Fake Living Wage Rally Posters Appear in Yard

Activists plan afternoon rally and evening

On the eve of the living wage campaign's biggest planned event this year, dozens of posters appeared throughout the Yard and Houses parodying the campaign's ideology and goals.

Bright green posters announced a "Rally for Relevance" and included slogans such as "Communism deserves a second chance," "You'll receive an Order of Lenin for this," "From Russia with love" and "Join us for an afternoon of collective economic misunderstanding."

The fake posters were nearly indistinguishable from the real posters, which announced a "Rally and More" scheduled for this afternoon and said, "Harvard Administration has had 15 months to respond to demands of students, workers, faculty, and the community. We refuse to wait any longer."

Progressive Student Labor Movement (PSLM) members said they were not angry about the posters, and some said they appreciated the publicity.

"We're not that upset about it," said Derisa J. Grant '03. "We're a little worried that some people may be dissuaded from coming and we're worried that whoever did it might try to interrupt the rally."


"Actually, we're thankful that it has correct date and time so it's like free advertising," she added.

Yesterday afternoon PSLM members traveled across campus searching out the fake posters and tearing them down.

The posters carried the approval signature of "KNS," an acronym that does not appear under the College's listing of student organizations. When pronounced phonetically, the acronym reads "Quien es?" which means "Who is?" in Spanish.

"We have no idea who it is," Grant said. "We think that maybe some individual or group came up with a fake acronym."

Associate Dean of the College David P. Illingworth '71 said only recognized student groups are allowed to poster in the Yard.

"It sounds to me like some group that's trying to make this into something amusing," he said.

Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA), an umbrella service organization, approved the legitimate posters. PBHA oversees the Progressive Student Labor Movement (PSLM), which runs the living wage campaign. The campaign calls for a minimum $10 hourly wage for all Harvard employees.

The group said they expected today's rally to draw about 500 students, which would make it the largest rally held at Harvard in several years.

The demonstration will take place at 4 p.m. today at University Hall and will feature several speakers, including Cambridge Mayor Anthony D. Galluccio, members of the City Council and Professor of Sociology Mary C. Waters. Demonstrators will then march to the law school.

"Law school workers are some of the lowest paid on campus and we want to point out the conditions," Grant said.

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