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Climate rally unfurls banner near MIT board meeting

The MIT Climate Countdown ended Oct. 2 with a rally attended by more than 100 MIT students, staff, faculty, alumni, and local community members.

The rally was the last event of the week-long MIT Climate Countdown series which included discussion panels, a Q&A session, a movie screening, and a mixer.

The activists gathered in the Student Center for the rally and enjoyed rock songs performed by the band Melodeego. The band’s human-powered sound equipment depended on a system of pedals, signifying their commitment to green energy.

MIT Professor Ian Condry spoke at the rally. “My concern is that when the announcement [of MIT’s plan for climate action] happens, it won’t be enough, and that it will be the beginning of the next stage of our fight, not the end,” he said. “If we can build our social network … and build the movement from below, then eventually it becomes impossible to ignore.”

Activists marched towards the Media Lab where MIT’s board of trustees was having its annual meeting. They unfurled a banner there that read, “Stand with Science, Take Climate Action.”

In June, a climate change committee appointed by President L. Rafael Reif delivered its report. Three-quarters of the committee supported divesting from coal and tar sands, among several other recommendations.

Prominent activists including professor Noam Chomsky and actor Mark Ruffalo signed an open letter to the president which pushed for divestment. Reif is expected to announce the Institute’s plan to address climate change sometime in the coming weeks.

—Anshuman Pandey