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Archive for the 'Bard of the Yard' Category

Occupy Harvard claims the Old Yard


Tent City of Occupy Harvard in front of the John Harvard statue in the Old Yard, November 10, 2011


By second hand accounts, it was a fairly exciting evening in and around Harvard Yard.  I first suspected something was up when a second guard was assigned to Lamont Library on my shift at about 6PM.  Students started mentioning to me that there were a lot of police in the yard. Then the word – lockdown. No one without a Harvard ID was allowed in the Yard. Occupy Harvard had planned to rendezvous at the John Harvard statue. Occupy Cambridge rallied in front of the Holyoke Center outside the Yard. In order to have a General Assembly all could attend they moved to the Law School. There was the now standard Occupy Consensus Process based largely on anarchist tradition1.

Democracy is messy.  – Donald Rumsfeld trying to justify the looting and pillage after the “allies” occupied Baghdad.

Consensus is messier. Rightly so. It is much closer to true direct democracy. – the guy by the door


Occupy Cambridge wanted to Occupy the Common, but Occupy Harvard had their hearts set on the Yard. This won out. With the Harvard Police still controlling access to the Yard. Occupy Harvard proceeded into the Yard, while Occupy Cambridge marched around just outside the wall. There was an attempt from OC to push into the Yard to join OH.   A young woman, got her leg caught in a gate as the Harvard University Police tried to close it. The crowd moved in and pushed back on the police hard enough to free her. One member of Occupy Boston vaulted over the gate, was immediately detained, but then released. Dean of Student Life Suzy Nelson appeared and spoke with about 100 students. She expressed support for them, but asked them to occupy somewhere else. The occupiers started putting up tents. Divinty students created a ring of protection around them.  The police chief paced about. There were no arrests. By the time I arrived on the scene more than 20 tents were erected, the police had retreated to the gates, and all seemed quiet.

1My new friend Will showed my a pamphlet that I believe was from the Wobblies. I can’t find it right now. I will have a great deal more to say about it.  The central point is quite simple.  Consensus seeks to arrive at a decision that everyone owns. It seeks to avoid having to force anyone “go along”.

Stop Harvard land grabs from Africa to AllstonWe want a university for the 99%, not a corporation for the 1%



It’s in front of the Lamont Library in the South East corner of Harvard Yard,  is frocked all winter, …

… and has a floral accompaniment at the moment. John A. Collins tells me that the space in the middle is supposed to represent the space that the sculptor played in as an infant. A protected space formed by his mother with her body. The Lamont Librarian used to take a working lunch in that space. She was fair and wore pastel floral prints. She blended.

Harvard Magazine told us who figured out when and how to frock and that it is now waxed rather than lacquered. But who actually puts the frock on and takes it off. How often is the statue waxed and who does the waxing? Do they get a living wage? When I know, you’ll know.

A new day dawns…


Carrying tubs of course packs Habitat for Humanity book sale tent.
Carrying tubs of used course packs. for the Habitat for Humanity book sale.

The deals are not a steal, but they are better than new and the proceeds go to a place. A few pennies may even end up in New Orleans. Course packs are expensive. They were once [if not still] printed by Union labor – members of what was once the Graphic Communication International Union. It is now the Graphic Communication Conference of the Teamsters
which is in turn part of the Change to Win Coalition. But if my most favoritist reactionary string theorist, Lumidek claims that course packs are expensive because of the Unions, he will be wrong! Most of the cost is licensing that intervention in the ‘free market’ that the right-wingers love so much – copyrights. | Richard Stallman appeared briefly at the Wikipedia conference at Harvard Law this summer. Given the significant differences between copyrights and patents, he asked whether the concept of intellectual property has any ontological basis. It is, he asserts, merely a tool to legitimize business practices that benefit the few at the expense of the many.

Today is the last day of the sale.

As you might expect, Harvard labor is also in the picture…

Jim from Harvard FMO helps outs HUDS works unloading the days provisions.
…with Jim from FMO helping out… …while the folks from HUDS get ready for their day.

Habitat for Humanity: Recycling for a Cause


Habitat for Humanity book sale in front of the Tanner Fountain by the Science Center. Memorial Hall appears in the background

Harvard members of Habitat for Humanity sell used course packs in front of the Tanner Fountain. The Science Center appears on the right and Memortial Hall on the left.

Recycling is a virtue in and of itself, but Habitat for Humantity @ Harvard adds a second level by selling used and useful items and applying the proceeds to the construction of low-income housing. The gentleman on the right above went to New Orleans last summer.

The Full Monty*


Cavalcade of first-year families entering Harvard Yard through Johnston Gate First year families unloading their progeny at Mathews Hall John Harvard decked out for company
Click the pics for full size to open in new window.
Harvard first year families entering the Yard by Johnston Gate. Some go on to Mathews Hall. Note Harvard labor [foreground] working on Saturday. “John Harvard”, decked out for company, looks on.
Welcome to Harvard – the most self-important show on earth.

*I am grateful to Kim Bruning of J’s scratchpad and Wikipedia Netherlands for reminding me of this phrase.

The First Wave


The first wave of new Harvard first years lands at Canaday HallHarvard First Years in FUP arrive at Canaday Hall Friday evening. The rest of the class arrives Saturday morning.

Actually I don’t know if the folks above are FUP’s. They could be FOP’s or FAP’s. I tried to ask, but they wanted get their stuff and find their rooms. No, I don’t at all take it to be rude. F ? P = First year ? Program. They occur the week before First Year Orientation. So these folks are moving within Harvard.
? = (Urban|Art|Outdoor)

I’m guessing the first aid class in front of Lionel last week was part of FOP.

I did talk to a young man unloading in front of Thayer. He is a FUP. Richard Kelley ’10 chose Harvard because the financial aid package made it cheaper than anything in his native Schwarzeneggerland. Encouraging. The final verdict on the late Larry Summers’ program requires, of course, a larger sample.

Harvard Welcomes Freshperson Parents


“> “>
SLAM had a welcome that day. 4:15 PM Holyoke Center