UC Santa Barbara > History Department > Prof. Marcuse > Biography > 1987 Anti-CIA Protest page

Harold as the Hulk, Feb. 1988 caricature

Protest against CIA Recruiting
on the University of Michigan Campus,
November 25, 1987

After the police roughed up and kicked a protester, they arrested him because he said he wanted to press charges against them.

April 1988: City drops the charges, student files civil suit
November 1989: depositions are taken
March 1991: civil trial starts, is dropped after first day

page created by H. Marcuse, March 11, 2006;
last updated


On November 25, 1987 about 20 students from the University of Michigan Latin America Solidarity Committee (LASC) gathered in the lobby of the Student Activities Building to attempt to disrupt CIA job interviews taking place somewhere nearby. At first we sang and chanted in the lobby. Since a side hallway was full of police, we figured the interviews were back that way, and moved to enter it to confront the CIA interviewers directly.

University Director of Public Safety Leo Heatley put his arms across the hallway entrance. Marcuse ducked under, while other protestors moved closer.

Entering the hallway

Down the first hallway

The picture above shows the point in time when Leo Heatley says he observed Marcuse spin Barbour around, try to get him in a choke hold and take his gun, then knee him in the back. Actually, Heatley's watching the other student move into a small kitchen. We students still don't know exactly where the interviews are taking place. They may be in room 7 or 8--I never found out. At this point I'm kind of worried because Barbour is dragging me away from the group, and I would rather not be separated from the others. (Basically, I don't want to do anything he wants me to do.)

The hallway is L-shaped. The picture below is taken from the far end of the first hallway, to the right down the second.

Marcuse on floor, under police

After stating my intent to file charges against the police who were gratuitously kicking and stomping on me, I was arrested for Assault and Battery. In his police report, filed 5 days after the incident, and after Heatley gave the testimony below, Officer Barbour wrote:

"During the protest, when the protestors attempted to enter an area which the U of M D.P.S. had deemed off limits to them, there was a confrontation between the protestors and assembled police/security personnel on the scene. During the first of these confrontations, Ofr. Barbour was grabbed, spun around, and kneed from behind by the suspect Marcuse."

Leo Heatley was more elaborate, saying things that were probably embarrasing to Barbour. Lt. Kinsey's write-up of his interview with Heatley:

"HEATLEY ... observed the suspect later identified as Marcuse grab Ofcr. Barbour and spin him around so that Ofcr. Barbour's back was to the suspect's front. ... Mr. Heatley stated he observed the suspect grab Ofcr. Barbour from behind ... [and] that he felt that the suspect was trying to get Ofcr. Barbour into a choke hold and possibly take Ofcr. Barbour's weapon away from him. Mr. Heatley stated that the suspect reached over Ofcr. Barbour with his right arm over Ofcr. Barbour's right arm and this attack was coming from behind Ofcr. Barbour. ... At that time Heatley felt that the suspect might be trying to get to Ofcr. Barbour's weapon. As the suspect Marcuse was grabbing Barbour from behind Heatley stated he saw Marcuse knee Ofcr. Barbour in the back."

[Go Harold--get the gun from a 220 lb cop's shoulder holster under his jacket, even if you've never so much as held a handgun before!
And then knee him in the back out of spite.]
Later on Pifer told police that I had kneed him in the back as well--quite a feat when you're lying in a fetal position on the floor.


Dec. 11, 1987 article about students meeting with DADec. 11, 1987 article, cont'd
The DA didn't drop the charges. After failing to persuade me to do community service so that he would drop the charges, Asst. DA Plunkett even offered to do the community service with me. I was outraged, but said I would do it if the cops who beat me would do service, too. No deal, so we decided to mobilize publicity for the trial.
Apr. 1988 letter inviting public to the trial caricature showing Marcuse turn into the hulk

The judge dropped the charges at the DA's request. What a disappointment--it would have been a fun trial.
Apr. 1988: the judge drops the charges
The group decided that I should file a civil lawsuit. The University filed a countersuit, and the process dragged on for three years. We did depositions of all the police, taking the opportunity to mobilize against the effort to deputize the University Public Safety officers--allowing them to carry weapons and make arrests. By the time the suit came to trial, I had a child in Germany and was doing dissertation research there, so I had to fly back to the Michigan for the trial. One of my assailants made a personal appeal--he said he felt awful that his kids were asking him why he was on trial for beating someone up. When we could only get one of the student witnesses to come back to town to testify, and since the date of my flight back was looming, I decided we had made our point and folded.
March 1991 article about end of civil suit
March 1991 article: suit dropped after first day of trial

page created by H. Marcuse on March 11, 2006; last updated: see header
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