Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

19 Students Arrested by Yale Police at Fossil Fuel Divestment Sit-In

Energy
19 Students Arrested by Yale Police at Fossil Fuel Divestment Sit-In

Hannah Nesser is a junior at Yale College studying environmental engineering and organizing with Fossil Free Yale.

Nineteen Yale students were arrested by Yale police yesterday following a day-long sit-in that called for the university to reopen the conversation on fossil fuel divestment. Yale is one of the first schools where a fossil fuel divestment action has led to arrest.

“Yale would rather arrest its students than re-engage in the conversation” said Fossil Free Yale Project Manager Mitch Barrows. Photo credit: Fossil Free Yale

Forty-eight students peacefully entered Woodbridge Hall, Yale’s main administrative building, at 9 a.m. yesterday. Within minutes of their arrival, Yale President Peter Salovey addressed the students, informing them of the administrative channels that exist for students interested in pursuing divestment. Afterward, students provided flowers to the administrative staff and a thank you letter to Salovey. Then, students peacefully and quietly sat in the building.

Students held the sit-in to call on the Yale to reopen the conversation on fossil fuel divestment. The sit-in follows a two year effort by student group Fossil Free Yale to work with the administration to divest the university’s endowment from fossil fuels. During this period, Fossil Free Yale worked through the same administrative channels that Salovey referenced when he addressed students yesterday morning.

In August 2014, Yale refused to divest, announcing instead a series of sustainability initiatives. Fossil Free Yale continued to attempt to work with the administration to achieve divestment, arguing that sustainability is unable to address the social injustices of fossil fuel extraction and burning. The university has not responded to these claims, and Fossil Free Yale held this sit-in to hold Yale decision-makers responsible for open and honest engagement with students.

At 5 p.m., Woodbridge Hall closed and Yale police arrested 19 students who refused to leave the building until the administration agreed to continue the conversation on fossil fuel divestment. The arrests, willing and peaceful, followed the university’s failure to respond to students.

“Yale would rather arrest its students than re-engage in the conversation” said Fossil Free Yale Project Manager Mitch Barrows.

During the arrests, 160 students gathered on Beinecke Plaza. Students told the story of Fossil Free Yale and Blue Feather Drum Group, a Native American performance group, performed and discussed the links between the fossil fuel industry and marginalized communities. More than 125 students joined hands and encircled Woodbridge Hall. Together, they chanted, "Students united will never be divided.”

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

One Simple Thing You Can Do Today to Stop Global Climate Change

How Meat Consumption Is Linked to Climate Change and Drought

Tim DeChrisopher: The Church Should Lead, Not Follow on Climate Justice

A replica of a titanosaur. AIZAR RALDES / AFP via Getty Images

New fossils uncovered in Argentina may belong to one of the largest animals to have walked on Earth.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Trump's Affordable Clean Energy rule eliminated a provision mandating that utilities move away from coal. VisionsofAmerica /Joe Sohm / Getty Images

A federal court on Tuesday struck down the Trump administration's rollback of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A wild mink in Utah was the first wild animal in the U.S. found with COVID-19. Peter Trimming via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA

By Jonathan Runstadler and Kaitlin Sawatzki

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have found coronavirus infections in pet cats and dogs and in multiple zoo animals, including big cats and gorillas. These infections have even happened when staff were using personal protective equipment.

Read More Show Less
A mass methane release could begin an irreversible path to full land-ice melt. NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty Images

By Peter Giger

The speed and scale of the response to COVID-19 by governments, businesses and individuals seems to provide hope that we can react to the climate change crisis in a similarly decisive manner - but history tells us that humans do not react to slow-moving and distant threats.

Read More Show Less
Doug Emhoff, U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Jill Biden and President-elect Joe Biden wave as they arrive on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By John R. Platt

The period of the 45th presidency will go down as dark days for the United States — not just for the violent insurgency and impeachment that capped off Donald Trump's four years in office, but for every regressive action that came before.

Read More Show Less