ON THIS DAY    13 March      Graphics version >>   BBC News >>
Search ON THIS DAY by date   
  Go back one day Go forward one day

Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
1967: Protest over student suspensions

Hundreds of students at the London School of Economics are taking part in a sit-in over disciplinary action taken against two union officials.

The pair, David Adelstein, president of the Students' Union, and Marshall Bloom, president of the Graduate Students' Association, have been suspended for their part in a demonstration on 31 January against the appointment of the LSE's next director, Dr Walter Adams, in which a college porter died.

Dr Adams was nominated for the post of LSE director last year. Students opposed him because of his links with Ian Smith's racist regime in Rhodesia where he was director of the University College.

When news of Dr Adams appointment was confirmed, it brought the students out in protest.

Heart attack

David Adelstein, 20, a third year Economics student from Manchester and Marshall Bloom, 22 an American student, reading for a master's degree in sociology, were found guilty of disobeying an instruction forbidding the use of the Old Theatre for a meeting.

A post mortem examination on the porter who died showed he had suffered a heart attack which could have happened at any time.

Students are now demanding the suspensions are lifted. They have begun a boycott of lectures. Pickets have been posted outside the main LSE building in Houghton Street.

Inside, about 400 students had begun a sit-down demonstration. They sat in groups on the floor, singing protest songs, like "We shall not be moved".

Sir Sydney Caine, current Director of the LSE, has appealed to the students to give up their protest. Speaking through a megaphone, he warned them their demonstration would not help the cause of the suspended students.

The students propose stepping-up their action by starting a hunger strike if the suspensions of their colleagues are not lifted.

In Context
Several students did begin a hunger strike on 15 March, which lasted five days, until the Director finally agreed to lift the suspensions.

Sir Walter Adams took up the job of Director of the LSE later in the year - but students remained opposed to his appointment.

Further trouble erupted at the college in January 1969 after Sir Walter had ordered the installation of security gates within the college building.

Students went on the rampage and pulled them down. The school was closed for three weeks, a number of students were disciplined and two members of staff sacked.

Marshall Bloom had been involved in American civil rights protests before moving to Britain. He returned to the US and committed suicide in November 1969 after receiving his military call-up papers for possible service in Vietnam.


Search ON THIS DAY by date   
  Go back one day Go forward one day

Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
^^ Back to top |