Tufts University Apartheid Protest

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Description: Student demonstrators occupy Ballou Hall at Tufts University to protest Tufts' refusal to divest completely from South Africa. Students sit and stand under the portico of the building while they chant and sing. Protesters are visible through the windows of the upper floors of the building. Protest signs hang at the door and in the windows of the building. A protest sign hanging at the entrance to the building renames it "Biko Hall." Tufts University police officers stand near the students under the portico of the building. A student hands out copies of a newspaper to passersby. She urges them to support the protesters. Tufts' University officials stand near a tree. One official has taped a sign for Admissions to the tree. David Gow (Tufts University class of 1984) talks to the protesters under the portico at Ballou Hall. He gives them advice about how to deal with university administration. One of the protest leaders condemns the administration's decision not to let food or people into Ballou Hall during the student occupation. A Tufts University police officer intercepts a box of tea that someone has tried to throw to the protesters. Interview with Pierre Laurent, the Director of the International Relations Program about the protest. Laurent says that student protests across the nation have been effective in drawing public attention to the issue of divestment. Laurent says that he does not know how the Tufts administration will respond to the demonstration. Interview with a white male student about the demonstration. The student criticizes Tufts' policy of selective divestment and says that Tufts will eventually come around to the demonstrators' position. The student says that he feels a kinship with other student protesters across the nation.
1:00:29: Visual: Student apartheid protesters occupy Ballou Hall at Tufts University. The students sit in front of the entrance to the building. They sing and clap their hands. Tufts University police officers and bystanders stand in front of the building. A handlettered sign over the building entrance reads, "Biko Hall." A police officer stands in front of the students who are sitting and standing in the entrance to the building. A sign on one of the doors reads, "Steve Biko. We will not forget." A Hispanic male student stands under the portico of the building, facing the students in the entrance. He sings and claps along with the students. Several other students stand under the portico. Shots of two white female students under the portico, singing and clapping with the others. The students finish their song. They begin to chant, "Divest now." Shot of students standing inside the building. The students are crowded in the foyer, facing out. They clap and chant. Shots of Tufts University police officers. Two white female students stand together at the edge of the portico, chanting and clapping. The students begin to chant, "Apartheid kills. Tufts pays the bills." Close-up shots of two students clapping along with the chant of the protestors. Shot of a sign hanging in front of the building. The sign reads, "Stop Tufts' racism. Get our $$ out of apartheid." Student protesters are visible on the upper floor of the building, looking out through a window. Protest signs are posted in the window. Students tap the glass, keeping beat with the chants. The students continue to chant. The police officers stand nonchalantly in front of the building. 1:04:40: V: The students stop chanting. Shot of student protestors looking out of the second floor window. Signs posted in the window read, "This is a peaceful demonstration against racism. Why are our police denying us food?" Another sign reads "Biko Hall." A female protester urges students to stay and support the demonstration. A female protester hands out a newspaper called Young Spartacus. The headline of the newspaper reads, "Smash apartheid." She talks about the newspaper to two female students. Three Tufts officials confer on the Tufts quadrangle. One of the officials tapes a sign reading, "Admissions: Tours and Information" to a tree. The official says that he needed to be creative, so he made the sign for admissions and came outside. 1:06:07: V: Shots of the crowd gathered in front of Ballou Hall. Four Tufts University police officers stand in front of the entrance to the building. David Gow (Tufts University class of 1984) addresses the students. Gow says that the protesters had demanded to meet with the Board of Trustees; that the protesters had demanded that the Trustees make a decision about divestment within six weeks time. Gow points out that the Trustees never made a decision to divest. Gow notes that the administration and Jean Mayer (President, Tufts University) are very shrewd in its dealings with student groups; that the administration knows that the academic year is drawing to a close; that the protests will die down when the students leave. Gow makes reference to a student protest which took place a few years ago. The alumnus tells the protesters to continue their "excellent work." The alumnus wishes the protesters well. The students applaud. 1:07:57: V: A student protest leader tells a story of past protesters who had to break into a meeting of the Board of Trustees. Shots of the campus police officers. The Tufts officials continue to stand near the tree with the admissions sign. The student leader continues to speak. The leader points out that the school administration is not letting people or food into Biko Hall. Shots of individual protesters sitting in the entrance of the building. The student leader says that the Tufts administration is avoiding the real issue of divestment. The protesters pass around leaflets put out by the Tufts administration. The student leader reads from the leaflet. The leaflet states that 185 students have occupied Ballou Hall. The speaker is interrupted by a commotion. The protesters are urging someone to throw food to them. A police officer is shown holding a box of tea which someone tried to throw to the students. The police officer examines the box of tea. 1:09:26: Callie Crossley interviews Pierre Laurent (Director, International Relations Program) about the demonstration on the Tufts quadrangle. Laurent says that this is one demonstration among many which are taking place across the nation; that the protests are forcing many institutions to reconsider their commitment to the Reagan administration's policy of "constructive engagement" with South Africa. Laurent says that the protests appear to be effective in making institutions reconsider their policies toward South Africa. Laurent says that he does not know if the protest will be effective at Tufts. Crossley asks if the student protests are drawing the public's attention to the issue. Laurent says that the students' calls for justice are being noted by university officials; that the protests will be noticed by the wider public. Laurent says that some do not agree with the means used by the protesters; that the protests are effective in drawing attention to the issue. 1:12:09: V: Crossley interviews a white male student wearing a button reading, "Divest now." Crossley asks why the students are occupying Ballou Hall. The student says that the Tufts administration had agreed to divest in 1979; that the administration has not followed through on its promise. The student says that the administration had agreed to divest in companies who refused to sign the "Sullivan Proposal." The student explains that the Sullivan Principles regulate companies doing business in South Africa. The student says that the protesters want to draw attention to the issue of apartheid; that "constructive engagement" is a failing policy. Crossley comments that the administration is not allowing food into the building. She wonders if the Tufts administration is listening to the protesters. The student says that he is glad that the media are covering the protest. The student says that the protest will be a success because the protesters have drawn attention to the university's role in apartheid. Crossley asks the student how the university will respond to the demonstration. The student says that he thinks the university will come around eventually; that the students are trying to move the decision-making process along. The student admits that Jean Mayer (President of Tufts University) is in a difficult position. Crossley asks the student if he feels a kinship with other student protesters across the nation. The student names some other universities where protests are being held. The student says that the protesters are trying to give moral support to the people of South Africa; that the US protests are front page news in South Africa. The crew takes a cutaway shot of Crossley and the student.