38 Shanty Town Protesters Arrested
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) _ Thirty-eight anti-apartheid demonstrators were arrested Friday while trying to rebuild a shanty town that University of Missouri officials ordered off campus this week, campus police said.
The protesters were arrested on charges of trespassing on state property, a misdemeanor, said campus police Maj. Jack Watring.
Those arrested were being released on their own recognizance Friday night, said Boone County sheriff’s Cpl. Kelly Beuer. Some decided to remain in jail but would be released whenever they asked, she said.
The state charges carry maximum penalties of $500 and six months in jail.
Protesters have been calling for total divestiture of South African investments. The university has $127.5 million invested in companies doing business in South Africa.
The Missouri Board of Curators voted last year to divest its holdings in companies that have not signed the Sullivan principles, which are concerned with fair treatment of blacks and encourage opposition to apartheid.
By mid-afternoon Friday protesters had dragged a few of the makeshift shelters built from boards to Francis Quadrangle near Jesse Hall, the university’s administration building. Police then began arresting the protesters and removing the shanties.
On Tuesday, university officials dismantled a shanty town that had been on the quadrangle since October, saying courts recognize an institution’s right to place restrictions on protest activities.