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Occupy Harvard sets new standard for Wall Street protest movement

Harvard University under Occupy lockdown
Harvard University under Occupy lockdown
Justin Richardson

Occupy Harvard, encamped since November 9, 2011, at Harvard University sets a new standard for protest. After university officials put the campus on lockdown to keep out Occupy Boston protestors the students hunkered down for a protracted occupation.

The tidy rows of new tents, many empty at night, was a sharp contrast to the street encampments in many Occupy Wall Street locations around the nation. After the campus lockdown the joke was Occupy Harvard turned the school into a gated community.

But the resourcefulness of Harvard students, and the faculty members who support the occupation, has kept the protest active and vibrant with periodic General Assembly meetings to discuss strategy and provide news updates.

Occupy Harvard has taken a page out of Onion and other spoofs and now offers its own college curriculum for the uninformed. The bogus course offerings are tastefully advertised in an official-looking webpage.

Occupy Harvard course offerings are promoted in a “Spring Course Catalog Supplement” that looks like the real thing. Occupy “classes” include Anthropology offerings “Artifacts of Poverty” and “Tax Returns of the Historically Rich” where the lifestyles of the rich and famous are explored.

Art History has courses on art as an investment and the history of patronage. A Biology course examines “The Living Corporation” and is a good background to Occupy Harvard’s coursework in Chemistry. “Converting Coal to Gold using Complex Derivative Instruments.”

Economics offerings include a class on Karl Marx and one called “Predatory Lending to Minorities”. Current events are explored in “Income Inequality in the Age of Obama” to round out the schedule.

Literature has an entry called “The Compassionate Rand” where the assignment is to explain Ayn Rand’s philosophy to a homeless person.

Expository Writing really tells it all: “Writing a confusing, deceptive subprime mortgage in unreadable legal jargon is something we believe every Harvard undergraduate should learn to do, which is why we require you to learn it from an overqualified preceptor that we pay peanuts for the privilege of working here. An important dual-lesson in writing and extracting value.”

A number of Government and History “classes” cover a variety of topics one might expect from Occupy protestors. A companion Linguistics course explores the many ways Obama can be mispronounced or combined with other works to send a political message.

Politics, Philosophy, and Religion each get their own special treatment in the catalog supplement.

Occupy Harvard isn’t going away anytime soon as it continues to refine the subtle art of making a change in the world.

Take me to the Occupy Harvard college catalog HERE


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