As Divest Blockade Continues, Protesters Await Response

Several top officials have yet to publicly react to ongoing divestment demonstrations

By Mariel A. Klein , CRIMSON STAFF WRITER10 hours agoUPDATED: April 16, 2015, at 12:03 a.m.

Environmental activist group Divest Harvard blockaded Massachusetts Hall for a fourth day on Wednesday, continuing to demand that Harvard divest its endowment from fossil fuels even as some top University officials largely ignored them.

The group of protesters launched the planned blockade of Harvard’s central administrative building on Sunday as part of its “Heat Week” demonstration, which so far has also included a four-hour blockade of University Hall and an occupation of the Harvard Alumni Association in an attempt to confront the administration about divestment. While protesters have successfully evoked responses from some administrators, others have not publicly reacted to the disruption as they have gone to work elsewhere.

After a nearly two-day sit-in that spanned Monday and Tuesday nights, protesters calling for Harvard to divest its endowment from fossil fuels left the Harvard Alumni Association at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning, unsuccessful in their attempt to meet with alumni office leadership to discuss divestment during their occupation.

Alumni supporters of Divest Harvard took to HAA headquarters on Mt. Auburn Street beginning on Monday at 2 p.m. to demand a meeting with the organization’s leaders. About a dozen protesters stayed overnight on Monday and Tuesday.

Alumni supporters of environmental activist group Divest Harvard occupied the Harvard Alumni Association on Mt. Auburn Street for just under two days. Y. Kit Wu

At the sit-in, alumni signed pledge cards for a fossil-free fund, an alternative to donating to the University’s endowment, that stipulates Harvard will only receive the donations if it publicly commits to divestment by Dec. 31, 2025. They presented around 60 pledge cards with donations up to $5,000 to Shannon Gerah, the human resources director for Alumni Affairs and Development, and plan to present another 40 to HAA that have been filled out at Mass. Hall, according to Collin Rees ’12, a coordinator for environmental activist organization

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