University demonstrations against Dow Chemical erupted in the weeks immediately following the Washington march on the Pentagon on October 21. The Harvard sit-in took place on October 25. Dr. Frederick Leavitt, director of Dow’s lab in Wayland, Mass., was confined for about seven hours in a room he was using to conduct job interviews. Nearly 300 members of the university blocked the corridors outside Dr. Leavitt’s office.
Yet, despite the size of the crowd, the sit-in was essentially orderly. There was neither personal abuse nor violence. University officials were allowed free access to the recruiting room, and people who chose to address the crowd (even in opposition to the demonstrators) were listened to. The demonstrators made their decisions by majority vote, and it was by voting that they finally disbanded. An extraordinary form of due process was thus used to deprive someone of his liberty for several hours. Criticism of the Vietnam War had shifted, on one mo...
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