Students invade a Cambridge hotel

This morning The Times reports on trouble at a student demonstration in Cambridge:

Cambridge students last night fought with police, smashed windows in the Garden House Hotel and overturned tables in the dining room. Six demonstrators were arrested and two police officers and a pro-Proctor, Dr Charles Goodhart, were injured.

The Cambridge demonstration was one of the ugliest scenes in recent student protests there. It arose because the hotel, with its sister hotel, the Royal Cambridge, was putting on an evening of Greek entertainment. More than 120 guests paid £3 a head to eat Greek food, drink Greek wine, and dance to Greek music. Dons and students had argued for a week beforehand that the evening would help only to bolster the Greek military regime. At one stage police guarding the hotel drew truncheons in their battle with the students and dogs were brought in to help to control the crowd. As guests arrived at the hotel they were greeted by a crowd of more than 400 demonstrators. Women were jostled and knocked about and one had her handbag seized.

As guests sat down to a candle-lit dinner, students ran to the river side of the hotel and plate-glass windows were smashed. Students entered the dining room and overturned tables before being ejected, but diners continued with the evening’s entertainment. Mr. Michael Reynolds, manager of the internationally known three star hotel, said: “Some of the lady guests have been very frightened. The demonstrators have done their cause more harm than good by this violence.”

At Canterbury about 200 Kent University students distracted the 2,000 strong audience while Mr Heath was speaking. They blew bubbles and waved. Many walked the aisles, one couple embraced and a coloured girl was carried shoulder-high with the slogan ” To be repatriated ” on her back.

Before Mr Heath spoke, rumours that the questions at the meeting were rigged by the Conservatives, were denied by Mr Rodri Harris, chairman of the university Conservative Club. Scuffles broke out and a toilet roll narrowly missed Mr Heath, hitting Mr Harris, when Mr Heath was answering a questioner who demanded Mr Enoch Powell’s dismissal from the Conservative Party.

” I dismissed him from the Shadow Cabinet because I disagreed with his views “, Mr. Heath said. ” I will not dismiss- him from the Conservative Party. No member has lost the whip for political reasons for 50 years, and the party tolerates a wide range of views within its ranks.”


Author: Gerry

Retired college teacher living in Liverpool, UK.

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