On Friday, about a dozen student activists participated in a Divest Claremont Colleges protest against Claremont McKenna College (CMC) trustees George Roberts and Henry Kravis. They founded private equity firm KKR, which is involved in the controversial Coastal Gaslink pipeline.
The group initially planned to occupy The Living Room, commonly referred to as “The Cube,” which neighbors Roberts Hall and Kravis Center. However, the Dean of Student’s Office (DOS) locked the doors to The Cube in anticipation of the protest.
The divest activists moved their protest to the outside of The Cube. They taped posters to the outside of the cube without approval, in violation of CMC policy. DOS then recorded protesters’ information. Most protesters were not CMC students.
A CMC administrator asked a reporter from The Student Life, a Claremont College newspaper, to stop photographing the event. The administrator approached the reporter, covered her camera, and claimed she was in violation of the school’s photography and video policy (pictured above). The administrator then backed off and allowed the reporter to continue covering the event.
One demonstrator, addressed administrators through a megaphone, “You’re standing in solidarity with evil, so shame on you…all these things are colonial evil.”
Another demonstrator said, “We are not gonna stop. Even if this action today is shut down. Even if CMC attempts to intimidate us and to remove us from this campus, we will not stop until the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline is canceled. Until Henry Kravis and George Roberts no longer have a place at this college.”
Activists went on to compare CMC administrators to perpetrators of genocide and the Royal Canadian Mountain Police (RCMP), who clash with anti-pipeline demonstrators in British Columbia.
A number of CMC Admissions Office tour groups walked the cube during the protest. One protester shouted at a tour group, “KKR kills, don’t go here.” Activists also chanted, “shut down CMC,” KKR kills,” “remove their names,” “no justice no peace, no racist [expletive] trustees.”