University Life

/ 3 years ago /

 Article by Alex Ekong

Harvard students lead Harry Potter-style resistance school against Trump

With Donald Trump looming large over the world, for some it’s a scary time to be alive. Thank goodness, then, for the young people all over the world refusing to be cowed by fear.

From facing up to the EDL to shouting down Pepsi’s fizzy corporate slacktivism, our generation has done us proud. And as far as that goes, this group of Harvard students is definitely next up. Last week, they kicked off a four-week course designed to put the Patronus to Donald Trump’s agenda.

Viva la Resistance School!

harvard resistance school

Harvard’s Resistance School was founded by students, activists and former campaign staffers. Its aim is to “sharpen the tools necessary to fight back at the federal, state, and local levels,” stating clearly that when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.” They intend to host a series of free, open sessions throughout the month of April from their Kennedy School base, as well as live-streaming them around the world. 46,000 people worldwide tuned in for the Facebook Live broadcast of the first lecture this past Wednesday.

Perhaps most damning of all for Donald Trump? The group have taken their cues from Dumbledore’s Army – the covert group set up to defend Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series – with the US President squarely positioned as their  their Voldemort. And, well, we all know how that ended.

harvard resistance school

It’s not the first time Harvard University students have stood up to Trump either. They’ve protested his commitment to fossil fuels and his travel ban, and played an instrumental part in the historic Women’s March.

A defence against the dark arts?

harvard resistance school

It’s been said before that the sharing of knowledge by young people with their peers has the power to affect tangible change in the world. Now it looks like there are finally people who agree. Timothy P. McCarthy, a lecturer on public policy at the Kennedy School, who led the inaugural session described the event as a “movement moment”.

“Schools at their best are communities for critical thinking,” he told The Crimson. “Schools are places for intellectual exchange, for social transformation, and yes, when necessary, for political resistance.”

Marshall Ganz, who is due to lead the penultimate session on April 20th, was optimistic about the use of education as a form of resistance going forward. “I think that our democracy is experiencing a very serious threat at this moment with the Trump regime,” Ganz said. “For me it’s not just about resistance, it is about turning this into an opportunity to renew our politics. It’s for the future.”

It’s unclear what will happen to Resistance School when its final session concludes on April 27th. But with every session full and tens of thousands tuning in for each live stream, it’s proving to be a very popular defence against Donald Trump’s Dark Arts.

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