Daily Archives: May 2, 2017

Remembering Professor Oliver Lee

Oliver Lee, the University of Hawaii political scientist whose 1968 tenure case caused protests on the Manoa campus and turmoil in island politics, died yesterday morning, according to an email from his daughter, Vivien.

I was an undergraduate student at UH in 1968, and took part in the sit-in at Bachman Hall that paralyzed the campus after a promise of tenure to Lee was withdrawn due to external political pressure over his anti-Vietnam War views.

Star-Advertiser columnists Richard Borreca recounted Lee’s story in a 2014 column.

And here are a few oldies. First, one of the products of the tumult surrounding the Lee tenure case was the appearance of The Roach, Vol. 1, No. 1, which has its own take on the doings at UH.

A search of my photos turned up several of interest. First, here’s a link to a few photos from the 1968 sit-in at Bachman Hall in support of Lee.

A few more. Oliver was among those who picketed a speech by Vice-President Hubert Humphrey when he spoke at an American Bar Association meeting at the Ilikai Hotel in the summer of 1967,

Demonstration 1967

And again in a “march for disarmament” in 1976. Lee is in front, closest to the camera.

1976 demonstration for disarmament

And he joined two peace groups, the American Friends Service Committee (Quakers) and catholic Action of Hawaii, protesting the presence of nuclear weapons in Hawaii, also around 1976. Again, Lee is in the foreground, closest to the camera, wearing a lei of paper cranes, a symbol of peace in the nuclear age.

anti-nuclear protest 1976

RIP, Oliver.