Moving Backwards

DISSENTING OPINION

THE MAJORITY EDITORIAL wrongly gives approval to last work's takeover of the University building at 17 Quincy St, which was a strategically inappropriate and morally dubious course of action. Civil disobedience is a time-honored form of protest, but it is hard to see how the circumstances last week merited the illegal seizure of Harvard property. No matter how much the protesters claim to the contrary, they disrupted University business and caused undue mental anguish to the secretaries and other staffers in the building, who have nothing to do with Harvard's investment policy. Just what one wonders, did they hope to accomplish by the takeover? If it was to draw attention to their cause, then the action was pointless, since previous divestiture events this spring, most notably the rally in the Yard which drew 5000 people, have adequately accomplished this goal. In fact, the action set their cause back by costing the protesters the support of many members of the Harvard community favorably disposed to their arguments--but rightfully unwilling to countenance the substitution of coercion for persuasion on a college campus.