Judge Gives Harvard-Yale Football Protesters a Slap on the Wrist

Harvard Football Protest
Jimmy Golen/AP

Harvard and Yale student protesters that derailed the annual football game between the schools will be required to complete five hours of community service if they want to avoid criminal charges.

According to a report by the Crimson, almost 30 students from Harvard and Yale went to court last week in connection with their arrests that occurred during the annual Harvard-Yale football game.

Students stormed the field to bring attention to their efforts to have their university’s “divest” from the fossil fuel industry. The game was delayed for 48-minutes as police officers worked to remove protesters from the field.

Judge Phillip Scarpellino told the student protesters on Friday that they will face further charges if they fail to complete their community service hours prior to their upcoming January 27 court date. Scarpellino encouraged the students to complete with service with Project Green Thumb, a local organization that cleans up New Haven, Connecticut, the town where Yale University is located.

“Scarpellino strongly recommended that students do their community service with Project Green Thumb, an alternative to paying fines for some offenses in New Haven,” the Crimson report read “The project helps clean up New Haven Green, a public space in the center of the city. They are not required, however, to serve locally.”

Attorney Hugh F. Keefe and his wife Tara Knight represented the Harvard students that were arrested during the football game. Keefe told the Crimson that he wanted to ensure that all Harvard protesters were not criminally charged over their participation in the protest.

“My job is to make sure that every student arrested and given a summons gets out of this without any record, any criminal record, any infraction record in the world,” Keefe said in a short comment. “That’s what I plan to do.”

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