with a blackjack as he stood in front of the South entrance of Fayerweather Hall. He fell to the ground but got up again just in time to be clubbed. He fell again and was kicked and trampled by a series of policemen.
Standing next to Rabbi Goldman was Professor Sidney Morgenbesser of the Department of Philosophy.
Next to professor Morgenbesser was Professor James Shenton of the History Department, one of the most popular men on campus. Professor Shenton was knocked to the ground and repeatedly struck in the back and kicked in the kidneys.
The stream of people leaving the campus, who had been part of the human barrier to prevent violence (as recommended by the faculty at several meetings) looked like refugees from an attack by an army on a civilian population.
Men and women of the faculty and students came staggering down the steps of the campus onto Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, many stunned and bleeding. One man from the Economics Department turned as he reached Amsterdam Avenue and shouted “Fascists” at the large number of police gathered there. I learned later that he had lost a wife, three children and his father at Buchenwald.
A student wearing contact lenses was struck in the head and lost his left eye. Another had a compounded dislocated shoulder. Several reported broken ribs.
At about 10 a.m. New York Police Commissioner Leary issued a statement complimenting the police for “the excellent handling of a potentially difficult situation without a single case of serious injury except for a man with a heart condition.” Commissioner Leary was on the Columbia campus all night. St. Lukes Hospital, which is the school hospital and is located directly across the street from the campus, handled 87 injuries and the serious cases were all taken to Knickerbocker Hospital. There were also about two dozen doctors on campus at an emergency first aid station.
Students were removed from Fayerweather, the last of the student occupied buildings at 4:50 a.m. In no buildings did the students resist the police violently. Many went limp, others walked out.
At 4:55 a.m. I saw a male student being walked out by two police, each of whom had him in a half nelson. When they reached the point where students were waiting to be put into paddy wagons, they released him and he collapsed. I later saw him carried into a paddy wagon, although for the most part those who were visibly injured were not arrested.
On Broadway, a group of about 40 people had gathered. They screamed imprecations at the police and then blocked southbound traffic, first with their bodies and then, after a police charge, with garbage cans. Police on horses charged into people several times.
A student from the Parsons School of Design, who was walking off Broadway opposite Columbia at 115th Street, was suddenly set upon by plainclothesmen, who ordered him to “Get out of here.” The student said, “Who are you? Identify yourself?” This request was answered by a heavy clubbing around the head and body which sent him to hospital.
Steve Peyser, a Columbia student, hid under a sink in the Math building when the police broke in and was not arrested. He reported that police went through the part of the building he could see, messing it up and breaking a couple of windows.
The stocks of food which the students had built up in expectation of an attempt to starve them out were ransacked, while other cops went through students wallets.
One policeman took down an American flag which had been flying in the Mathematics Building and shouted, “This is an overpowering shame. Columbia University is a disgrace to America.”
In all 628 people were arrested and the majority of the faculty voted to walk out on strike. Classes have been called off for the remainder of the academic year.
Caption for page 1 illustration: Tom Hayden, a non-student and a leading force in the New Left, helped a coed into Mathematics Hall.