Hoping to Occupy the Harvard Yard? You must show ID

Members of the Occupy movement sit outside the gates of Harvard on Wednesday night after they were denied entry.

Be warned: If you don’t go to Harvard, you won’t be allowed to walk through its historic campus without the proper ID.

A day after students hunkered down in Harvard Yard, putting up tents as part of the Occupy movement, the university issued a statement saying they will deny access to anyone who doesn’t attend the school.

School officials said they were less concerned about student occupation and more worried about outsider involvement.

“The events of [Wednesday] night raised safety concerns,” said the university’s provost and executive vice president. “The number of demonstrators was large, many of the demonstrators were not from Harvard, and specific behaviors were troubling.”

A number of Occupy Boston members marched “in solidarity” with 400 others towards the main gates of the school, which prompted police Wednesday night to lock down all entrances to Harvard Yard.
Later, students with ID were allowed on campus, at which point more than 20 tents went up as part of the occupation.

Charlie, a student and group member who asked Metro to withhold his last name, called the lockdown “absolutely ridiculous.”

“It’s a massive inconvenience to a lot of people and completely irrelevant. They are irrationally paranoid in a way that is reflective of the way a corporation functions,” he said.

While the school said it supports “the rights of members of the Harvard community to express their views,” officials said the occupation will force security to continue to keep out members outside of that niche.

“[This] is necessary for the safety of the freshmen and others who live and work there, for the students who will be sleeping outdoors as part of the protest, and for the overall campus,” read the letter.

Why protest?

Protesters gave Metro the following goals for occupation of Harvard Yard:
A university for the 99 percent, not a corporation for the 1 percent.
To protest the corporatization of higher education
New transparency policy and disclosure of Harvard’s investments

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear


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