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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 10. 1965.

Police Warn Students Not To Strike

Police Warn Students Not To Strike

Salient Reporter

Massey students were warned by the police that they would be arrested if they demonstrated against apartheid during the Springbok visit to Palmerston North.

This is revealed in the latest issue of the Massey student newspaper Chaff.

The Massey president, Tony Rimmer, was told by phone that anybody demonstrating would be arrested on a charge of being idle and disorderly.

Mr. Rimmer said when interviewed that he thought the police were somewhat rash in issuing the warning. Regardless of any desire to demonstrate on apartheid, such an edict gave students an incentive to test civil liberties.

A Chaff reporter who interviewed the Superintendent of Police learnt that all demonstrations inside the match grounds were banned. Anybody carrying placards or in any other way demonstrating would be treated as a potential menace to the Queen's peace. If he didn't desist he would be arrested, put in gaol for the night, and brought before the Court the next morning.

Chaff claims that police intended to enforce their threats. The previous day, when students had surrounded the Springbok bus at the university (in a stunt which had nothing to do with apartheid) the police were called by an inspector and a carload arrived.

"Goodbye, sweet bird of democracy" Chaff commented on the incidents.

This episode is strangely reminescent of an incident that took place at Victoria around Procesh time. A police spokesman rang up the Students' Association and without finding out to whom he was talking, issued a warning about Procesh. The Police, he said, did not want to see any floats on Vietnam, as they could be embarrassing and might cause a public disturbance.

The person to whom the policeman was speaking was not a good responsible member of Executive, but just an ordinary person who happened to be at the end of the phone at the right time.

Now up to that time no one had thought very seriously about having a float on Vietnam. But suddenly everybody realised what a good idea it would be to have one. Or two. Or three …… And they did.