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The protesters, two dozen of whom were arrested, demanded that both Ivy League schools stop funding fossil fuel companies — an act Christopher Colby, a Harvard student and Campus Reform correspondent, blasted as “empty activism” and par for the course on a liberal campus.
“These protesters decided that their version of empty activism for this weekend was going to go sit in the middle of the field, during the game, right in the middle of it, wasting everybody’s time,” Colby told “Fox & Friends” Monday. “I have to say most people were pretty nonplussed. The protest was pretty poorly planned.”
However, Caleb Schwartz, a Harvard student and spokesman for the group Divest Harvard, told ESPN the protest was a result of months of coordination.
“This is a very deliberate choice of targeting this specific [game] to get our action out there,” Schwartz told ESPN’s Paul Kix.
Colby argued that protesters’ demands would hurt the students who need financial aid the most, including many of protesters themselves, “because they wouldn’t have funding to go to school anymore.”
“Most of my friends were just irked, very annoyed that they got their time taken away from them, but our biggest takeaway, for the most part, was just that this was another empty political activist thing liberals tend to do on big days,” Colby said. “It’s really quite annoying. I don’t think the protest accomplished much.”
Harvard lost 50-43 in double-overtime, but Colby said the “Divest protest didn’t help” the historically long game.
Yale referred to the protest as “regrettable” in a statement, saying the Ivy League “stands firmly for the right to free expression” but took issue with how the protesters went about it, adding, “we do not allow disruption of university events.”
The protest received support from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who tweeted “Activism disrupts the present to change the future,” but many online mocked the protest saying it could only happen at an Ivy League game.
The incident was just the latest in a series of climate demonstrations that erupted in the fall. Protesters held sit-ins in the offices of both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, demanding more aggressive action on climate change. Actress Jane Fonda has participated in several protests, including one on Friday that resulted in multiple arrests.
Climate change has gained more attention as 2020 Democrats candidates shone a spotlight on the issue and President Trump filed paperwork to officially withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.
The Associated Press and Fox News’ Sam Dorman contributed to this report.