I veered east and wandered among brick buildings and stately oak trees, then returned to the plaza. It was eleven o'clock now and a crowd of about 200 folks had suddenly appeared. Students, kids, older folks -- instant protest. They gathered in a circle around a young person on a riser who was talking too rapidly into a microphone. I couldn't hear much. The mood was upbeat, the day warm and cloudless.
And the day's winner for me was the multi-layered, multi-colored poem just above.
Speakers kept speaking, so I squinted my ears real hard to hear. One passionate Harvard student expressed disgust for her university's refusal to divest from the fossil fuel stocks in its 39 billion dollar endowment. "Harvard is profiting off all this," she declared, with a measure of surprise. "I'm beyond angry, just tired." She finished by lamenting that Harvard -- always a deeply conservative institution, versus the liberal paradise I guess she imagined when she opened the golden acceptance ticket -- would never feel like home.
Man, that made me feel sad for her, up to her knees in the scales falling from her eyes. I doubt little Charlie will ever have such debilitating illusions.
So, anyway, the protest continued for awhile -- at some point, Obama's EPA director got red-faced hollering about hope and change -- and then, presto, done. Everyone went home or to class or to meet more protesters at Boston City Hall. Even the lobster lady bugged out. I stood in the sparsely-populated plaza, making notes beside the odd, enduring rock-field sculpture by Carl Andre -- who, it turns out, was babysat by my mother in the 1930s. They're both still alive, holding on for their dear lives. He liked peanut butter sandwiches, she recalls.