CAMBRIDGE, MA– Harvard University affiliates staged a 24-hour protest against India’s Citizenship Amendment Act, known as CAA, on Sunday, according to Harvard Crimson newspaper.
“Under a blue tarp hung between four light poles bedecked with Indian flags, a group of Harvard graduate students and local activists staged a 24-hour protest in Harvard Square on Sunday to mark the 70th anniversary of India’s constitution and decry India’s Citizenship Amendment Act,” Crimson said in a report.
Fewer than 10 participants gathered in the Square when the protest began at midnight, Crimson said.
“But by 2 p.m., more than 100 Harvard students and Cambridge and Boston residents had joined the demonstration. Protestors ate a potluck Indian lunch; danced to Bollywood music; and sang poems, chants, and traditional Indian songs. Some protesters also delivered speeches,” according to Crimson.
“The purpose of this is two-fold,” said Ruha Shadab, a student at the Kennedy School and one of the protest’s organizers, told Crimson. “One is to express our discontentment with the act itself. And the other is in solidarity with all the student-led movements, which are now just civilian movements, across India.”
Last month, hundreds of Harvard students signed a letter condemning the act and gathered in the Science Center for a similar protest.
Many of Sunday’s protestors came from beyond Harvard Yard, according to Crimson.
“This protest is for everyone. It’s to raise awareness about the atrocities happening in India. Parents with children, students from Boston like myself, we’re all coming out. I’ve been here since 8 a.m,” Rochester Institute of Technology student Aaditya P. Shah told Crimson.