May 6, 2001

Sen. Kerry lends support to Harvard protest

By The Associated Press

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Sen. John Kerry dropped by a student protest at Harvard University Sunday to lend support to a three-week-old occupation of school administrative offices.

The protesters, who have refused to leave Massachusetts Hall since April 18, want the university to pay all its employees a "living wage" of at least $10.25 an hour, the same minimum wage paid by the city of Cambridge.

"I just came by this evening to personally chat with the folks who are here and lend them encouragement," the Massachusetts Democrat told the Associated Press.

"I feel they've made an important statement about people's right to earn a wage that allows them to live adequately."

Kerry had earlier endorsed the protest, as did Sen. Edward Kennedy. Kerry's visit followed a rally and an ecumenical Mass in Harvard Yard Sunday afternoon.

On Saturday, Harvard officials banned electronic amplification in Harvard Yard. Students used a battery-powered bullhorn at Sunday's rally, said protester Ian Simmons, a Harvard alumnus.