Today, Divest Harvard and its allies have begun a sit-in in Massachusetts Hall to demand Harvard fully divest its endowment from fossil fuels. We are sitting in, as Harvard students have for living wages and divestment from apartheid, to bring the urgent problem of climate injustice to our President’s doorstep.
Our President has called us coercive and told us we are using the wrong means for combating climate change. We are saddened by her characterization of our action when we are continuing a legacy of civil disobedience that has brought real change to our university. We believe it is necessary for Harvard to use every means in its power to combat climate change. We disrupt business as usual because business as usual permits massive injustice via the extraction and consumption of fossil fuels, which disparately threaten the livelihoods of global citizens.
Last semester, President Faust inspired us when she quoted civil rights leader John Lewis on civil disobedience: “I got into trouble. Good trouble. Necessary trouble.” She went on to praise those in “Harvard’s own imperfect past who were willing to get into necessary trouble” because they have pushed our university forward through history.
We hope to do the same.