You may remember Occupy Harvard. Back in the fall of 2011, they were the group of students living in expensive tents behind the locked gates of Harvard Yard, protesting income inequality at one of the most expensive colleges in the country.
The tents came down when Occupy was no longer trendy but apparently some students think the movement still exists.
Nathalie R. Miraval of the Harvard Crimson reports.
Hundreds of protesters gathered on the evening of Nov. 9, 2011. They made their way through Harvard Yard, to the Law School, and later down to Mass. Ave. to convey disapproval of expanding income inequality in the United States. Confusion ensued as security guards closed gates to prevent non-Harvard affiliates from entering the Yard.
Facing resistance, demonstrators at Harvard pushed their way through the gates in small numbers. Later that night, about 120 protesters convened and began constructing a tent city in front of University Hall.
Harvard Yard was occupied.
Over a year later, members of Occupy Harvard continue to engage in activism inspired by the movement, and reflect on its legacy on campus.
“For me it’s not ended in any way,” says Umang Kumar, who graduated from Harvard Divinity School last year. He continues, “The group has dispersed, so I think we are still learning things, we are still coming to grips with what this movement is and how it has functioned and what it can be.”
For many members, Occupy Harvard was a way of drawing the student body’s attention to the growing inequality in the United States. They believed that Harvard could help reshape the economic structures and therefore diminished the gap between increasingly stratified classes.
Gabriel H. Bayard ’15 helped organize the event and lived in the tents for 13 days. He says camping was a powerful way to show solidarity with Harvard’s custodial workers, many of whom, he says, were not receiving fair payment.