Gov. orders National Guard to campus

Delores Lutz

Gov. Wendell Anderson Wednesday night activated two Minnesota National Guard Military units in response to Minneapolis Mayor Charles Stenvig’s request for assistance in quashing demonstrations in the University area.
A governor’s aid said the 47th Division Military Police Company, St. Paul, and the 257th Division Military Police Company, White Bear Lake, totaling 350 men, have been assigned to the University Armory and the Air Force recruiting office in Dinkytown, the Associated Press reported.
The guardsmen “are here only to relieve fatigued Minneapolis police officers,” a Minneapolis Police Department inspector said shortly after the guardsmen arrived on campus at 1 p.m.
The guardsmen will relieve policemen in shifts, he said.
An additional 450 men from the 1st Battalion 151st Field Artillery are scheduled to report to the Minneapolis Armory at 4:30 a.m., United Press International reported. Members of the unit reportedly will be equipped with M-16 rifles which will not be loaded, although the ammunition will be available.
The military policemen will be on duty in eight hour shifts, but there are conflicting reports on the extent to which they will be equipped.
UPI reported that the guardsmen would carry night sticks and sidearms and wear bullet proof vests.
The Minneapolis Tribune reported that the guardsmen would be armed with shotguns, M-16 rifles and riot batons, but ammunition would not be issued to individuals.
Stenvig requested activation of the 47th Division company, which was drilling last night at the Minneapolis Armory, on the advice of city police chief Gordon Johnson, the mayor announced at a 7:30 p.m. news conference.
“After taking all factors into account, and in the interest of maintaining an adequate level of protection for the citizens of Minneapolis, we feel the situation warrants the assistance of additional manpower,” Stenvig said in a prepared statement.
Anderson’s press secretary, Ted Smebakken, in an interview earlier in the evening commented on the governor’s response to Stenvig’s request.
“(Anderson) is not going to substitute judgement here,” Smebakken said. “If local authorities say it’s out of hand, he’s not going to second guess them.
“The governor’s primary concern is preventing violence and injuries and deaths,” he added.
Officers of the Minneapolis police tactical squad moved onto campus when Eugene Eidenberg, acting University president in the absence of Malcom Moos, “formally requested assistance from the Minneapolis Police Department to restore order on the campus” after demonstrators destroyed property and set a vehicle afire at the ROTC Armory early in the afternoon, Johnson reported in a prepared statement.
The decision to request National Guard assistance was made at about 5:40 p.m. after police supervisors on the scene reported that “officers were becoming exhausted and were continuing to sustain injuries,” police officials reported in a written statement distributed to newsmen.
Eighty of the 250 metropolitan law enforcement officers on duty in the University area Wednesday afternoon were injured in confrontations with demonstrators, police spokesmen said, adding that many of the injuries were bruises and lacerations incurred when demonstrators pelted the police lines with stones and other objects.
Thirty persons were arrested, and “people are still being booked,” a police officer told newsmen.
All police personnel on duty were put on 12-hour shifts when demonstrators refused to leave Washington Avenue, Johnson said. He decided to use the fogger (a tear gas spraying device) when police were injured in confrontations with demonstrators.
Efforts to drop gas on Dinkytown from a rented helicopter failed because of wind conditions, a police spokesman said.
Newsmen from some metropolitan papers said that several persons caught in some of the gas experienced nausea and vomiting.