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Chaos descends on the University of British Columbia when, following an address by activist and Youth International Party Leader Jerry Rubin, more than 500 students (and a pig) enter and occupy the university’s Faculty Club.
“At the end of his hour-long talk, 500 students marched into the club which is officially restricted to faculty members,” explains the Vancouver Province. “The students were later joined by others from Simon Fraser University and Vancouver City College.”
Rubin, on a continent-wide univeristy speaking tour in the face of the upcoming American presidential election, spent his address telling stories, burning dollar bills, and encouraging students to vote for the pig (christened “Pigasus”) for the next president of the United States.
“It’s a typical Jerry Rubin stunt – sort of show business,” complains Dave Zirnhelt, the president of the U.B.C Student Council. “He’s directing his efforts against the wrong people.”
Shaun Sullivan, former council President, voices his agreement in an interview with the Province.
“This is a real setback for academic reform at UBC. These people are getting all mixed up in an American cause which is not applicable to the Canadian university structure.”
The club management, who, the paper notes, “was able to lock most of the liquor supplies before the takeover”, admits that the occupiers are mostly well-behaved, and, at the behest of the Faculty itself, they have refrained from calling the police. However, the occupation polarizes the student body at UBC, with close to 200 students massing outside, with the intent to storm the building, and several groups of students elsewhere on campus burning dollar bills “In defiance, they said, of a society which holds money all-important.”
The sit-in will last only 23 hours, before students will vote to vacate the premises, in favour of attending an outdoor peace rally.
“The crowd of students in the Faculty Club dropped to about 60 early Friday morning, following a late-night party.” reports the Province. “There were reports that some openly smoked marijuana at the party.”
The pig will be returned unharmed.
IMAGE: A protestor lights a dollar bill on fire, while smoking marijuana, October 24th, 1968. Image Courtesy of The Ubyssey.