A leaflet issued (by Socialist Society?) probably on April 6, halfway through the 1970 Easter vacation – the day the hearings before the Board of Discipline began.
Just over two weeks ago, 360 students ended a 12-day occupation of Senate House, centred around the following demands:
- Get rid of the racialist, Salisbury.
- Set up a detailed inquiry into all University investments.
- Set up an independent inquiry to investigate methods used at all university levels for keeping information on staff and students.
- That the Vice-Chancellor give satisfactory answers to questions on CBW research.
In fact, none of these demands were ever openly discussed – their reaction was to victimize TEN of the students in the occupation. At the moment, the ten are going before the disciplinary Board, the repressive nature of which has been made clear through the authority’s refusal to:
- Grant a postponement to term-time so that witnesses would be more available
- To allow a collective trial (even though they intend to announce sentence at the end of all the hearings)
- To keep a verbatim transcript of the hearings and make it available to the defendants
- To allow an independent observer to be present in each hearing.
They also initially refused to inform us as to who the judges would be, and only did so after repeated requests and demands. In fact, three new Pro-Vice-Chancellors have been appointed specially for these hearings (including Williams, Professor of German, and Rosenhead, Professor of Mathematics).
It was decided not to attempt a mass campaign over those hearings, but to wait and see what the sentences would be, and in the light of this to decide on the strategy for the appeals which would have to take place next term.
The other development on this front has been letters from the V-C to the other 180 who signed ‘Equal Responsibility’ letters. They were only acknowledging receipt of the letters, but more may well follow.
Finally, it should be noted that Professor Stocks, who has been made V-C of Natal University(South Africa), is a member of the disciplinary Board. Also sitting on the Board is Mrs Irene Collins, History Department, who has already signed Professor Markus’s petition against the occupation.
In the immediate future we must consider action around the four demands (and wait for the moment on victimisation) and get it organised.