THE NEWS IN BRIEF: Students march to Loeb House in protest, only to learn their wishes of divestment had been granted

Almost 150 students, dressed in black and carrying signs, rallied for Harvard divestment from PetroChina through a silent demonstration yesterday morning.

They congregated in front of Widener library and proceeded silently to Loeb House, the former home of Harvard’s presidents and current meeting place of the Harvard Corporation.

As the protestors neared Loeb, they were alerted that the Harvard Corporation Committee on Shareholder Responsibility (CCSR) had decided to divest from PetroChina.

Student organizers who were part of the group United Front for Divestment coordinated the demonstration.

They distributed green ribbons to demonstrators which read, “How many is too many? Fight genocide in Darfur now.”

Student organizer Jennifer N. Wynn ’06 said she hoped that the Harvard Corporation would see that “the student body has surpassed all racial, ethnic and special interest divisions to make the genocide in Darfur a humanitarian issue with which we want Harvard to be connected only in a constructive way.”

According to Jacki Chou ’06, another student organizer, “I think for us to present to the Harvard Corporation that the undergraduate community is aware of the world and that we will not be quiet is important, which is ironic in that we are making ourselves heard through a silent statement.”

Ben B. Collins ’06 and Manav K. Bhatnagar ’06 started an online petition for divestment after reading an article in The Crimson about Harvard’s investment in PetroChina, said Collins. Approximately 1000 students, faculty, alumni and staff have signed the petition, said Collins.

Campus student groups that sponsored the demonstration included Amnesty International, the Darfur Action Group, the Harvard Black Students Association, the Harvard Black Men’s Forum, the Association of Black Harvard Women, BGLTSA, Fuerza Latina, the Harvard AIDS Coalition, and the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Association, according to Wynn.a