Civil Disobedience as Civil Dialogue: Divest Harvard

Civil Disobedience as Civil Dialogue

On April 4th, Divest Harvard joined the Harvard Prison Divestment Campaign to disrupt Harvard President Larry Bacow’s conversation with Graduate School of Education Dean Bridget Terry Long at the Institute of Politics on the “essential role of university leadership in transforming opportunity.” Thursday marked the first act of collaborative civil disobedience between members of the two divestment campaigns. It also marks the intensification of our call for President Bacow, the Harvard administration, and Harvard Management Company to engage in open dialogue on fossil fuel divestment.

Thursday’s disruption came after a year’s worth of refusal by the Harvard administration to engage in any dialogue at all. In The Crimson’s coverage of Thursday’s event, President Bacow cites the movements’ lack of civility as the justification to delay a further meeting, reiterating his insistence that he responds to “reason, not pressure.” In fact, the President has historically declined to engage any form of reasonable disagreement. To date, he has refused to even meet privately with members of the fossil free campaign outside of his limited office hours, nor to engage in any public dialogue on the divestment question.

…(read more).

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