Dems applaud 'leadership' of protesters who stormed Harvard vs. Yale game
Spokespeople from both schools have expressed disappointment with the protests.
Politicians, including Al Gore, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, tweeted out in support of the protesters, calling their movement “powerful” and thanking them for their “leadership."
Student protesters stormed the Harvard-Yale game this weekend to protest the use of endowments toward fossil fuel investments.
As Yale and Harvard condemn the climate protests that delayed a football game between the two Ivy League universities Saturday, Democrat 2020 candidates have chosen to speak out in support of those who stormed the field.
Divest Harvard and Fossil Free Yale, the two student groups that stormed and delayed the 136th edition game between Harvard and Yale, demanded the Ivy League schools cease their investments into fossil fuel systems and cancel holdings on Puerto Rican debt.
The Harvard Crimson reported Sunday that three minutes before halftime of the game, several students charged the field for a sit-in protest yelling “Divest!” and bearing signs “Yalies for Climate Justice.”
Hundreds more spectators joined the protesters on the field. The game was already delayed by a half-hour before Yale and New Haven police intervened. Outside the stadium, protesters chanted “Disclose, Divest, or this Will be our Death!”
The New York Times reported that 42 misdemeanor summons for disorderly conduct were issued. The New York Times spoke to a Harvard senior Caleb Schwartz, who received one of the summonses.
“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,” said Schwartz. “It was energetic. It was both scary and exhilarating.”
Fossil Free Yale has started a Go Fund Me Page to raise $20,000 in legal fees, reaching half of its goal just one day after the protest occurred.
In an email conversation, Ive League spokesperson Matthew Planto told The Harvard Crimson that while the university supports the right to demonstrate, it was “regrettable” it took place during the college football game.
“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," Planto wrote.
Harvard spokeswoman Rachel Dane said that Harvard does not use their endowment for political pursuits or purposes and that the university “respectfully disagree[s]” with the protesters.
“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," Dane wrote. "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 testbed for piloting and proving solutions."
Many Politicians, including 2020 Democrat presidential candidates, have tweeted in support of the protesters. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) tweeted Saturday to thank the protesters for their "leadership."
Presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Julian Castro also tweeted in support of the protesters. Former Harvard law professor, presidential candidate, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren also chimed in, along with long-time climate change activist Al Gore, who called the protesters' actions “powerful.”
Campus Reform reached out to the Harvard and Yale police departments as well as the schools but did not receive a response in time for publication.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @corkery_mrose