Protesters Sing For Divestment

The weather may have kept Cambridge voters from going to the polls yesterday, but it didn't stop a group of 13 divestment activists from singing in the rain outside President Derek C. Bok's office.

Led by James Levinson '64, the group of graduate students, alumni, Cambridge residents and clergy sang South African and American protest songs for more than an hour.

Sheltered by an umbrella, Levinson accompanied the group on a portable electronic keyboard.

The group, which calls itself the Divestment Singers, displayed a portrait of Bishop Desmond Tutu, the South African spiritual leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Beneath the portrait was the legend, "Remember My People."

Bok, whose Massachusetts Hall doorstep has been the site of dozens of divestment protests in recent years, opposes divestment on the grounds that it would be an inappropriate and ineffective step for the University to take.


Levinson said the show went on as planned yesterday despite the wind and rain because it was part of a celebration commemorating the birthday of Dorothy Day, the deceased founder of the singers' parent organization, the Catholic Worker. Day, a journalist, communist, and convert to Catholicism, established the organization 50 years ago in New York City, where a leftwing newspaper still bears its name.

Asked if the singers had any other gigs lined up, Levinson said, "Maybe he [Bok] will invite us in, and we'll sing for him in his office."

Few passers-by stopped to listen, but two Harvard Police officers framed the doorway to Mass. Hall for the duration of the performance