Dozens of profs arrested while protesting DACA repeal at Harvard

More than 30 college professors were arrested last week after obstructing traffic during a protest of President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind DACA.

According to The Harvard Crimson, 31 professors in total were arrested after blocking the flow of traffic on a busy street near campus, though The Crimson notes that nearly 100 professors participated in a planning meeting just days before.

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Indeed, multiple emails obtained by Campus Reform show that professors even encouraged students to participate in the demonstration, with one email sent to all students claiming that “the repeal of DACA is an attack on our university communities across the country,” noting that “educators are willing and prepared to fight back.”

A second email explained that after “a brief speaking program featuring both professors and students,” a “group of faculty from several area colleges” would “engage in an act of non-violent civil disobedience, blocking Massachusetts Avenue until they are removed by Cambridge police,” a consequence that would ultimately occur.

Kristen Weld, a Harvard professor among those who were arrested, told The Crimson that “it’s not business as usual because the Trump administration is targeting our students.”

“It just came to a point of crisis, both for the nation and for us,” Professor Walter Johnson elaborated. “It seemed like it was time for us to jump off, and to try to both stand firmly with our students, to stand for justice and decency in the face of an unjust law, and to try and kick off a conversation about resistance between campuses in Boston and among faculty.”

Thursday’s arrests followed a statement from Harvard President Drew Faust who denounced Trump’s decision to phase out DACA.

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“This cruel policy recognizes neither justice nor mercy,” Faust wrote in her statement, obtained by Campus Reform, noting that her school would be providing counseling services for students affected by the decision.

“Harvard has long advocated in Washington, DC, for these vulnerable students, and we will continue to work tirelessly at the federal level to advance our arguments, “ she concluded. “As a university community dedicated to inclusion and to the promise of creative minds, and as a nation founded on the ideals of equality and opportunity, it is our responsibility to defend their ability to develop and share their talents in their home communities, in our country, and with the world.”

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