Echoing the spirit of solidarity, about 20 members of the Occupy Harvard movement exited Lamont Library together as a group at 10 p.m. on Friday. They had occupied Lamont since Sunday evening to protest planned staff reductions in Harvard libraries.
Protestors said that Friday marked the end of the occupation in Lamont.
Anshul Kumar, a graduate student in sociology, said that the occupation was “effective” and “productive” for a number of reasons.
“Those of us who are already active in the movement were together in the same space again and were able to share ideas fluidly, while also reaching out to members of our community who we hadn’t been in touch with before,” Kumar said.
Protestors said the library workers were “overwhelmingly supportive” of the group’s effort—baking them cookies, participating in the movement's "Think Tank," and wearing occupy pins.
According to Kumar, the motto of the Lamont occupation was, “Take a break. Think.” He said the occupation provided a venue for people to re-conceptualize and problematize the issues at hand.
But during their one-week occupation of Lamont, protestors said they encountered some bumps along the way.
The University on Monday warned the protestors that they could lose their library privileges indefinitely if they continue to sleep in the library overnight. Doctoral student Andrew J. Pope said the University did not pursue the matter further “once it became apparent we are not going to be leaving.”
And when Harvard administrators told the protestors that they were not allowed to have any sleeping paraphernalia, including pillows and sleeping bags, the protestors blanketed themselves in pink Snuggies.
“We thought the pink Snuggies would be a humorous response to the administration,” Pope said.
Andrea L. Delgado ’15, who often comes to Lamont Library to study, said the protestors’ presence in the café had no impact on her.
“I saw the sign outside, but that was about it,” she said, referring to a banner hanging in front of Lamont Café that read “No Layoffs” in the front and “No Cuts” in the back. “I didn’t even know they were here.”
One HUPD officer was on guard inside the café throughout the night.
Around 10 minutes before the library’s closure, protestors put on their coats, gathered the signs, and shouted, “Let’s all leave together.”
Although nothing definitive has been planned yet, protestors say there will be future occupations.
“As we continue to grow and evolve, we will evaluate on new places to occupy as a group,” Pope said. “The occupy movement is an ongoing process.”
—Staff writer Jane Seo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.