tv Reel America Columbia Revolt - 1968 CSPAN January 25, 2021 8:47am-9:38am EST
captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2008 >> the first thing we did was hit his files. besides his girly magazines, we found papers linking to the iba, a whole bunch of shit about putting down sds, clearing out the area which moving out the blacks and the puerto ricans. >> it took care of putting up the barricades. we decided what our policy would be toward police, toward jocks.
we soepd some of the stairs, taped the windows, empied bookcases, put them up against windows in case teargas canisters got through the tape. >> -- second time we built barricades, we decided the barricades were necessary politically and strategically and anything went in making strong and this time permanent type barricades. >> -- >> there were telephone communications to every building. we had three mimeographs that were constantly -- people who did nothing during the strike. there was a big sign in berkeley which says five students and a mimeograph machine can do more
harm to a university than an army. every one had a communication room that had to deal with the four or five modes of communication we were using. >> one of the things that would happen is that each new group of people who came in the building, each new day's recruitment to the building would become political, would understand the life of the community, understand what was going on by the meeting. the stable of commune life was the meeting. a lot of it was political education. a lot of it was bullshit. a lot was worrying about what to do when the police came. >> -- inhumane representing the student body, but in fact a steering committee of various people from campus.
we're now trying to combat a statement to the effect that no am necessity will be granted to students under any circumstances. >> the question of am necessity is really important because it's a political question. our legitimacy, the protest has to be recognized before we can negotiate. >> there seems to be a lot more dignity amongst the students now because they feel that they have a right to say the things they're saying. that's what i think maybe the am necessity issue has been raised and reraised so many times here and we've had to reassure ourselves by issuing votes of confidence for it every 30 minutes because people are not sure whether they're supposed to be guilty for what they're involved in. and the whole issue of demanding am necessity first is to show that we have rights, and until we get those rights, we have to act in a coercive way. >> the hang-ups that are usually present in any kind of
collective enterprise were absolutely not there. >> all year in school i complained about my one roommate in the dormitory, then 100 people in three rooms, face-to-face with people, the idea of privilege see and idea of sleeping sort of became so insignificant. >> never really got too much sleep because we were always having meetings and things and people were always yelling and waking us up. we didn't care too much. we slept on the floor. >> what life was was a group of people incredibly close to each other, on no other level than the level of struggle. >> they were getting blankets, food and money, but also opposition from the faculty and right wing students. >> -- locked arms and every now and then they tried to keep the food out, record player out, radios, everything. they were acting as stooges to the administration.
>> these people are standing here, arms crossed, not going to say anything. that's our only position. no comment at the moment. [ shouting ]. >> there's nothing else to say. that food is going up. >> these mother fuckers haven't eaten. they have. not . >> they're giving it. >> you don't need to have --
>> pass it up. pass it up. pass it up. pass it up. pass it up. >> stop it, you damn fools. >> now the position of the professors was one of being the police, that they had to take sides. either they were for taking food in or not for taking food in. they were on the side of the -- or on our side. >> the faculty wanted to mediate between us and the administration because they never understood the nature of our demands or our struggle. >> kirk certainly understood what was going on more than the faculty. >> the faculty was just as naive
as the -- they couldn't see beyond the occupation of the buildings to the creation of something that might be better. -- at least an entire week living at full capacity. there was a total collective feeling. no one particularly cared about these individual feelings because you never even experienced it. everything was experienced in the most collective sense i've ever known. if you talked to anyone outside, they immediately realized there was something there that they had never seen before. this was one of the new experiences for most of the people, sort of electric awakening. >> -- communal food. we shared everything, our oranges, our cokes, our sandwiches. there was this urge we didn't want to eat all by ourselves.
>> it was such that fair weather was not only holy ground but was our home. and we, therefore, chose to be married at home with our family. [ cheers and applause ]. >> i andrea take thee richard. >> i andrea take thee richard. >> i now pronounce that andrea and richard are children of the new age. [ sirens ]
. >> [ inaudible ] in connection with your activities. we have been informed that the police departments will take all the necessary actions in connection with our complaint against you. this order to remove yourself forth with is separate and apart from any question of am necessity. you will be subject to proper disciplinary action by the university in any event. those who leave the building pursuant to this order will have less to answer for than those who do not. >> no violence. no violence. >> they managed to kind of push them all together and they were all sitting on the floor. as they pushed them all together so they could hardly move, they would hit. they had something in their
hand. >> [ inaudible ]. >> okay. get back. >> bring them into the dorm. >> peter, there's a doctor in the dorm back here. >> these guys are animals. they're animals. they don't wear uniforms. they attack you from behind. they trust you one minute and hit you the next. >> on the staircase there was a solid line of police. the people in front of me were dragged down. as they were dragged down, each individual cop standing on this line put his licks in, and they were laughing. i'll never forget it. >> there seems to have been orders given -- >> i dropped my glasses and i asked an officer, i can please
go back. he whacked me in the fucking face. i was hit with a club in the head, punched in the nose. >> i found a student who was dazed, pleading profusely from the forehead. the police refused to let me pass. i said this man is wounded. he needs help. they said get out. police had formed two lines which you had to run through, being pummeled all the time. he was very fortunate that he wasn't kicked in the groin as most of the demonstrators were. instead he had his legs kicked and back punched. at the end of the line he was hit with a blackjack at which point he was unconscious. the next thing he remembers was he was at the first aid station. >> we want peace. we want peace. we want peace. >> we have nothing against the
cops. we realize the problem. get the reporters. the faculty stood with us. the students stood outside and the strikers stood there. we will admit we are guilty. we wish to be charged. i want this all down. we will give names. we will give anything. [ inaudible ]. is there no people there? will people not realize this insanity? cops do not belong on campus. i'm guilty. i wish to be arrested. >> two vans have already pulled away. now they're moving in another one.
[ inaudible ]. >> they got over 700 of us on charges of criminal trespass and all kinds of other shit. some of it was real. some of it is fake. >> i know of nurses and doctors that pleaded with the police not to proceed, to please let these men alone. they would say no, no, get away. this is our job. >> i was arrested. they would not allow me to see a doctor. i had broken ribs, my face was cut, hit with a pistol under the eye. i wasn't allowed to see a doctor until i got out of court which was approximately ten hours later. >> i was awarded a scholarship next year. what the hell does it mean? i'm going to strike. i don't see how any teacher or student can attend this school anymore. i was completely lip ral about the whole thing. this has radicalized everybody.
>> i was a non-violent student. i was completely passive. i didn't care what happened. i was completely neutral. i'm not neutral anymore. i'll occupy buildings tomorrow. >> according to six written affidavits compiled by professor of mathematics serge lang. much destriks occurred between 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. during these hours the only people permitted inside the building were policemen, press and building staff. when i got back and looked for my camera and light meter i left behind. all i found was a lot of exposed film, broken lenses. who the fuck else would have done it but the cops? it's interesting to know that arthur hayes sults berger happens to be chairman of the board of "the new york times." one wonders why certain things were distorted in the times coverage of the strike. other things that appeared in the evening edition changed in the morning edition. and i think the answer is clear
enough. >> take a look. what is this a god damned police state? they've got police all over the campus. you've got to show two cards to get in. what is this? france? >> double identification, please. double identification, please. >> double identification please. >> finals, study, get ahead, work, prosper, get ahead. grades, finals, get ahead. study, get ahead. job, get ahead. get ahead. get ahead. get ahead. >> police --
>> we now demand, we no longer have a position in decisions that affect our lives. we call on all staff, workers of the units to support our strike. we ask all faculty and students not meet or have classes inside buildings. we have taken the power away from an irresponsible and illegitimate administration. we have taken power away from a board of self-perpetuating businessmen who call themselves trustees of this university. we're demanding an end to the construction of the gymnasium. the gymnasium being built against the will of the people of the community of harlem, a
decision that was made unilaterally by powers of the university without consultation from people whose lives it affects. we're no longer asking but demachbding an end to all affiliation and ties at the institute of defense analysis, a defense department venture that collaborates the university into studies of kill and overkill that has resulted in the slaughter and maiming of thousands of vietnamese and americans. we are no longer asking. we are demanding that students and faculty have a say in the policies of the university. >> we've run our live governed by men who don't understand the problems of the day. it's become increasingly clear
they don't understand the elements and the ingredients of the discord that shows up in the west today. what they are able to do if given their reign is to create a world order, which in every one of its aspects, depends absolutely on the power of the police to maintain it. they have no other power. when you have understood the uniforms and the badge and the coercive violence of the billy club, napalm and atomic bombs, then you have understood absolutely the sole legacy of those like nathan cook who portend to have authority in our world. it's this -- behind the barricades in new york and in
>> please join on southfield a game called trustee, with dice and a chicker board, decisions have been made in this university and go around and see liberation classes, see how the university should be run, is going to be run and will continue to be run without the auspices and the power of the administration. >> -- classes have been set up at this university. the focus of the new classes is to establish a free, open, democratic and meaningful discourse between faculty and students, to put an end to the old system and structure of columbia university. classes are being held on lawns, on campus and departments of
faculty outside of campus. >> students were saying three major things. first, they were saying they refused to be produced any longer, to be sent out into society as some kind of managerial class. second, they were saying to the faculty that they could no longer affect the pattern listic role that teachers traditionally play in the university. learning takes place with dialogue between equal men. they said, in effect, we will no longer let you play some kind of big daddy to us. third, they were saying that the demands and actions had to be taken seriously, could not be dismissed with some bullshit platitudes about youth and idealism. >> tonight there is a new liberated area in this neighborhood. >> we're going to convert those 60 community members who have taken over a building. >> currently in the building there are 40 to 50
representatives of community groups, of political clubs, of organizations fighting columbia's expansion policies for years. this is not a student occupancy. >> students are in vanguard, massive of people in the area of new york around columbia is finally going to stop columbia. >> sometimes it seems to be a contradiction between support option and fighting your own kind of oppression. but, in fact, what we came to see during the strike -- >> when you want to oppose an institution of that sort, you've got to fight on all fronts. >> on all fronts, right. >> columbia has closed our streets, gobbled up our parkland, seized over 100 of our buildings and forced the removal of over 8,000 people from their homes. >> why is the community action
committee predominantly white? of the 8,000 tenants of small hotels, sros, old tenements who columbia has systematically displaced, only a specially elected token number of minority group families now reside in morningside heights. we deplore this deliberate creation of a white ghetto. >> if you don't wish to be arrested, you're free to leave. >> i don't want to be arrested. [ inaudible ].
>> in order to show the solidarity of people with six strike leaders who tried to suspend, they decided to take hamilton once again. >> you are hereby directed to clear out of this building. further instructions that if this building is not cleared out in the next ten minutes. [ inaudible ]. >> after three votes the majority decided to stay.
be two graduations in morningside heights. the one we're looking at now is the official ceremony acknowledged by the trustees and attended by faculty and administration. at a given signal from the students, almost the entire graduating class expected to leave this ceremony and protest over its legitimacy and hold its own graduation as a repudiation of the trustees. they expect to be joined by a few members of the faculty. ♪ ♪
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