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Students Across Nation Rally To Protest Apartheid

October 12, 1985 GMT

Undated (AP) _ Nearly 140 people were arrested as more than 4,000 demonstrators marked ″National Anti-Apartheid Protest Day″ at campuses, capitols and courthouses with renewed demands for divestiture of U.S. investments in racially segregated South Africa.

Police dragged 130 Wesleyan University students to police buses Friday and booked them for creating a disturbance after they refused to disperse from building entrances on the Middletown, Conn., campus.

In California, nine of 150 protesters at a Stanford University rally were arrested on trespassing charges when they refused to leave an administration building, police said.


Wesleyan president Colin Campbell said the university was reviewing its $18.5 million South African portfolio for trustee recommendations in February.

Since last spring, when thousands were arrested in campus protests across the nation, more than 20 colleges have decided to divest themselves of all or part of their South Africa-related holdings.

″Anti-divestiture people argue that our money provides stability and employment for the blacks of South Africa,″ former state Rep. Wellington Webb said at a day-long ″teach-in″ Friday at the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus, where regents vote Oct. 17 on divestment of $11.5 million in South African investments.

″The slavemasters in the U.S. in 1860 said the same thing when they asserted slavery would guarantee full employment,″ he said.

University of Minnesota regents, who ordered a $1.2 million divestment in June, voted 9-2 Friday for full divestiture of $24.8 million in South African investments in June 1987 if nothing is done to end apartheid.

Earlham College trustees announced Friday that the 1,050-student Quaker school in Richmond, Ind., was selling approximately $500,000 worth of stock in Chesebrough Ponds Inc., a Connecticut-based cosmetics company doing business in South Africa.

Angela Davis, a civil rights activist, led about 600 people to the federal courthouse in Eugene, Ore., following an anti-apartheid rally of about 1,500 on the University of Oregon campus. There were no arrests.

University of Oregon President Paul Olum, saying he was proud of students, faculty and others at the rally, said it was the largest protest he’s seen in 10 years at the university.

At St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., officials said a mock funeral procession for victims of South African violence attended by nearly 300 students and faculty was the first protest rally there in 15 years.

In Berkeley, where hundreds were arrested in spring protests and regents for the nine-campus University of California system voted against divestiture, about 1,200 people rallied without incident.

At Brown University, students voted 1,125-233 in a referendum, urging the Providence, R.I., school to sell off its $23.3 million South African portfolio.

The vote was announced several hours after about 200 students, including Amy Carter, daughter of former president Jimmy Carter, rallied against apartheid. About 50 campus demonstrators later marched from City Hall to the Statehouse.

About 200 anti-apartheid activists gathered outside the University of Chicago and burned replicas of identification papers South African blacks must carry under the apartheid state’s ″pass laws.″

Rallies were held in Ohio at the universities of Toledo and Cincinnati, Ohio University in Athens, Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Denison University in Granville, and at a union hall in Cleveland.

About 300 students rallied at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Ind., calling for the Catholic school to divest its South African investments.

University President Theodore M. Hesburgh said divestment was an easy answer, ″but I don’t think it would be a very intelligent move at this point.″

But Mary Frances Berry, a Howard University professor and member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, was applauded in a later speech when she explained why Notre Dame’s football team got off to a 1-3 start this season.

″You know the reason you have such a lousy football team is that the university hasn’t disinvested itself, and God doesn’t like it,″ she said.