Hoffman's speech at Willy's statue

Monday April 13, 1970 

The day after the Allen Center scuffle, Tom McGarity said his 10 a.m. physics class was wrapping up when his professor asked him to stay behind to ask him what had happened the previous night. McGarity said that as he was explaining the events of the previous 48 hours, he glanced outside and saw a group of people gathered at Willy’s Statue — “and lo and behold, there was Abbie Hoffman!”

Hoffman came to Rice after all, speaking for roughly 5 minutes before being quickly escorted back off campus. It is not apparent that anyone from Rice — McGarity, the Student Association, the Student Center Board, or the administration — knew beforehand that he was planning to appear despite the withdrawal of a speaking invitation. There was no interference from campus security.

The Thresher reported that Hoffman referred to the students as “mere slaves on Malcolm Lovett’s ‘plantation’ [and called the occupation] a ‘tutti-frutti’ panty raid instead of a revolution.” The Houston Chronicle offered a slightly different version of Hoffman’s phrasing, quoting him as saying “now you see what it’s like to live on a plantation and to be treated like slaves.”

Only between 20 to 40 students were present at the time of his appearance.

Hoffman's speech at Willy's statue