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42 people receive misdemeanor summonses for disorderly conduct during Saturday’s Harvard-Yale protest

The Boston Globe logo The Boston Globe 11/24/2019 John Hilliard
a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Harvard and Yale students protested during halftime Saturday of the Harvard-Yale game in New Haven. © Nic Antaya for The Boston Globe Harvard and Yale students protested during halftime Saturday of the Harvard-Yale game in New Haven.

Forty-two people have been issued misdemeanor summonses for disorderly conduct following Saturday’s climate protest at the Harvard-Yale football game in New Haven, Conn., which drew hundreds of demonstrators onto the field, according to Yale University spokeswoman Karen Peart.

The demonstrators took the field Saturday during halftime, and demanded that both universities divest their investments in fossil fuels. Many also called attention to other issues, including Puerto Rican debt and the treatment of Uighurs in China.

During the midfield protest, the protesters chanted: “Hey hey! Ho ho! Fossil fuels have got to go!” A banner displayed during the protest read, “This is an emergency.”

“Students are tired of Harvard and Yale profiting off of climate destruction and neocolonial investments in Puerto Rico’s debt,” protesters said in a statement to news organizations Saturday.

Police and security surrounded the demonstrators, and the public address system asked them to clear the field “as a courtesy to players.”

At one point, the protest grew to include up to 500 people, many of whom joined from the stands. The demonstration delayed the game for about an hour, after which a line of police began to move across the field.

Most protesters left, but some remained on the field and were told by Yale Police Chief Ronnell Higgins they would face arrest, according to the Associated Press.

On Saturday, New Haven police Sergeant Shayna Kendall said the department assisted Yale police, and directed comment to Yale.

Rachael Dane, a Harvard spokeswoman, said Saturday the university would not comment on the student protest or police response.

In a general statement, the university said commitments in its Climate Action Plan “explicitly recognize” that the world must 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 said.

Peart, the Yale spokeswoman, said in a statement Saturday: “We are grateful to the staff members and police officers who ensured the peaceful departure of students from the field.”

Globe correspondent John Powers contributed to this report. John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.

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