Friday, December 12, 2014

Protest at Primal Scream Leads to Chaotic Exchange. From the Crimson.

A group of about 30 students attempted to hold a silent demonstration in the first minutes of Primal Scream, a biannual naked run around Harvard Yard, early Thursday morning, inadvertently leading to a chaotic exchange of words and gestures that reversed the usual direction of the run and left many questioning the significance of the heated interaction.

The run is a College tradition in which students, at times inebriated, run naked around the Yard on the eve of the first day of exams. It usually attracts more than a hundred participants.

Protesters said that their goal was not to protest Primal Scream itself, but to hold a four-and-a-half minute period of silence before the run for Michael Brown of Ferguson, Mo. and Eric Garner of New York—two unarmed black men who were killed by white police officers this summer—and to join in solidarity for people around the nation who have experienced racism. The organizers of the demonstration had posted a Facebook event describing their plans for the protest ahead of the event.



  1. I have to laugh because it hurts too much to cry. These are the best and the brightest? God help us.

    Students engaged in a silent protest at night felt ignored by a rowdy bunch of people? Hard to guess how that happened. "What do you mean, they could they not hear us? We were staring right at them!" That's no accident - there was a Facebook page! Besides, who wouldn't expect a Mike Brown protest at a naked run across the quad? I understand why the protesters were upset. Guys running naked outside at an event called Primal Scream always have good manners. Of course, there's the requisite statement of disapproval from somebody who's upset but lacks the courage to say so - "I think that that is problematic."

  2. I have great sympathy and admiration for the "Black Lives Matter" protestors, but, yeah, this was bad/unrealistic planning. I'm also a bit puzzled by the idea of "I Love Black People" sweatshirts, which sounds too close to "some of my best friends are black" to me. "Black Lives Matter" is a far better slogan, at least to my ear.

    I'm also disappointed at Harvard students for starting a copy-cat tradition, rather than something original. Primal Scream began in the '90s, according to this article, while Princeton students had been running around nude and drunk in the snow since the '70s. Of course, American college students have probably been stumbling around, drunk and naked, in the dark for various reasons since soon after Harvard's founding, but if you're at an Ivy, you've got to be participating in a "tradition.'