Thursday, 21 October 2010

FSF Tells Rally Of Plan to Bring Aptheker in May

May 10, 1965

The Free Speech Front is resuming its protest of the Speakers' Rule with a plan that calls for the appearance of Herbert Aptheker on campus before the end of May.

As outlined by FSF spokesman Jeffrey Schwartz at Friday's rally on the Oval, the two-phase plan calls for continuous "token" picketing of the Administration Building. The picketing is scheduled to begin today and to last until the Board of Trustees meets Thursday.

Phase two, which Schwartz called "more an assurance than a proposal" is that "Herbert Aptheker will speak on this campus before the end of the month of May."

Aptheker, director of the American Institute for Marxist Studies, is scheduled to speak off campus tonight at the Students for Liberal Action meeting at the Campus Center, 121 E. 16th Ave. He has been banned from speaking on campus by the University administration.

Hopes Board Will Act

Schwartz said he hopes the Board of Trustees will make Aptheker's appearance on campus possible either at the meeting Thursday, or at a special May meeting.

"If the Board does not make this possible, it will be necessary to bring Aptheker on campus anyway," he added.

About 800 students at the rally gave a standing ovation when Schwartz made this announcement.

The students listened while Schwartz read telegrams and newspaper clippings supporting FSF and its move to abolish the Speakers' Rule.

Change Demanded

The FSF has demanded a change in the rule before the quarter's end. The trustees have said they will discuss the matter at the July meeting.

Previously, FSF has held two rallies on the Oval and two sit-ins in the Administration Building. The last sit-in lasted 22 hours.

In announcing the picketing, Schwartz said the protest must be resumed. "We must continue until the rule goes," he added.

The picketing, according to Schwartz, is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, and all night Wednesday until the trustees meet Thursday morning.

'Will Get Black Eye'

Schwartz said FSF had given "serious consideration" to the idea of bringing Aptheker on campus in spite of the administration's ban.

"The University will get a black eye if it has to happen this way," he said.

He explained that a national magazine was interested in covering Aptheker's appearance on campus, and urged ABC cameramen who were filming the rally to be present. Schwartz refused to speculate on the date of the Aptheker speech.

Three graduate students, Malcolm Griffiths, Gary Bower and Judd Landau also spoke to the crowd at Friday's rally, urging support for FSF and condemning the Speakers' Rule.

Phil Ochs, a folksinger and former Ohio State student, entertained at the rally with several songs.

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