300+ Walk Out of Harvard-Yale Football Game to Demand Ceasefire in Gaza

by Yale Harvard for Palestine, Nov. 18, 2023

At least three arrests have been reported by witnesses in the stadium … multiple student activists holding posters were detained and escorted from the premises. As part of a disruptive action for the “Free Palestine” movement, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and demanding Yale and Harvard divest from weapons manufacturers arming the Israeli Defense Force, 100+ Yale and Harvard students and alumni engaged in a mass protest in the midst of the Yale-Harvard football game.

These demonstrators waved flags, held up banners, and led nonstop chanting for an estimated 1.5 hours before they called upon attendees at the game to “Walk out for Pales-tine.” An estimated 300+ joined the demonstrators in walking out of the game in protest, before gathering outside the gate and participating in further chants calling to attendees as they exited the game. A 50-minute march followed with this crowd of 300+ supporters, leading all the way from the Yale Bowl down to the heart of Yale’s campus.

An unprecedented volume of police presence was ordered for this game, anticipating such disruptive action. Yale Police, Harvard Police, Yale Security, New Haven Police Department, State Troopers, and a private security force hired by Yale were all assigned target locations within the stadium. Students reported racial profiling, as a surplus of officers … came to swarm and stand with predominantly Black and brown presenting students, seemingly anticipating disruptive action based on these radicalized identities. At the start of the game, and at regular intervals throughout, the game announcer broadcasted a message, and displayed it on the scoreboard, warning students (paraphrased) not to interfere with the game or to risk removal and immediate arrest. Such a message has never been broadcast in the documented history of the Harvard-Yale Game, the most famous and highly anticipated sports contest of the year for both universities. Students raised concerns of targeted censorship from universities and rising suppression of freedom of speech for student activists for Palestine across the nation. Multiple student demonstrators reported physical and verbal assault from attendees in the stands, “mostly older alumni,” one student reported, as they exited the premises. Demonstrators did not engage.

This action was not affiliated with any registered undergraduate student groups at either university. For updates and social media coverage, see @yaleharvardforpalestine on Instagram. CONTACT: Yale and Harvard Students and Alumni, email: [email protected].

202-905-2577 – Yale Alum
508-603-8159 – Yale Student
617-902-0499 – Harvard Student
908-864-7971 – Harvard Med Student]

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