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UCLA Protest Disrupts South Africa Talks

Times Staff Writers

About 125 slogan-chanting UCLA students Wednesday disrupted a session of the university’s investment advisory committee that was reviewing UC’s holdings in companies doing business with South Africa.

But they left in orderly fashion after Chancellor Charles E. Young, who chairs the advisory committee made up of students, faculty and administrators, asked them to do so.

As they complied, the students referred to the members of the committee as “white trash” and brandished cardboard tombstones bearing the names of South African blacks killed by police.

Anti-apartheid demonstrations continued in Berkeley, meantime, where confrontations have been going on since last week when police dismantled a small shantytown erected by protesters to symbolize conditions facing blacks in South Africa.

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Human Blockade

For the second day, the protesters formed a human blockade around the Berkeley campus administration building. The demonstrators broke up after an early afternoon rally.

At UCLA, before protesters left the meeting, the investment advisory committee voted down three resolutions proposed by one of the two student members of the panel, Frances Hasso, a UCLA international relations major.

Two of the resolutions backed the notion of divesting UC funds from companies that do business in South Africa while a third proposed to condemn “the brutal actions of the police” at Berkeley last week.

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Several panel members said they simply did not know enough about the Berkeley demonstration, in which more than two dozen injuries were reported. (A high-ranking university official in Berkeley disclosed Wednesday that a campus police officer has been placed on limited duty and recommended for counseling after reports that he used excessive force in last week’s demonstrations.)

The committee instead agreed to a much milder resolution supporting students’ rights to make their feelings known and deploring brutality by anyone.

Young defended the committee’s efforts as the best way to bring about change in South Africa, noting that it has sent letters to companies warning that divestment of their stock might occur if they did not become signatories in good standing of the Sullivan Principles, which call for equal treatment of blacks in the workplace and efforts to improve the overall quality of life for blacks in South Africa.

Largely because of UC’s warnings, Young said, two companies, Dun & Bradstreet Inc. and Baker International Corp., which had not been Sullivan signatories, now have agreed to do so.

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Young also noted that, at the urging of the investment advisory committee, the regents announced last month that they will sell $12.3-million worth of bonds issued by Eaton Corp. because the Cleveland-based manufacturer has failed to meet the university’s standard of “good corporate citizenship” in South Africa.”

In Berkeley, protesters arriving at California Hall were greeted at 7 a.m. by a metal police barricade around the building’s south and west entrances. “Let’s barricade the barricade,” Jon Jackson, one of the protest leaders, shouted over a megaphone as about 150 demonstrators held hands and marched around the building.

1,000 Protesters

The blockade tactics, which on Tuesday shut the offices for 6 1/2 hours, again hampered administrative functions as many employees refused police escorts through the demonstrators. Later a crowd of about 1,000 protesters and spectators gathered to call on the regents to divest UC investments in companies doing business in South Africa.

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A shanty was placed in front of California Hall as a symbol of the oppressive living conditions for blacks in South Africa. Such shanties were banned as fire hazards and it was after police moved in to dismantle more than two dozen of them that violence broke out last week.

UC officials said Wednesday they would allow the one symbolic shanty to stand.

Anne C. Roark reported from Los Angeles and Scott Harris from Berkeley.


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