Forty representatives of a coalition of 5000 Boston-area citizens opposed to Harvard's $110-million Medical Area power plant project protested in front of Massachusetts Hall yesterday and tried to present a "people's injunction" to President Bok demanding that Harvard halt construction of the power plant.
After University police denied the protesters entrace to Mass Hall and told them Bok was not in the building, the protesters requested an appointment with Bok on a later date, but the president's office refused to schedule a meeting.
State Rep. John A. Businger, who participated in the demonstration, yesterday called Bok's refusal to meet with the power plant opponents "unacceptable baloney."
The power plant opponents explained their legal initiatives to stop the project to students and handed out copies of their "people's injunction," which states that the Harvard power plant "will pollute our air, ruin our health, and we will pay for it in taxes and hospital costs."
Matthew D. Mattingly, one of the protesters, told the students in front of University Hall that "We have an interest in common... The power plant and apartheid are both horrible things being financed with Harvard money."
Lawyers for the Town of Brookline and the Brookline Citizens To Protect The Environment will ask for an injunction to stop construction of the plant in Suffolk Superior Court today.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Quality Engineering (DEQE) disapproved the diesel electric generating portion of the plant on January 31 because of the allegedly dangerous level of nitrogen dioxide that the diesels would produce. Harvard has appealed the DEQE ruling, but the dates for the appeal have not yet been set.
L. Edward Lashman, director of external projects, this week denied Harvard's current work on the plant is in violation of the state decision.
Lewis M. Horowitz, co-chairman of the coalition of residents opposed to the power plant, said yesterday the protest march and the "people's injunction" were an attempt to convince Harvard to voluntarily stop constructing the plant.
"We're confident that Harvard will be obliged to obey the Commonwealth's decision and we believe this is Harvard's last opportunity to avoid the embarrassment of being told by the court they have to obey the law," Horwitz said.