Day After Arrest, Divest Protesters Renew Calls for Open Meeting with Corporation

By Matthew Q. Clarida, CRIMSON STAFF WRITER4 days ago
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UPDATED: May 2, 2014, at 7:11p.m.

Robert F Worley
Members of Divest Harvard, including Brett A. Roche ’15, far right, who was arrested during a protest Wednesday morning, returned to Massachusetts Hall Friday afternoon to renew their call for an open meeting with the Harvard Corporation.

The day after one of its undergraduate members was arrested during a protest in front of Massachusetts Hall, the environmental activist group Divest Harvard held another rally in front of the home of the University’s central administration and continued to demand an open meeting with its top leadership.

Since its founding in 2012, Divest Harvard has urged the University to unload its holdings in fossil fuel companies and demanded an open audience with University President Drew G. Faust and the Harvard Corporation, the University’s highest governing body. Though Faust and members of the Corporation have met with members of Divest Harvard, the organization has criticized the meetings for taking place behind closed doors and for not leading to discernible progress.

At Friday’s rally, which was attended by a crowd which swelled to nearly 75, members of Divest Harvard continued to clamor for an open meeting with University leadership, but much of the event focused on the University’s response to protesters the previous day.

Among the first to speak was Brett A. Roche ’15, the student who was arrested by Harvard University Police Thursday morning and quickly released after all charges against him were dropped. As Roche recounted the story of his arrest, murmurs in the crowd ceased and gave way to a loud applause. Roche said that the adversity has been formative for the group.

“This has been an experience of incredible growth for many members of Divest,” Roche said. Afterwards, he added that he thought that his arrest, and the group’s organized protests this week, would together “draw a lot of attention to the administration on this issue.”

For background on this issue see: “Why is Dialogue So Difficult at Harvard? The Voices and the Silences Behind the Fossil Fuel Protests”

and The Harvard Crimson | Divestment Tag

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

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