Harvard University’s decision to close Harvard Yard to anyone without valid student ID, designed both to restrict and to protect the Occupy Harvard demonstrators inside the yard, turns that protest into something of a punch line. By restricting access to the yard, Harvard established an exclusive tent city that stands for the antithesis of protest solidarity: A movement that is supposed to highlight the inequities between the 99 percent and the 1 percent feels like it has more in common with the pampered and prosperous 1 percent.
Student protesters didn’t want that outcome. Administrators, citing security concerns, imposed a 24/7 restriction to keep barbarians - otherwise known as people without any Harvard affiliation - at the gates. This is an inconvenience to anyone who uses the yard as a shortcut, as well as a barrier to tourists and prospective students.