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News ::
Students All Over Sitting In, Sitting Down
05 May 2001
"It's like Berkeley in the '60s"

Confrontation at Harvard

You definitely won't need a weatherman to know which
way this wind blows. In southern new england it's 
going from Boston to NYC. And that's usually a large

"It's like Berkeley in the '60s where an action can resonate
across the country," said Mark Engler at 27 West 44th St NYC
where Harvard Alum are giving some NY "ground support" to
Boston's Living Wage Campaign. "This is something that could
be one of those signs of the times."
  Engler (Class of '98) has been involved in anti-sweatshop 
and living wage campaigns for the past five years. He hopes 
the current battle at Harvard will have a galvanizing effect 
on campuses across the country. They've been locked down 
inside Massachussetts Hall for a couple weeks now. They
finally rated television and other corporate media coverage
for a couple days now.

Yesterday I traded some records here in Wisconsin at one of
my favorite used record stores. Metro Records. Lots of hip-
hop and house, trance and drums, but lots of folky stuff too.
  Along with my trade I bought a Buddah 2 Record set. Now
you might know Buddah mostly for their highest prophet in
the 60's, Melanie Safka. Yeah, she's the one who told us
we have brand new rollerskates and she's got a brand new
key; and she also asked us to look what they did to her song.
  Well this record has Charles Osgood interviewing Harvard
Corporation officials and offsets that against interviews 
with members of Students for a Democratic Society when, 
on April 9, 1969 they seized University Hall to support 
their demands.
  1969. Nothing's changed since, has it? Well, little.

Here's what Kenneth Jost had to say about it way back
then. He was WHRB's Managing Editor.
Cries had erupted at Berkeley, at Columbia, San Francisco State, but many people felt that it couldn't happen at Harvard. During the winter of 1968-69, however tensions rose as the Harvard Administration and the Students for a Democratic Society came into repeated conflicts. Then, on April 9, the radicals seized University Hall student radio station, WHRB-FM. These sounds capture the emotional reaction, the shock that followed the seizure, the outrage that followed the police bust the next day. Emotions played a vital part in determining the actions of all the groups in the crisis: students, faculty, and administration. Yet the striking aspect of that emotionalism was the extent to which it was channeled into constructive discussion about the larger issues which lay behind the crisis: the university's ties with the military, the university's relationship with the community, the distribution of power within the university, and -- most importantly -- the university's role in dealing with such problems as Vietnam, poverty, racism. If Harvard's crisis proved anything, it proved that even in emotional times people can reason together if they try. That fact alone should provide some optimism for the future.
This year's most newsworthy issue is a living wage for Harvard Corporation's hourly employees. But that connects so many other issues also doesn't it? Sweatshops, the war on drugs, round-up getting into our drinking water, what else? They say they don't plan on directly addressing issues surrounding Sodexho Marriott's abuse of the new growing US prison labor movement until after they've won this living wage issue first. It's gonna be a long storm, and I mostly just want to know how many times Crimson students will have sung "We Shall Not Be Moved."
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