Interview with Adrienne Manns-Israel
QUESTION 13
JUDY RICHARDSON:

OK, if you could talk about takeover and going from that rally and the wonder of seeing all those people behind you.

ADRIENNE MANNS-ISRAEL:

Well after Charter Day, we got letters. I got one and Tony got one and everybody involved just about and some more people who weren't involved, got letters from the administration that we were called to a judiciary hearing. And I said, well, this, this was it. I had foreseen that of course. And we were going to be expelled. So we decided to hold a coalition meeting of student government leaders and, and all, all students really who had been involved. And we met and decided that we were going to have a sit-in, in the Administration Building to protest these, these letters because there was no student judiciary. And we, we'd have a rally, we said, we'd have a rally in front of Douglas Hall. And then, after the, during the rally at lunch time, we would announce the sit-in and we'd go into the Administration Building. Well, I had estimated, I said, "Well, maybe five hundred people will come, we can count on." We didn't want to be embarrassed, that, there, a, fifty or a hundred of us go in the Administration Building. So we thought five hundred, the most. We went to the rally. And Hubert Brown was the speaker. I didn't hear anything he said because all I could think of was, "When he's finished, I've got to walk over to this Administration Building." I promised to go up into Nabrit's office, right? And sit down on the, tell the man to leave. So, I said, "All right." I didn't hear anything. All I heard he would say, "Now we're going, now, something." And I stood back to see how many people were going. Then I said, "Well I can't do this. I've got to go regardless." So I just walked, I just walked over there. I didn't look back. I said, "Well however many come, come and I've made a commitment." And it was overwhelming, the whole building was full of students. I went up to Nabrit's office, the third floor was full, the second floor and his secretary, all the workers, they didn't say anything, you know, they just looked at us and we sat on the floor, and, ah, I kept thinking, "Where did all these people come from?" I just never realized that that many people would support us. But I was afraid, I was afraid all the way over there until I saw the people come, and, ah, well I was afraid then because I said, "What will we do now, with all these people. Now that we're over here, what will we do now?" So I just sat there waiting. Finally, a couple of hours, they closed up offices and they started leaving, the workers some of them says, "About time, you all did this." I was surprised. They said, "We were wondering how long it was going to take you to do this. It's about time." And they all went home. And evening started to fall and we said, "Well we've got to do something." So we formed a, a steering committee that came out of the student leadership and broke down into different areas; communications, food, housing, sleeping quarters for everyone. I've forgotten all of the sub committees but we had about eight to take care of things--



JUDY RICHARDSON:

OK, If you could, um, give me a sense again of the day of the takeover and the rally and if you could say the expulsion, the part that you had earlier--

ADRIENNE MANNS-ISRAEL:

After, after Charter Day we got letters from the administration that those of us who participated were called before the judiciary for hearings. And we knew that that was the same thing as being expelled. So I had expected this. And we met, that is the student leaders, the protest leaders, we met and decided to have a sit-in, in the administration building. And we were going to sit there until they agreed to set up a student judiciary. Well, the plan was, that Hubert Brown was going to speak. He was President of the Student Government Association. He would speak. And no long speeches. We said, "No speeches. Just tell people what happened, the reason we're having a sit-in, and we're all going to go over there." And we estimated that maybe five hundred would, would joint us. Well the day came, I remember it was a very bright day, beautiful day, and I went out after lunch and I told one of our teachers that I liked, what was going to happen. I told him to stay, I didn't tell him everything. I said, "Stay away from that administration building." And I went over to the rally and, ah, when Hu- I didn't hear, I couldn't hear what Hubert was saying. I was afraid really. I said, "What are we going to do? We've got to really do this. Once you say, you're going to do this thing, you've got to do it." So, I remember Hubert said, "Let's go". And I turned and I was staring at the building and I said, "I've got to do this." And I, I walked, started walking toward it. I was, I wasn't sure how many were coming. I said, "It doesn't matter. You know, I've got to do it. I've got to go ahead with it." And, I thought, "Just a few will come." I was so afraid that we were going to be embarrassed. And I went on in anyway. And I looked behind me and there were all these students coming. The, the place was filling up, first floor, second floor. I got in the elevator and went on up to the third floor. And went into Dr. Nabrit's office. Right behind me there were enough students to fill the whole floor, the third floor, which is a big area. And there were about ten of us that went into his office. He wasn't there. And we sat down and decided to wait, see what they did next.

JUDY RICHARDSON:

OK, cut. Good. Excellent.