Occupy Harvard on Wired

New article by Quinn Norton on Wired! Full story here: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/11/harvard-occupy/all/1.

Occupy Harvard’s an Exclusive Affair, But Not By Choice

“When Harvard’s Occupy set up camp in the famous Harvard Yard, the university didn’t evict them or harass them. Instead, the Ivy League institution just made the protest exclusive by cloistering the protestors off from the outside world.

Occupy Harvard, thus made the Rapunzel of occupations, expresses itself through planned actions.

They’ve attracted high-profile visitors including Nobel Peace prize nominee Ahmed Mahar of the Egyptian protests. But even for him, the university did not relent in their policy; Mahar wasn’t allowed into the Yard, and delivered his address through the fence using the people’s mic — where occupiers and other Harvard ID-carrying supporters repeated Mahar in phrase-long chunks.

They recently supported the the Harvard janitors in contract negotiations, which the union came to overwhelmingly support after the students protested on their behalf — something that has a long tradition at Harvard. They’ve recently had a rally in support of the students who faced harsh treatment at UC Berkeley and UC Davis. They mic-checked Newt Gingrich, interrupting him during a speech while he was visiting the campus.

The longer-term plan is to pressure Harvard on how it invests its $35 billion endowment fund, which has been profiting from controversial investments like land grabs in Africa and HEI Hotels and Resorts. HEI runs daily operations at hotel chains, including the W and Embassy Suites, both of which have been found guilty of labor violations under HEI’s management. To Bridges and many other Harvard Occupiers, pressuring the Harvard trust out of this kind of investing is a way of making the world a better place.”

This entry was posted in Press.

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