[Marxism] Climate Change Protesters Disrupt Yale-Harvard Football Game

Dennis Brasky dmozart1756 at gmail.com
Sun Nov 24 03:50:40 MST 2019

> Demonstrators stormed the field during halftime, causing the game to be
> delayed for about an hour. The Yale police issued 42 summonses for
> disorderly conduct.
> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/23/us/harvard-yale-game-protest.html
> <https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/23/us/harvard-yale-game-protest.html?action=click&module=News&pgtype=Homepage>
> NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Climate change activists stormed the field at the
> Yale-Harvard football game on Saturday afternoon, disrupting the game at
> halftime in a protest to call attention to the universities to divest their
> investments in fossil fuels.
> A group of about 70 protesters took to the field just before 2 p.m. after
> the game’s halftime show. They were then joined by others from the stands.
> At its peak, the demonstration drew up to 500 people, packing about 45
> yards of play between the large numbers that marked yardage, and delaying
> the game for roughly an hour.
> Players from both schools warmed up as police and security officers
> surrounded the demonstrators and announcements were made on the public
> address system imploring protesters to clear the field.
> The game was being aired live on cable television
> <https://twitter.com/ESPNCFB/status/1198321969726406663>, with ESPNU
> switching to another game during the delay while periodically checking on
> the efforts of officials to clear the field.
> As the protesters sat at midfield chanting and clapping, players retreated
> indoors. Then, to the tune of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,”
> hundreds of fans rushed to join the protesters on the field as it became
> clear the game would not resume as scheduled.
> Reactions from the crowd were mixed; some attendees began booing and
> others shouted “Drag them off the field!” One sign in the stands read
> “Harvard & Yale Complicit.”
> As more police officers surrounded the demonstrators, the crowd on the
> field thinned. Police officers urged the remaining protesters to leave,
> saying they had succeeded in drawing attention. Some activists were
> arrested, though an exact tally was not immediately available. A Yale
> spokeswoman said that the Yale police issued 42 misdemeanor summonses for
> disorderly conduct. Caleb Schwartz, a senior at Harvard, was among those
> who was issued a summons for running onto the field.
> “It felt really good because we know that people support divestment but
> now we know that people will take extra action to support this cause,” he
> said. “It was energetic. It was both scary and exhilarating.”
> Supporters of the demonstration said they knew firsthand about the effects
> of climate change.
> “My country is on fire right now,” Akio Ho, a student at Yale said,
> referring to Australia. “Unprecedented wildfires are ripping through homes
> right now. Climate change and the climate crisis is an extremely urgent
> problem.”
> Harvard has declined to divest for years
> <https://www.harvard.edu/president/news/2013/fossil-fuel-divestment-statement>
> . Yale has made some divestment pledges
> <https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/13/business/energy-environment/yale-advances-in-shaping-portfolio-to-address-climate-change.html?module=inline>,
> but got into trouble with its activists over a $122 million investment in a
> fracking-related company, Antero; after a protest in December, the school
> dropped much of that investment.
> The fossil fuel divestment movement, which started small at schools like
> Swarthmore
> <https://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/05/business/energy-environment/to-fight-climate-change-college-students-take-aim-at-the-endowment-portfolio.html?module=inline> around
> 2011, is now a global movement  <https://www.divestinvest.org/>with
> commitments from more than a thousand organizations and tens of thousands
> of individuals controlling some $8.8 trillion in combined assets.
> At the end of last year, Lawrence Bacow, the president of Harvard, told
> The Harvard Crimson that there were more effective ways to “bring about
> meaningful change” than divestment.
> In a statement on Saturday, Harvard said its climate action plan
> “explicitly recognize what the science has made clear: the world must move
> quickly to end its use of fossil fuels.”
> “While we agree on the urgency of this global challenge, we respectfully
> disagree with divestment activists on the means by which a university
> should confront it,” the statement continued. “Universities like Harvard
> have a crucial role to play in tackling climate change and Harvard is fully
> committed to leadership in this area through research, education, community
> engagement, dramatically reducing its own carbon footprint, and using our
> campus as a test bed for piloting and proving solutions.”
> Karen N. Peart, a Yale spokeswoman, said, referring to the protest, that
> the university stood “firmly for the right to free expression” but added
> that it was “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.”
> This is not the first public action taken against Ivy League endowments.
> In September, hundreds of students and other participants marched through
> Yale calling for divestment.
> The game on Saturday, which Yale won, 50-43, in two overtimes with a
> dramatic comeback, was the latest in one of the oldest rivalries in college
> sports, dating to 1875. When the protest disrupted the game at halftime,
> Harvard led 15-3.
> The rivalry between two schools known more for their academics regularly
> draws sellout crowds to the Yale Bowl and Harvard Stadium on the schools’
> campuses.
> Last year, the game was held at Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red
> Sox, and Harvard won 45-27.

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