For Immediate Release: 11/11/2011
Occupy Harvard decries continued lock-down of Harvard Yard
11 November 2011, Cambridge, MA—Standing in the pouring rain in front of the John Harvard statue, the General Assembly of Occupy Harvard declared its opposition to the continued lock-down of Harvard Yard.
“We object to the continued constraints and encourage the administration to restore full and free access to the Yard,” said a statement passed by the General Assembly. “Our movement is made up of Harvard students, staff, and faculty, and we pose no threat to the University or the “safety, security, and well-being” of fellow Harvard affiliates. The ongoing ID checks and partial gate closures are as unnecessary as they are inconvenient. Furthermore, the decision to only grant entry to Harvard ID holders has reinforced the institutional exclusivity and elitism that Occupy Harvard seeks to change.”
This sentiment was shared by Duncan Kennedy, a Harvard Law School professor, who wrote an open letter to Harvard President Drew Faust on Thursday expressing his dissatisfaction with the way Harvard administration handled the protest.
“My comment is that it seems to me an overreaction to have closed the Yard to outsiders last night,” wrote Kennedy. He went on to say, “My suggestion is that it would be a good idea, supposing that the University is committed to excluding anyone without a Harvard ID from the Yard, to have more open gates as checkpoints, rather than closing almost all of them and restricting access and exit for ID holders to a mere three.”
Kennedy concluded the letter with, “… as a participant, the massive security presence, albeit friendly enough, had a Homeland Security feel to it. And I think it would be better now to allow free circulation of outsiders.”
Another General Assembly will be held tomorrow at 5 pm.
On Wednesday, November 9th, hundreds of Harvard students and affiliates pitched tents to begin an indefinite occupation of Harvard Yard. Currently, thirty tents occupy the Yard in solidarity with the global Occupy movement. Around 800 students, faculty, staff members, and community members gathered in a rally, general assembly, and march to occupy Harvard. Harvard is a diverse community that includes both the 1% and the 99%; we occupy here in solidarity with the global Occupy Movement and Occupy Boston. www.OccupyHarvard.net