Harvard Students Disrupt Bank of America Recruiting Over Coal

Harvard University students disrupted a Bank of America Corp. (BAC) recruiting event yesterday in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to protest the company’s support of the coal industry.

The protest was part of a campaign by the Rainforest Action Network to convince banks to phase out coal investments, which the group says contribute to climate change. Students have disrupted recruiting by Bank of America and Citigroup Inc. (C) at other campuses, according to Alli Welton, a Harvard undergraduate who participated in the protest yesterday.

“We simply want jobs that do not create droughts that wipe out our food supplies or strengthen the hurricanes that threaten our homes,” the Harvard students said in a letter delivered to Bank of America representatives, according to a statement today.

Welton said she and another student were escorted out by police after disrupting the recruiting event, while six other students were prevented from entering the venue at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge. The protest against Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America was one of more than 50 targeted against the bank and Citgroup so far this semester, said Todd Zimmer of the Rainforest Action Network.

Calls and an e-mail sent to T.J. Crawford, a spokesman for Bank of America, weren’t returned. Kevin Galvin, a spokesman for Harvard, declined to comment.

Brown University’s governing body, the Brown Corp., decided last month to reject a recommendation from an advisory committee of students, faculty, staff and alumni calling for coal divestment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael McDonald in Boston at mmcdonald10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at lwolfson@bloomberg.net

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