Sam Waterston Among Climate Change Protestors Arrested for Disrupting Harvard-Yale Football Game

Actor Sam Waterston is arrested by U.S. Capitol Police officers during a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Actor Sam Waterston was among the more than one hundred climate-change protestors who rushed the field during halftime of the Harvard-Yale football game Saturday in New Haven, Conn.

Waterston, who is a Yale alumnus, joined his alma mater’s Fossil Free Yale student group to block the field, causing the second half of the game to be delayed by about 30 minutes. The activist group wants Yale to divest from fossil fuels and to cancel its holdings in Puerto Rico’s debt.

The Law & Order star was reportedly among the 42 protestors who were detained Saturday for disorderly conduct, according to a report from the Connecticut Post.

“I’m here because I hope the students’ determination, and maybe my joining in, will give some heart to the great majority of us who know we are in the middle of a climate emergency, but are paralyzed by the size of the challenge,” Waterston star said in a statement posted on Fossil Free Yale’s Facebook page.

The actor expressed hope that ordinary citizens “will take courage from these young people to speak up ourselves; that, seeing them, we’ll feel a new confidence in our numbers and strength, and in our power to move even a mountain of inertia and resistance as big as this one.”

Waterston, 79, was arrested last month in Washington, DC during another environmental protest with his Grace & Frankie co-star Jane Fonda.

Other student groups that participated in Saturday’s protest included Divest Harvard, which wants Harvard to divest its endowment from fossil fuel companies.

The demonstration drew support from prominent Democratic politicians, including presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren, who called climate change “an existential threat.”

“I support the students, organizers, and activists demanding accountability on climate action and more at #HarvardYale. Climate change is an existential threat, and we must take bold action to fight this crisis,” she wrote.

Fossil Free Yale said that it is raising money for the legal defense of its members. The group also signaled that it plans more protests.

“This is just the beginning. The voices of students and alumni demanding justice will only get louder,” the group said on Facebook.

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