A score of tents went up in Harvard Yard as part of the Occupy movement Wednesday night, but it didn’t come without a fight.
After more than four hours of marching, deliberating, and even forming a human wall to try and push past a blockade of Harvard University and Cambridge Police officers, students got on the campus ground and set up their occupation.
According to the Occupy Harvard group, the takeover marked their solidarity with the global movement with the intent to call attention to “the growing corporatization of higher education."
Camping equipment was set up by the John Harvard statue on the campus quad after the group marched with union workers and faculty members following a formal General Assembly behind the Law School.
"We need to teach that the public is more important than the power," said Harvard professor and alum Tim McCarthy. "Harvard employees people responsible for the economic meltdown and has faculty that have made war more efficient."
McCarthy, who teachesHistory, Literature and Public Policy, said he recognizes the good the University upholds in society, but that "people are more important than profits" and "it's time to take the world back."
When the marches began, university officials seemed to anticipate the crowd of protesters and initially denied access to anyone that didn’t have a Harvard identification card.
But, later, as the crowd swelled outside the gates to Harvard Yard, officials closed access to everyone, prompting chants from protesters and setting off a frenzy of flashing camera lights and students attempting to scale the walls to make their way in.
Vivian Shaw, a freshman, was frustrated that she couldn’t get in her dorm to go to sleep.
“I understand what they are [fighting for] but I find it a little ironic,” she said. “I just want to get to my room, though.”
The march also clashed with an event being held on the grounds that was meant to celebrate diversity at the college.
“This march was just poorly planned and obnoxious,” said Wilson, a freshman and one of the performers at the event. “It sucked the life out of the night. This was an important cultural event.”
Eighteen-year-old Nate Wall also wasn’t happy with his coeds choice in nighttime activities.
“It’s ridiculous,” he said. “I don’t know how people who go here can’t be proud. They have accomplished something great. Anyone that goes here, or went here and is now boycotting---you can’t just take that position.”
Leading up to the occupation, scores of protesters engaged in verbal battles with classmates over the movement.
But in the end, the tents went up, and the occupiers voted to stay put.