Harvard, Yale climate change protesters get community service for disrupting football game

Harvard, Yale climate change protesters get community service for disrupting football game

Protesters who disrupted the Yale-Harvard football game last month to raise awareness on climate change were sentenced Friday to community service.

After the court hearing, where around 50 people were sentenced, many took to the steps of the courthouse afterward to hold a climate change demonstration, according to The Associated Press.

Judge Philip Scarpellino of New Haven Superior Court in Connecticut sentenced the roughly 50 people who were charged on Nov. 23 with disorderly conduct to perform five hours of community service.

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If the conditions of the sentence are met, the charges will be dropped at a follow-up court hearing on Jan. 27, the AP noted.

The students can perform the community service wherever they live.

Students and alumni from both schools took to midfield for an extended period of time during the football game, the 136th between the two Ivy League rivals.

Banners could be seen urging the two colleges to act on climate change and divest from the fossil fuel industry, while other signs referred to Puerto Rican debt relief and China’s treatment of Uighurs.

“The whole protest was based on the idea that we are in a climate crisis,” Caleb Schwartz, a senior at Harvard, told the Hartford Courant outside the courthouse Friday. “We chose the game to make a high-profile statement.”

Hugh Keefe, an attorney for the students, applauded their protests and drive to raise awareness on an important issue.

“They have purpose. They are trying to help the world avoid a catastrophe. They sense to some degree it’s too late but they want to do something dramatic to save the planet,” he told the Courant. “It takes courage to do what they did."