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Arrests Made at Yale As Shanty Town Dismantled

April 14, 1986 GMT

Undated (AP) _ As many as 76 people were arrested today by campus police at Yale University, and a shanty village erected to protest apartheid in South Africa was leveled, a Yale official said.

University spokesman Walter Littell said the arrests were made after officers warned students against interfering with the dismantling of the shantytown and some students sat down in front of the structures.

The shanties were taken down by supervisory members of Yale’s custodial deparment. Members of Local 35, the custodial union, had said last week that they would not obey university orders to dismantle the shanties.

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It was the second confrontation between students and campus police in three days. On Saturday, about 100 demonstrators tried to unload a station wagon full of wood near Beinecke Plaza. The university earlier in the day refused to allow further construction on the plaza outside President A. Bartlett Giamatti’s office.

Several people, including Yale police officers, were knocked to the ground during a 10-minute scuffle. No one was seriously injured and there were no arrests. Police managed to keep out much of the wood, but about two dozen boards reached the small cluster of shacks.

″The university said they were going to take down the shanties - we decided we would take the initiative,″ said sophomore Jon Ritter.

Yale officials said students would face arrest or suspension if they tried to prevent university police from dismantling the shacks.

Last week, university officials gave permission for the shacks to stand until after a meeting of the Yale Corporation on Saturday. Protesters had vowed the shacks would remain until Yale withdaws an estimated $330 million invested in companies doing business in South Africa.

Today, students pleged to stick to their cause.

″We will be here until they divest,″ said Matthew Countryman at a press conference.

At another press conference, Yale Secretary John A. Wilkinson said the university offered the students two other sites for the shanties, dubbed ″Winnie Mandela Village,″ before deciding to take them down. He said Saturday’s events had reached a ″flashpoint″ and Yale was concerned that people could have been harmed.

At Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., about 100 students and alumni blockaded a building on Saturday, forcing the school’s board of trustees to meet elsewhere.

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The demonstrators were protesting Wesleyan’s $13 million in investments in companies that do business in South Africa.

Wesleyan President Colin G. Campbell told the protesters they were in violation of the university’s code of non-academic behavior and that they may be subject to disciplinary action. There were no arrests.

At Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., the Afro-American Society on Sunday withdrew its support of a planned ″Discover Dartmouth Weekend″ when minority students interested in attending are encouraged to visit the campus.

The society said was is taking the action because the college Friday softened punishment for students who had been suspended for their role in destroying symbolic anti-apartheid shanties in January.

″As Friday’s decision is yet another indication of the fact that the voice of the black community ... has been once again ignored, we cannot in good faith encourage other black students to attend this institution,″ the group said.

The group’s action followed a sit-in at the library that ended Saturday without incident after the school threatened temporary suspensions.

At Tufts University in Medford, Mass., meanwhile, campus police said they did not know who destroyed a make-shift shanty built on the campus green by students opposed to racial segregation in South Africa.

The wooden structure, built several weeks ago, was destroyed early Sunday morning, Tufts officials said. University spokeswoman Deborah Halber said campus police speculated that students returning to their dorms from Saturday night parties might have destroyed the shanty.