Marisa Peryer

48 activists from Yale and Harvard were charged with disorderly conduct on Saturday following their halftime demonstration at the game, the New Haven Police Department confirmed on Monday. 

Hundreds of students and alumni stormed the Yale Bowl on Saturday demanding that both institutions divest from fossil fuels, private prisons and Puerto Rican debt. While most returned to their seats at the urgings of Yale Police officers, the remaining protestors delayed the start of the second half of the game. 

According to the press release from NHPD, 48 individuals who remained were given misdemeanor summons by the police. Mark Rosenberg ’20 was arrested on charges of criminal trespassing, disorderly conduct and interfering with police, the press release said. Michael Gaspar also arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and trespassing.

The 48 activists are required to appear at the New Haven Superior Court at 9 a.m., Dec. 6. NHPD public information officer Sergeant Shayna Kendall was not immediately available for comment.

NHPD’s statement released the names of 49 activists, excluding that of a 17-year-old juvenile, who was also charged. The News has confirmed that at least 18 of the protestors who were issued misdemeanor summons were Yale undergraduates. At least one Yale alumnus and one Yale instructor were also charged.

The protest, which lasted well into what would have been the third quarter, was led by the Yale Endowment Justice Coalition and Divest Harvard. The crowd congregated at around the 50-yard mark in the Yale Bowl and chanted “okay boomer” and “hey hey, ho ho, fossil fuels have got to go” for over half an hour.

In a statement on Saturday, University spokesperson Karen Peart wrote that while Yale stands “firmly for the right to free expression,” the disruption of University events is prohibited. 

“We stand with the Ivy League in its statement that ‘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,’” she wrote.

Yale cinched the Ivy League Championship in double overtime after the sun had set. Since then, the demonstration has gained attention from national media outlets and garnered support from celebrities and politicians including Sen. Bernie Sanders and Kenneth Cole. Demonstrators have set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to pay for legal fees, fines and organization costs. As of Monday afternoon, over $12,000 has been raised.

The New Haven Superior Court is located at 121 Elm Street.

Matt Kristoffersen | matthew.kristoffersen@yale.edu

Clarification, Nov. 26: A previous version of this article included an incomplete list of Yale affiliates charged in the protest. The article has been updated to hyperlink to the NHPD press release including the list of all 50 charged individuals and to specify the number of involved Yale affiliates the News was able to confirm. Birthdates have been redacted for privacy reasons.

  • Nancy Morris

    This is terrific news for transfer applicants to Yale and Harvard!

    Once ALL the students who took to the field – not just those receiving misdemeanor summonses – are summarily expelled from both schools, their places can be filled by worthy young people whose aspirations were otherwise doomed.

    The Lord certainly moves in mysterious ways!

  • Higherominous Bosh

    I think they’re doofuses but publishing their names–and only a select subset thereof–could be deemed a disservice vis-a-vis their future employment prospects (or could lead to questions as to how the YDN chose the names for subset inclusion).

    The interwebs be forever.

    • Nancy Morris

      The point is said to have been to get attention. What would REALLY get attention is the New Haven judge sentencing each of the arrested protestors to six months of community service, such as picking up trash on the sides of the the CT Turnpike every weekend in January through June.

      I’ll bet the national news media would be all over it like a cheap suit.

  • Awal

    The protest was probably successful beyond the demonstrators wildest dreams (at least as measured by media stories), and I think it was important. That said, Yale has to come down hard on anyone who is a current student.

    The alternative is being free to get up in the middle of a Whim ‘N Rhythm performance to chant “hey hey, ho ho, Brett Kavanaugh is my bro.” Or being allowed to get up in the middle of the Yale Symphony and screaming “hey hey, ho ho, Schwarzman Center is about the dough.”

    The “slippery slope” is usually the last refuge of people who can’t find another argument, but the normalization of interrupting student events combined with the precedent of the University doing nothing, has the potential to make student sports, activities, and performances a new outlet for those who want to use freedom of expression as cover for creating a viral video.

  • Redman

    I wonder how many will fly home for Thanksgiving, using tons of fossil fuels!

  • Nancy Morris

    It would be best for all concerned if the New Haven court would impose sentences as severe as the law permits. This particular Yale Bowl stunt was anything but an exercise of free speech. It’s a symptom: Climate hysterics increasingly disregard the rights of others and democratic processes, driven on their own overheated rhetoric, swelling self importance and sanctimoniousness. Clear messages should be sent to disabuse them of their misconceived conceits. It is alarming that far too many people of all political sensibilities are insensitive to the potential for violence on all sides this development poses.

    Climate activists are demanding profound changes in the structure of all aspects of society, their rhetoric is increasingly hyperbolic and their actions increasingly reveal their contempt for democratic norms. That is extremely dangerous. For example, last week, a co-founder of Extinction Rebellion (“XR“) — an environmental group founded in 2018 to commit civil disobedience to draw awareness to the threat its founders and supporters say climate change poses to human existence — proclaimed that a genocide like the Holocaust was “happening again, on a far greater scale, and in plain sight” from climate change. It does not take a political genius to realize that people who misconceive their partisan preferences as holding back “genocide” equivalent to the Holocaust, which they believe to be ”happening again, on a far greater scale, and in plain sight” from climate change are not going to stop with disrupting football games.

    The risk is not just of violence by climate hysterics. The backlash against such people and their self-indulgent “civil disobedience” is bound to become violent if the civil authorities do not squarely restrain the excesses of these sanctimonious activists with existing law. It already has in London. In October, an activist with XR and a videographer, were kicked and beaten in a London Tube station by angry commuters during one of XR’s “civil disobedience” stunts. Anyone who thinks such things could not have happened on the Yale Bowl field should think again.

    It CAN happen here. And worse. Much worse. Does anyone rationally believe that if this stunt were pulled at a Superbowl instead of an Ivy championship that potentially serious violence is unlikely?

    Exaggeration and hysteria coupled with increasing demands for vast amorphous “change” is a sure recipe for political disaster. Climate activists should keep in mind that there was a 99.7% decline in the death toll from natural disasters since its peak in 1931. In 1931, 3.7 million people died from natural disasters. In 2018, just 11,000 did. And that decline occurred over a period when the global population quadrupled. By 2100, IPCC projects the global economy will be 300 to 500% larger than it is today. Both IPCC and the Nobel-winning Yale economist, William Nordhaus, predict that warming of 2.5°C and 4°C would reduce gross domestic product (GDP) by 2% and 5% over that same period. Does this mean we shouldn’t worry about climate change? No. But it does mean hysterical activists need to calm down, tone down their rhetoric, restrain themselves from trampling the rights of others, and work within true democratic processes.

    And it means that those who don’t should be smartly reprimanded, including those arrested in the Yale Bowl. Treating with contempt the members of these teams and the circa 50 thousand people who traveled to see them play in the cold, all to chant a hackneyed “protest” repeated by media many times every day, is a serious offense on many levels. And their total lack of contrition is an excellent reason to throw the book at them.