Cheers to Hundreds of Climate Protesters Who STOPPED the Harvard-Yale Football Game



On Saturday afternoon, at the annual Harvard-Yale football game being played in New Haven, Connecticut, protesters stormed out from the stands and onto the field with a large banner that said: “NOBODY WINS: YALE & HARVARD ARE COMPLICIT IN CLIMATE INJUSTICE.” They were demanding that the two elite Ivy League universities divest their investments in fossil fuels.1 They also demanded the canceling of the huge debt that Puerto Rico owes to capitalist investors. The Harvard-Yale game is one of the most storied rivalries in college sports history, and the acts and actual participation of students and alumni in this protest is not inconsequential, perhaps and hopefully a harbinger of things to come.

As the halftime ended and the game’s second half was about to start, about 70 protesters—from both schools—streamed out of the stands and sat down near midfield. They were joined by hundreds of other spectators—at its height, the protest was about 500 strong. This is significant and to be noted, on what happens when people defiantly step out in resistance and set an example.

The action stopped the game, which was being aired live on cable TV, for over half an hour. Several dozen cops surrounded the protesters, eventually forcing most of them off the field. Yale News reported that “a small number of students and alumni was arrested after they refused to give up their ground.”

A Harvard senior who was part of the protest said, “It was both scary and exhilarating.”

Cheers to the Harvard-Yale protesters for their courageous, creative and effective action that stopped business-as-usual and brought attention to the urgency of climate change that threatens humanity and the whole planet.

1. Both Yale and Harvard have enormous endowments that rely heavily on investments in fossil fuel industries. A statement from the campus group Divest Harvard said, “Students are tired of Harvard and Yale profiting off of climate destruction and neocolonial investments in Puerto Rico’s debt. It’s time for more than lip service and greenwashing from academic leaders. Harvard and Yale must address the climate emergency at the scale and with the urgency it demands. This action is only the beginning.”  [back]

Photo: twitter




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