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Alums Disrupt Nancy Pelosi at Harvard Club of San Francisco Event in Pro-Palestine Protest

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Pro-Palestinian protesters interrupted former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as she delivered a keynote speech at the Harvard Club of San Francisco’s 150th anniversary event Monday evening.

Kate J. Sim ’14 and another alum of the College purchased tickets ahead of the event to protest her support for Israel amid its war in Gaza. Roughly 30 more pro-Palestine protesters gathered outside the event, held at the Golden Gate Club, where they held up signs reading “Genocide Nancy” and “Pelosi War Criminal.”

An “autonomous” group of Harvard alumni and Bay Area community members organized the disruption of Pelosi’s event, according to an alumna who participated in the protest.

The Harvard Club of San Francisco awarded Pelosi its “Distinguished Citizen of the Year” award at the event. The club wrote in an invitation to alumni that there is “no one who better represents the spirit of giving back to and lifting up our local community than Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi.”

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Sim wrote in a statement to The Crimson that she was quickly escorted out of the event after she began her protest.

“I was initially escorted out of the dining hall by Harvard Club administrators and then out of the property by the police,” Sim wrote. “I have not had any communication from the Club since the action.”

Just minutes later, the other protester — a 2016 graduate of the College — began to disrupt Pelosi’s speech. She was escorted out of the room and arrested, but later released without charges by the U.S. Park Police.

In a video widely circulated on Instagram and X, Sim stands up during Pelosi’s speech and begins asking Pelosi questions.

“Congratulations Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. What good is getting scholarship if we’re using our money from Harvard to retaliate and suppress our own students?” Sim asked.

“What good can you be as a distinguished citizen, when you are aiding and abetting this war and this ongoing genocide in Palestine?” Sim added.

A Pelosi spokesperson wrote in a statement that the event “was a lovely evening, and the Speaker Emerita was honored to receive this recognition from such a prestigious university.”

Two women got up to escort Sim out of the event, while Sim shouted, “Shame on everybody here! Shame on you! How dare you do this when our own students are getting attacked by our administration,” seemingly in reference to the Harvard College Administrative Board’s decision to take disciplinary action against students involved with the pro-Palestine encampment last week.

“We respect your right to have your say,” Pelosi said in the video, as Sim was being escorted out. “Have a good evening, goodbye.”

“Welcome to San Francisco everybody,” Pelosi added.

A few minutes later, the second Harvard College alumna disrupted Pelosi’s speech.

Throughout the event, the group of protesters outside the venue loudly chanted. The venue staff closed the window blinds to block out the protest.

“Nancy, Nancy what do you say, how many kids have you killed today,” protesters chanted outside the venue.

The Harvard Club of San Francisco and Harvard University did not respond to requests for comment.

—Staff writer Cam N. Srivastava can be reached at cam.srivastava@thecrimson.com. Follow him on X @camsrivastava.

—Staff writer Saketh Sundar can be reached at saketh.sundar@thecrimson.com. Follow him on X @saketh_sundar.

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