On an anchored bobbing boat three guitarists from Bordeaux begin. The inside of the boat is small and packed with patrons in their twenties, gripping overpriced beers. They nod their heads to the folk onirique, looking vaguely bored but at ease.
My grandmother recalls a long-ago trip and an afternoon café, where she and her husband were caught up in a mass of students protesting in the streets. There's no college football in Paris, said their expat friend and tour guide—this is what the students do instead.
The students affiliated with PSLM had hosted rallies; they had passed around petitions; they had lobbied for over four years, since the organization’s founding in 1997, in support of a “living wage” for Harvard’s workers. “A sit-in,” Elfenbein acknowledges, “is a pretty major scaling-up of tactics.” The Mass. Hall sit-in would last 21 days, garner the attention of CNN and The New York Times, and spark campus-wide debate: centered, at least among the students, more on the methods of radical activism than on its goals.