BLACK SOUTH AFRICANS under the guns of the apartheid regime would be glad to hear that apartheid agent Abe S Hoppers was met last week by the righteous indignation of Harvard protesters.
The demonstration threw a small wrench in some of the illusions students possess, that somehow "their University" crisis in a vacuum, outside the social realities of decaying capitalist society. What we must realize is that ins this University is part and parcel of the whole racist system.
When the South African Consul-General joined members of the Conservative Club for a lunchcon in his honor, about 200 students greeted this racist scum at the Lowell House ICR chanting, "Apartheid Butchers OTT Campus Now!" and asking Conservative Club members, "Conservative Club What Do You Say. Would You Invite the KKK?"
Flanked by Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III. Dean of the College John B. Fox Jr. '59 and a phalanx of University police, representatives of the ROTC and the right-wing club, Hoppenstein was pushed into the Lowell ICR upon his arrival here.
Prior to Hoppenstein's arrival, the leadership of the Southern Africa Solidarity Committee (SASC) and the patriotic Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) were holding a non-violent "teach-out" in front of Lamont library. They waited until the last minute before passing out an apologies leaflet addressing Hoppenstein's visit. It stated, in part:
The United States is a free country. Just as the Nazi Party had a right to march in Skokie, IL. so even a spokesman for a regime so heinous as that in South Africa deserve the right to speak unmolested in this country.
This was at noon.
Their appalling excuse for a "call to act" tried to subordinate what Hoppenstein stands for to the issue of "free speech." Despite this attempt by SASC leadership to put forward a do-nothing strategy, the Spartacus Youth League's call to "Keep the Butchers Off Campus" intersected the anger of militants who joined us and converged on Lowell House to protest the outrage of Hoppenstein's presence.
Once Hoppenstein arrived, Conservative Club members locked him into the Lowell JCR, keeping other students out, in yet another act of provocation. Following the lead of the SYL, student protesters decided that Hoppenstein should gain the experience of thousands of Black and white South Africans jailed in hell-hole prisons. Linking arms in silent protest, the students formed a blockade, planning to make Hoppenstein sweat until at least midnight.
Despite their attempt squash this militancy, the SASC/DSA leadership were dragged, like stubborn burros, into the protest, trying their best all the while to neutralize it. But students didn't respond to their calls to debate Hoppenstein or to form "three committees" to help dissolve the blockade.
WHAT FOLLOWED was a testimony to the fallacy of 'academic freedom' and the professed 'neutrality' of the University. Using Conservative Club members as decoys (many were already serving as bullies among the crowd), the police pushed through student demonstrators, throwing several to the ground, including one woman already on crutches.
It was clear that the University was ready and willing to use as much force as necessary to crush student protesters: Deans Fox and Epps and Vice President Steiner looked on, as police smashed through Hoppenstein was smuggled out through the food tunnels. It was appropriate for this racist rat to take the path of the rodents who frequent the tunnels.
The Crimson, University officials and student conservatives have attempted to turn Hoppenstein's visit into an issue of "free speech," the sanctity of "free ideas" on a University campus, and University investment policy.
What's at stake, instead, is how to fight racism, from Durban to Dorchester. Students demonstrated their strategy; mobilize as many people as possible and present a racially integrated force to keep this apartheid lackes off campus Students look a stand against apartheid when a concrete example was at their door.
The fight against racist terror must go beyond the narrow, self interested and illusionary goal of keeping the University "pure." What's needed is for students to link their struggle with the power of labor to make fundamental social change. For Labor Black Mobilizations to smash racist terror! The SYL calls for labor action, such as hot-cargoing to all military goods going to South Africa.
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