Meghan Howard, a Harvard senior from New York, was the sole protester inside Harvard’s Burden Hall during Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s speech on December 10.
Howard said in an interview that when she held up the Tibetan flag she had smuggled in her pants, three Chinese women near her ripped the flag from her hands. While not many people in the hall might have seen her protest ash she had hoped, Howard knows that Wen saw her, as he stopped speaking. Howard said she was surprised when she was given a ticket to the event, as not only did the school hold a lottery for tickets, she knows that the school screened everyone attending. Howard said it was her understanding that Harvard had removed all Chinese names from the lottery not spelled in pinyin, which is the romanization method used in Mainland China but not Taiwan.
Howard, whose parents are both Buddhists, spent a month in Tibet while in high school, and has spent much of her college career studying Tibet and Chinese.