NEW HAVEN — The 136th edition of "The Game" between Harvard and Yale was delayed Saturday at halftime when over 200 protesters took over the field.
The protesters stormed the field with a simple message; to start making a change and stop investing in fossil fuel companies.
Social action organizations from both Ivy League schools called on the universities to stop their investments towards fossil fuel companies and cancel the Puerto Rican debt.
Protesters cited the continued struggle in Puerto Rico after being devastated by Hurricane Irma and Maria which skyrocketed the country’s debt to about 129-billion dollars.
“Hey hey, ho ho, fossil fuels have got to go,” some protesters chanted.
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
After a few minutes, hundreds more people stream onto the field. A public address announcement asked them to leave “as a courtesy to the players.”
“As a courtesy to both teams, the game must resume.”
— New Haven Fire (@NewHavenFire) November 23, 2019
During the protests Harvard football captain Wesley Ogsbury released a video that said in part:
“When it comes to the climate crisis, nobody wins. Harvard and Yale can’t really claim to promote knowledge while at the same time supporting the companies engaged in misleading the public, smearing academics and denying the truth. That’s why we are joining with out friends at Yale to call for change.”
Officials say 42 people were charged with disorderly conduct. The second half of the game was delayed by about 30 minutes.
Charlotte Sterling: a student of Yale said she supported the protest. She said, “Yes, something may not come from this stalling of this at half time but is the point of trying to make.”
Yale released a statement that said in part:
Yale stands firmly for the right to free expression. The exercise of free expression on campus is subject to general conditions, and we do not allow disruption of university events.
Some on-lookers at the game stood with protesters while others said they did not agree with their tactics.
One man who didn’t want to give his name said, “ I think a time and place is a big problem, I think they’re being disrespectful to their fellow students and I think they’re being hypocritical because if you think about the 175 students and athletes showing up to a EPA interest group on campus and protesting their ongoing’s how would that look?”
Dalia Pena, another Yale student disagreed and said, “I feel like the opposite side of him, like first of all where are y’all students who pay a lot of money to go to the school so it’s a wall in our rights to go ahead and protest second of all we are Americans, right? It’s our first amendment right to freedom of speech and what better place than here to voice how you feel about it.”
Reaction is still pouring all over social media with the hashtag #NobodyWins because protesters say nobody wins when it comes to climate change.
The protest group, Divest Harvard, also released a statement about the protests, saying, "There is no meaningful climate action without climate justice. We're tired of Harvard and Yale ignoring our voices. Today is an unprecedented escalation of our fight to hold our universities accountable for their unethical investments...Harvard and Yale must address the climate emergency at the scale and with the urgency it demands. The action is only beginning."
The protest delayed the resumption of the game by about 30 minutes. The game went into overtime. Sunset was at 4:24 p.m., and Yale Bowl, which opened in 1914, does not have lights. Then the game went into double overtime. Finally, Yale prevailed, winning a dramatic comeback just as the last traces of daylight faded from the sky.