In fighting for divestment and climate justice, our ultimate goal is not only a world where Harvard University no longer invests in the fossil fuel industry — it is a world where all forms of oppression are actively and directly confronted. The model of corporate greed and state-sanctioned normalized violence that we fight against as climate justice activists is not an isolated phenomenon. It manifests itself through the business model of the fossil fuel industry and also through pervasive, destructive, institutionalized racism.
Knowing this, our struggle for climate and environmental justice will not and cannot be complete until we achieve racial justice, economic justice, and justice in all forms. That is why Divest Harvard stands in solidarity with the people of Baltimore and those protesting the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of the Baltimore Police Department. We must explicitly strive for a world in which Black lives matter, and in which people are valued more than property and profit. We need a world in which police brutality and systemic racism are not constant spectres in the lives of the marginalized, and in which Black and Brown people can survive and thrive without threat of unjust persecution.
As we stand in solidarity with protesters in Baltimore, Divest Harvard acknowledges that as student activists on Harvard’s campus, both our voices and our bodies are highly privileged. Media, mainstream and otherwise, notice us and ask us for comment in their stories. More often than not, we are treated cordially, by police and administration alike. Therefore it is our responsibility to be active allies with those protesting in Baltimore.
We urge all those who raise questions about the riots and violence in Baltimore to consider the centuries-long, systematic, and institutionalized violence enacted on Black and Brown bodies. Now is the time to practice empathy and solidarity. We urge all of our supporters and all Harvard students to consider what each of us can do — in our own lives, on campus, and in our own communities — to stand in solidarity with and join in the fight against racist police violence and all forms of systemic institutionalized oppression.
With love and support,
The members of Divest Harvard
- Donate to a bail fund for protesters who have been arrested here: https://www.crowdrise.com/legalbailsupportforbaltimore/fundraiser/tremurphy
- See real time information about protests and community support efforts like food pantry collections in Baltimore at this website: baltimoreuprising.com
- See a rundown of people live-tweeting from on the ground in Baltimore:
- Read an article by Baltimore native Ta-Nehisi Coates addressing the difference between calls for non-violence and calls for justice in light of the death of 25 year-old Freddie Gray: http://blavity.com/ten-twitter-users-who-are-on-the-ground-in-baltimore/