One of the oldest rivalries in college football was disrupted and delayed for more than an hour as activist groups from both Harvard and Yale descended on the field at halftime of the 136th edition of The Game.
NPR reports that the activists who rushed the field were protesting their schools’ investments in fossil fuel companies, and urging action to confront climate change.
With banners bearing slogans like “Nobody wins. Yale and Harvard are complicit in climate injustice,” students from both schools called for fossil fuel divestment, and for divestment from firms holding Peurto Rican debt.
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 demonstration initially involved just a few dozen protestors, but eventually grew to about 150 people as the halftime expired. The delay was on.
Players from both teams eventually returned to their locker rooms as the protest continued, despite pleas from the PA announcer urging protesters to clear the field.
“As a courtesy to both teams, the game must resume,” a PA announcement said, according to ABC News.
“Ok, boomer,” the protesters chanted in response.
ABC News reports that police eventually formed a line and moved on the protesters. An agreement was reached that allowed the police to escort remaining protesters off the field, with one officer for ever two protesters.
In all, protest organizers told ABC News that between 20 and 30 people were arrested, given a court date and released.
“Although it was disruptive and some people were not too happy we were on the field, it was really important because our universities are just not listening to our voices and our generation’s calls for urgent climate action,” Harvard senior and protest organizer Caleb Schwartz told NPR.
Eventually, play was able to resume. Yale would go on to rally from a 17-point fourth quarter deficit, defeating Harvard 50-43 in double overtime.