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Tufts students speak out against the university's investments in South Africa
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[Apartheid protesters at shantytown on Tufts campus]
Original Airdate: 11/8/1985

Length: 00:10:04
Item Type: newstape - original footage

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Full Description

Visual: A panel of students addresses a group of students, faculty members and others at Tufts Univesity. The student panel sits at a table in front of a sign reading, "Inalienable rights. Stop Apartheid." Audience members sit in chairs and on the floor of the room, in front of the panelists. A white male student addresses students about the university's policy on divestiture from South Africa. He reads from the Tufts University Board of Trustee's policy on investment in South Africa.
Shots of individual students in the audience.
The student talks about Massachusetts' legislation forcing the divestiture of public pension funds from South Africa. The student says that Tufts University is in contempt of the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The student talks about divestment efforts in US cities, states, and in US corporations.
A series of jump cuts on the videotape.
The student says that "the pace of change is far too slow."
Shots of the students in the audience.
The student says that the Board of Trustees must accept their responsibilities; that they must divest.
Shot of the panel from the back of the room; from above. Shot of a member of the press who is videotaping the event.
Two students on the panel respond to the question of an audience member. One of the students talks about the protesters' efforts to contact and negotiate with the administration and Board of Trustees.

V: A shantytown is set up on the Tufts quadrangle, near the street. A large banner reads, "Divest now." Wooden crosses stick up from the grass. A group of students stands near the shantytown. They are holding an impromptu meeting.
Shots of the wooden crosses in the grass.
Three white female students talk about the protesters' efforts to use legal channels to end Tufts' investment in South Africa. Other protesters listen. One of the female protesters says that the police have tried to infiltrate their meetings; that police officers have taken down the crosses in the shantytown. She notes that the Board of Trustees is unwilling to listen or communicate with the students. Another white female student threatens radical action on campus if the Board of Trustees does not divest. The student says that the protesters will picket the homes of the trustess; that the students know the home addresses of the trustees. The student says that Jean Mayer (President, Tufts University) has not served as a liaison between the students and the trustees; that Mayer has lied to the students. The student says that the protesters will go straight to the Board of Trustees because Mayer has no voice in the divestment issue. A white male student accuses Mayer of having no grasp on the issues. He says that Mayer does not communicate well with the students. A white female protester says that a faculty body has voted twice in support of complete divestment from South Africa; that the faculty has been cooperating with the protesters. She adds that petitions do not reflect the full support of the campus for divestment. The student adds that representatives of the protesters have been blocked from the meetings of the trustees; that she is not sure if the trustees will vote on divestment. The student questions the credibility of a committee formed on November 9. The white male student says that the student protesters are not escalating the problem; that the Board of Trustees is refusing to resolve the problem. The white male student says that the trustees need to vote on divestment; that the students will not stand for a continuation of the hypocritical policies of the university. The student adds that the trustees are ignoring the voices of students and faculty. The reporter asks why the protesters feel strongly about apartheid. One of the white female students says that Tufts University is playing a role in supporting an abhorrent policy; that the protesters are speaking out against racism at Tufts and all over the world.

V: Students pile sleeping bags near a wall of the shantytown. Protest signs are posted on the wooden structure of the shanty. Red ribbons are tied to trees on the Tufts campus.
Shot of a protest sign reading posted on a red cross near the shantytown. The sign reads, "Divest now." "Shantytown" is written in red on the wooden structure of a shanty. A sign reads, "This is a shantytown, similar to those which black South Africans are forced to live in. It symbolizes our struggle for divestment and justice in South Africa." Shots of the shantytown.
Two white students play with a football on the campus quadrangle.

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