On Monday, September 16th, a correspondent of the HPR attended a protest held outside of Massachusetts Hall that was organized by Divest Harvard. The rally demonstrated the coalition that has formed among alumni, students, and faculty in favor of divestment. The HPR spoke with student leaders of the campaign, alumni, and curious bystanders.
Momentum has been building for Harvard to remove investments tied to fossil fuels. The members of the divestment alliance now belong to Harvard classes that span six decades. And the protest occurred shortly before prominent environmental activist, Bill McKibben, noted the importance of responsible investment in Sanders Theater. The campaign’s next move will be to have a public forum regarding divestment by the end of November. How responsive administrators will be is yet to be seen.
“Divestment will reassure the world of Harvard’s leadership. It will ensure the faith of its alumni in its integrity. And it will demonstrate to its students and to future generations that it understands the meaning of ‘action from principle,’ of moral courage—of conscience” – Wen Stephenson ’90, Journalist for The Nation
“Only in extremely rare circumstances will Harvard consider divestment” – Statement issued by Harvard Administration
“Does increasing the temperature of the earth to warmer than it has been in millions of years count as ‘rare?'” – Quip from Alumni response
“How is Harvard supporting global warming? By burning things?” – Confused freshman’s reaction to the protest banner
“Harvard should stop teaching about leading and lead!” – Leland Chung, Cambridge City Council Member
“We’re here today. . .to demand that Harvard divest from fossil fuels, not because it’s easy—though it is. And not because it’s profitable—though it will be. But because it’s right. And because it’s necessary” – Wen Stephenson.
“I divested my portfolio of fossil fuels six years ago. My investments have not been impacted. It’s your turn, Harvard!” – A member of the Harvard Class of 1958