Harvard Has Been Occupied: "Money for Jobs and Education, Not for Banks and Corporations!"
Months after Occupy Wall Street first burst onto the scene, weeks after Scott Olsen was shot in Oakland, and days after Bloomberg revealed that Bank of America, with federal approval, has put the taxpayers on the hook for a possible bailout which, according to financial analyst Avery Goodman, could trigger a chain of events which could result in major devaluation of the dollar, Harvard students last night joined the fray and did so in a big way. The arrival of students at elite universities throws a monkey wrench into the coordinated media campaign to portray protesters as the incapable or lazy who have lost the economic race.
As the congressional "super committee" mulls $1 trillion worth of cuts in programs including Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, the magnitude of wealth flowing upward at the same time is unconscionable to ever growing segments of the population.
Chanting, "Not just for the rich and white, education is a right!" and "We are unstoppable, another world is possible!" a huge crowd of students very nearly succeeded in pushing past a line of Harvard police who were trying to close the gates to Harvard Yard on the Science Center side as, surrealistically, a Mariachi band for an unrelated event played Mexican Revolutionary songs nearby. The protesters were attempting to join a contingent already in the Yard. Another chant was "Money for jobs and education, not for banks and corporations!" Remarkably concise. Why didn't I think of that?
At one point in the video below a girl can be heard screaming. I could not see what this was about. One Youtube poster "Sailor8751" maintains the girl's leg was caught in the gate as it was getting forced shut, but that protesters had managed to force it back open. This is unconfirmed by any named eye-witnesses and so at this point hearsay, but the screams can be clearly heard.
On hearing that an Occupy Harvard was in the offing, I expected to find a smattering of the usual suspects, a small number of idealists in a sea of focused careerism. I was dead wrong. A crowd of what looked to be almost all students, young, clean-cut, and, well, I don't know how else to put it - smart-looking - chanted "Who's yard? OUR YARD!" as the gates see-sawed back and forth from a bit more closed to a bit more open. The only reason it was even a contest from where I stood was the restraint of the students. With their numbers the students could easily have decided that those gates were going to be opened and overwhelmed the police presence. But the large part of the crowd held back and the gate finally was chained shut.
By the end of the night around 20 tents had been erected in Harvard Yard.
The students' first demand was that non-Harvard students and supporters be allowed to join them in the Yard, but the administration is presently denying the request. Harvard traditionally keeps its gates open to the public, as the Yard is a major tourist attraction for visitors from around the world. The gates remain closed as of today.
A series of bailouts, bank rescues and other economic lifelines could end up costing the federal government as much as $23 trillion, the U.S. government’s watchdog over the effort says – a staggering amount that is nearly double the nation’s entire economic output for a year.
$23 trillion is more than the total cost of all the wars the United States has ever fought, put together. World War II, for example, cost $4.1 trillion in 2008 dollars, according to the Congressional Research Service.
Even the Moon landings and the New Deal didn’t come close to $23 trillion: the Moon shot in 1969 cost an estimated $237 billion in current dollars, and the entire Depression-era Roosevelt relief program came in at $500 billion, according to Jim Bianco of Bianco Research. - Politico, "Bailouts Could Cost US $23 Trillion"
Following chart as of 2010, Bloomberg:
Occupy Harvard Facebook updates: