First Published: Harvard Crimson, April 10, 1969.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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(The following are excerpts from the official SDS statement issued early yesterday afternoon from University Hall.)
THE TIME TO FIGHT IS NOW!
In recent weeks, it has become increasingly clear that the Corporation is the main defender of ROTC at Harvard. Pusey stated that academic credit is not the issue. In President Pusey’s words, it is “our Army” It is their army: Mr. Nickerson, president of the board of Socony Mobil, sleeps better at night in the knowledge that his investments in Iran or Venezuela are shielded not just by military dictators, but by the threat or direct armed intervention by the U.S. government.
The latest innovation in keeping ROTC has occured at Boston University where the administration rendered it “invisible”. From now on, ROTC cadets will not wear uniforms during drill and will take ordinary government courses instead of military courses. In other words, the same ideology will be taught without the “militarist” trappings. The Harvard Corporation has also played a leading role in keeping ROTC on American campuses. It has set up direct negotiations with the Pentagon and coordinated its activities with the presidents and trustees of seven other ivy league colleges to keep “their” army functioning smoothly.
The movement against ROTC on this campus and others has forced these men into the open. Many people (and even the Harvard CRIMSON) have clearly seen the Corporation’s role as defender of ROTC. But many of us have been prone to take the attitude: “Well, I agree with the argument theoretically; now let’s drop this, and discuss something else theoretically.” But this approach leads to never seeing that we’re involved in a real struggle, and therefore, never fighting.
The administration and the Corporation are not “nice guys”. These men have shown that they will never give in to reasoned arguments that cut against their interests. They will only give in when Harvard students flight them in a mass way.
We have taken University Hall. Our demands are:
* Abolish ROTC
* Restore scholarships to the Paine Hall demonstrators.
* Replace ROTC scholarships with the equivalent Harvard scholarships. Un-negotiatable, no student Faculty committees, no handing in bursers cards. The Corporation can issue a statement when they give in.
The Corporation is also engaged in an attack on the people of Cambridge by kicking them out of their homes in order to transform the city into a military and research center for imperialism. We also demand that the following egregious actions be stopped.
* Rent rises in University owned apartments be rolled back to the level of January 1, 1968.
* University Road apartments not be torn down to make way for the Kennedy complex.
* That 182 Black workers’ homes in Roxbury not be torn down to make room for Harvard Medical School expansion.
We have taken University Hall. Our movement will lose unless students who support us act now. Our strength lies in masses of students. Join us.