Markings on a column in the first-floor lounge at Loeb Student Center made during occupation by strikers in May 1970

Markings on a column in the first-floor lounge at Loeb Student Center
made during occupation by strikers in May 1970

On May 4th, 1970, several groups of "strikers" occupied the Loeb Student Center. The following day, strike groups also took over Warren Weaver Hall and Kimball Hall, the former building containing a $3.5 million dollar computer owned by the Atomic Energy Commission and leased by NYU. The "liberated" buildings became "Strike Student Centers" or "Communes,” and a strike coordinating committee set forth its demands to the University. Holding the computer as a hostage, the strikers demanded ransom money of $100,000 from the University to be used as bail money for imprisoned Black Panthers.

While NYU President Hester attempted to obtain a court injunction to remove the strikers as quickly as possible, the students, in control of the University Print Shop in Kimball Hall, printed and distributed manifestoes calling for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam and enjoining fellow NYU students to join their "injunction party" and "make revolutionary love in the streets."

Strikers evacuated Warren Weaver Hall on May 7, but set off the fuse to a bomb device before departing. University staff managed to douse the fuse just seconds before it would have destroyed the computer. After 17 days of high tension, University officials succeeded in removing the strikers from all occupied buildings.

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