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February 07, 2005

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Jon Haber

I'm not quite sure what "courage" was required to form an alliance with some of the wealthiest, most powerful, oil-rich nations of the world to advance their propaganda agenda and drag the city of Somerville into the divestiture debate. Nor am I aware of any bravery needed to try to sneak this resolution into our city in the dead of night without the public's awareness. Nor would I describe as courageous Alderman Provost's joining her fellow aldermen to show divestment the door, only to switch her vote once the crowd had gone home to Somerville to savor victory, or back to Cambridge to lick the wounds of defeat.

Please tell Charlie Shannon he can rest easily. Most of us who helped get the odious divestment petition given a well-deserved bum's rush have no interest in raining additional punishment on Alderman Provost (in fact, I thought SCRAP was just another prank phone call to the Journal's Speak Out section). In truth, I am actually grateful to the Somerville Divestment Project for behaving so repulsively during the debate that they helped make Somerville an example to the nation of why every municipality should avoid the divestment hoard like a plague.

While we may never know the entire role Ms. Provost played in Somerville's recent drama, the role played by those who almost suckered the city into supporting their noxious agenda is now clear: they helped make divestment radioactive in the world of municipal politics, something for which I can only thank them.

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