On Saturday, students said to be from both Harvard and Yale universities staged a sit-in protest during the halftime break in the football game between the two high-profile schools, demanding that the two educational institutions change their investment strategy.
BREAKING: Over 150 Yale + Harvard students, alumni, faculty stormed the field at #HarvardYale to demand DIVESTMENT from fossil fuels & cancel holdings in Puerto Rican debt. When it comes to the status quo, #NobodyWins. @YaleEJC @FossilFreeYale @DivestHarvard pic.twitter.com/lZAcAxxmYw— Divest Harvard 🔶 (@DivestHarvard) November 23, 2019
The protesters reportedly stormed the field just before the start of the third quarter, filling the midfield area and disrupting the game for some 40 minutes.
Harvard and Yale activists are demanding that the administrations of their universities stop "investing in injustice," and divest their school endowments from fossil-fuel profits.
Yale and Harvard students have disrupted today's football game. They are demanding their universities divest from fossil fuels & cancel their Puerto Rican debt holdings pic.twitter.com/DwJRyyzeq5— Eric Blanc (@_ericblanc) November 23, 2019
Hundreds of Yale and Harvard students held up the football game for about a half hour to protest university holdings in fossil fuel companies and Puerto Rican debt pic.twitter.com/aX7tOOo1r4— Marisa Peryer (@marisa_peryer) November 23, 2019
The sit-in ended after negotiations between the police and students resulted in arrests reportedly conducted following the expression of a desire by the activists to be arrested.
Harvard-Yale update: The protestors have told police they want to be arrested. So police have tied them together, two at a time, and are taking them off the field.— Matt Barrie (@MattBarrie) November 23, 2019
Kickoff in about 10-mins.
Following the disrupted game, a Yale statement noted that although the university "stands for the right to free expression", the school regretted the students' choice of time and place for their action.
"It is regrettable that the orchestrated protest came during a time when fellow students were participating in a collegiate career-defining contest and an annual tradition when thousands gather from around the world to enjoy and celebrate the storied traditions of both football programs and universities,” the statement reads.
Yale has also expressed its gratitute to "the staff members and police officers who ensured the peaceful departure of students from the field", noting that "The exercise of free expression on campus is subject to general conditions, and we do not allow disruption of university events."
The sit-in, however, was praised by many climate activists in the Internet, with some politicians, particularly in the Democratic party, highlighting the significance of widespread climate activism. Among the latter were Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, and US presidential hopefuls Julian Castro and Bernie Sanders.
Activism disrupts the present to change the future. 🌎 https://t.co/K4OLyeATMu— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 23, 2019
From the March for Our Lives, to worldwide Climate Strikes, students and young people are leading the charge to protect their futures.— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) November 23, 2019
I’m inspired by their efforts to hold their universities to a higher standard. https://t.co/tbskzCRvSa