News

Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor Talks Justice, Civic Engagement at Radcliffe Day

News

Church Says It Did Not Authorize ‘People’s Commencement’ Protest After Harvard Graduation Walkout

News

‘Welcome to the Battlefield’: Maria Ressa Talks Tech, Fascism in Harvard Commencement Address

Multimedia

In Photos: Harvard’s 373rd Commencement Exercises

News

Rabbi Zarchi Confronted Maria Ressa, Walked Off Stage Over Her Harvard Commencement Speech

Harvard Students Rally in Solidarity with Columbia Demonstrators Following Arrests

Around 200 Harvard affiliates rallied in front of Widener Library in solidarity with students who were arrested at Columbia during pro-Palestine demonstrations.
Around 200 Harvard affiliates rallied in front of Widener Library in solidarity with students who were arrested at Columbia during pro-Palestine demonstrations. By Julian J. Giordano
By Michelle N. Amponsah and Joyce E. Kim, Crimson Staff Writers

More than 200 Harvard affiliates rallied in Harvard Yard Friday afternoon to denounce Harvard’s ties to the war in Gaza and to show solidarity with students who were arrested at Columbia University during pro-Palestine demonstrations.

“We are in solidarity with our brave, with our courageous comrades at Columbia. They are our moral exemplars. Solidarity is costly but we are willing to bear the brunt of it,” attendees chanted in front of University Hall, home to the offices of top College administrators.

The rally is part of a wave of solidarity protests at universities across the country after New York City Police Department officers arrested more than 100 people on Thursday during a pro-Palestine demonstration on Columbia’s campus on the grounds of criminal trespassing.

Friday’s protest —which was organized by a coalition of recognized and unrecognized pro-Palestine groups — began around 4 p.m. and included speeches from members of the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee, the African and African American Resistance Organization, Law Students for a Free Palestine, and the unofficial Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions caucus of Harvard’s graduate student union.

Speakers repeatedly called for Harvard to “disclose and divest” from companies and investments in the West Bank.

Second-year Harvard Divinity School student Elom Tettey-Tamaklo speaks to protesters in the Science Center plaza at the start of the rally.
Second-year Harvard Divinity School student Elom Tettey-Tamaklo speaks to protesters in the Science Center plaza at the start of the rally. By Ike J. Park

Elom Tettey-Tamaklo, a second-year student at the Harvard Divinity School who was indefinitely relieved of his duties as a Thayer Hall proctor for his involvement in a physical confrontation at an October pro-Palestine rally, also spoke on Friday.

“Come Ad Board charges, come criminal charges, come suspension, come expulsion — we are here to say disclose and divest,” Tettey-Tamaklo said.

PSC organizer Shraddha Joshi ’24 — who co-authored an op-ed in The Crimson criticizing the Harvard Undergraduate Association’s indefinite postponement of a referendum calling for divestment — denounced what she described as Harvard’s repression of pro-Palestine speech.

“Harvard is more concerned with where PSC puts its logo and where we’re standing and who we’re talking to than the rape threats that are regularly coming to our inboxes,” Joshi said during the rally. “We know that Harvard is more concerned with silencing its student body than responding to hate crimes that are happening on this campus.”

“For this reason, we stand here to say that Harvard is not going to protect us. We protect each other,” she added.

Harvard spokesperson Jason A. Newton reiterated that the University “opposes calls for a policy of boycotting Israel and its academic institutions” in a Friday evening email and declined to comment further on the rally.

Protesters marched outside of interim Harvard President Alan Garber's office in Massachusetts Hall, demanding the University sever its financial ties to the war in Gaza.
Protesters marched outside of interim Harvard President Alan Garber's office in Massachusetts Hall, demanding the University sever its financial ties to the war in Gaza. By Selorna A. Ackuayi

Protesters gathered in the Science Center plaza before marching through Harvard Yard to outside the office of interim University President Alan M. Garber ’76 at Massachusetts Hall, and by the John Harvard statue in front of University Hall.

“Harvard University, we put you on notice. The student movement will never tire. We will never rest. We will never be silenced until Harvard fully divests,” attendees said during a call-and-response chant in front of University Hall.

“We refuse to allow our fees, we refuse to allow our labor, we refuse to allow our intellectual property to be used in the killing of Palestinians. Harvard University, you are on notice. The time is coming. The students demand divestment,” they chanted.

The rally concluded at the steps of Widener Library, where organizers used bullhorns to lead the crowd in chants, including “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and “we will not stop, we will not rest, disclose, divest.”

Ahead of the first day of classes of the spring semester, Garber and 15 top Harvard deans signed onto an email reminding students the protest rules outlined by the University-wide Statement on Rights and Responsibilities.

The University-wide Statement prohibits demonstrations that interfere with “freedom of movement,” block ingress or egress to campus buildings, classrooms, administrative offices, and other spaces, and any interference with vehicular, bicycle, or pedestrian traffic.

In an interview after the rally, Joshi said the group will “continue showing up,” despite pushback from administrators.

“Whether that looks like under the banner of a particular organization or under a particular coalition, the push for Palestinian liberation — for divestment — is not going anywhere,” Joshi added.

—Staff writer Michelle N. Amponsah can be reached at michelle.amponsah@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @mnamponsah.

—Staff writer Joyce E. Kim can be reached at joyce.kim@thecrimson.com. Follow her on X at @joycekim324.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags
CollegeStudent LifeProtestsFront FeatureCollege NewsDivestmentFeatured ArticlesIsrael Palestine

Related Articles

Elom Tettey-Tamaklo Speaks at PSC ProtestProtest Mass Hall