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Twelve of 19 pro-divestment protesters arrested in November at a demonstration reached an agreement Wednesday with the court system rather than go to trial for trespassing, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.
The remaining seven protesters will go on trial later this year on charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct.
Nineteen pro-divestment protesters were arrested in late November at the Fogg Museum while protesting at a Harvard function held for Harvard donors.
Alexandra Edsall '89, Elizabeth Ruddick '87, Jean Alonso '59, Lawrence Hage '56, Phyllis Brown, Glenn Hoffman, Naizhu Lui, Jack Brodeur, Joanne Neusner, Cliff Cohn, Laura Foner and Steve Neacham submitted an "admission to sufficient evidence." They agreed to perform 10 hours of community service, and the court will leave their cases open for three months.
"I'm happy with that," said Martin Kantrovitz, legal adviser for the protesters. "I can't really say I'm surprised."
Protester Jean Alonso said that "we were pleased" with the outcome and that "the courts were reasonable."
Benji Hiller, another legal adviser for the group, was less enthusiastic. "There is nothing to be pleased or displeased with," he said.
Dean of Students Archie C. Apps III had not heard of the decision, he said.
Other Harvard adminstrators could not be reached for comment.
"Originally all of us had intended to go forward with a full trial," Alonso said. "But when we found that the trial would take a week or more, we relunctantly backed out." Alonso said that she and others feared for their jobs if they took a leave of absence go to court.
The seven protesters who will go to trial are Sarah Browning, Joel Reissman, Abigail Schirmer, Margaret Schirmer, Christopher Tilly, Jeffrey Weinberger and Robert P. Wolff.
The seven will attend a pre-trial conference on February 3 to set a court date.
Two of the seven face charged of trespassing and five face charges of disorderly conduct, said Wolff, a professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts.
"We're not guilty, and I intend to demonstrate that in court," said Wolff.
The seven defendants have not hired a lawyerand will conduct their own defense.
"The trial is an occasion for calling attentionof the public to the situation in South Africa.We're putting Harvard itself on trial for itsinvestment policy," Wolff said
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