Fifty people were arrested — including 11 Harvard students and alumni and at least 19 Yale students and alumni — after hundreds of people stormed the field during the 136th edition of The Game Saturday.
The New Haven Police Department announced in a press release that the divestment protesters will appear at New Haven Superior Court Dec. 6.
Initially, dozens of protesters ran onto the field roughly three minutes before halftime ended and displayed banners calling for divestment. Minutes later, several hundred spectators joined the protesters’ sit-in and chanted “Divest.”
The demonstration continued for roughly half an hour in the center of the field until several protesters returned to the stands and police officers arrested those who insisted they would not leave. Forty-eight students — including all Harvard students arrested — were charged with disorderly conduct and given a misdemeanor summons. The protestors continued their chants off the football field near an entrance gate to the stadium.
For nearly a decade, Harvard students, alumni, and faculty have called on the Harvard administration to divest the school’s endowment holdings from fossil fuels — organizing rallies, meeting directly with administrators, and even blockading the entrance of Massachusetts Hall to protest for divestment.
Despite these efforts, several University presidents, including current University President Lawrence S. Bacow, have long rejected divestment and maintained that the endowment should not be used as a tool for political change.
Two of the arrests — neither of which involved Harvard students — were custodial arrests, which were processed at Union Avenue Detention Facility in New Haven, Conn. One of the custodial arrests involved disorderly conduct and first-degree trespassing. The other arrest involved disorderly conduct, first degree criminal trespassing, and interfering with the police, according to the press release.
Divest Harvard declined to comment on the arrests.
Fossil Free Yale, a co-organizer of the protest, announced on Twitter Saturday that they are raising money to cover the legal fees for arrested protesters. They currently set a goal of $20,000. As of Tuesday morning, they had raised more than $13,000.
According to their GoFundMe page, the maximum fine for disorderly conduct is $500. They wrote that they plan to use the money to also help Harvard students attend their court date in New Haven.