Animal Rights Protester Charged with Three Felonies After Glitter Attack on Garber

{shortcode-c65df100bce78aa540659197f2f09a376f308c1b}Brittany A. Drake, the animal rights activist who dumped glitter on interim Harvard President Alan M. Garber ’76 during Alumni Day, pleaded not guilty to three counts of felony criminal charges on Monday.

Drake was charged with assault and battery upon an elderly person and two counts of destruction of property with malicious intent. The charges carry a maximum penalty of three and 10 years in prison, respectively. She was also charged with three misdemeanors — disturbing a public assembly, trespassing, and disturbing the peace — each carrying up to one hundred days in prison.

Drake could not be reached for comment on the charges. Her attorney, Daniel Beck, did not respond to a request for comment.

Drake poured a tube of glitter on Garber before he began his speech in Tercentenary Theater on Friday. Drake, who appeared to be wearing an event badge, was then quickly escorted off stage by Harvard University police officers and arrested.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals claimed responsibility for the glitter attack on Friday, but a PETA spokesperson clarified that Drake is not employed by the organization.


The attack was the most recent installment of PETA’s yearslong campaign against professor Margaret S. Livingstone’s experiments at the Harvard Medical School. While PETA alleges that lab workers abuse monkeys by stealing them from their mothers and sewing their eyes shut, both Livingstone and the Medical school have refuted their claims as inaccurate and inflammatory.

PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo reiterated the criticisms in a Tuesday statement.

“A young woman who pours glitter on someone to protest cruelty to animals can’t possibly be considered a felon, but Harvard President Garber, who allows infant monkeys to be torn from their mothers, forced to wear vision-distorting goggles or subjected to a strobe light effect for the first 18 months of life is committing a crime against living beings, a true assault, for which he should be jailed,” Guillermo wrote.

A University spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

Drake, who is not an affiliate of the University, was charged in Cambridge District Court. Her pretrial hearing is scheduled for July 30, where the judge will set a trial date.

—Staff writer Sally E. Edwards can be reached at Follow her on X @sallyedwards04 or on Threads @sally_edwards06.