19 Cited, Fined at Protest Over Yale Fossil Fuel Investment

Nineteen protesters at Yale University were cited and fined by police Thursday, after a demonstration calling on the Ivy League school to divest from fossil fuel companies.

About 150 people formed a human chain around Woodbridge Hall, where Yale President Peter Salovey's office is located. Some 50 protesters went inside the building and staged a sit-in.

"We were here because we felt stifled. We felt like were were cut out of the dialogue," explained protester Mitchell Barrows, a junior environmental studies major at Yale.

Yale police said they fined 19 demonstrators $92 apiece for refusing to leave the building by a 5 p.m. deadline. Barrows was among the 19.

The demonstrators are with Fossil Free Yale, which has been pushing the university to divest from fossil fuel companies to address what it calls the social injustices of fossil fuel extraction and burning.

"Every time we go to the Yale Corporation or try to go through the process of engaging the administration on the issue of fossil fuel divestment, they refuse to engage on our basic premise of social justice and talking about the fossil fuel industry and the social harms that they commit in extraction communities and through the carbon dioxide that they release," Barrows said.

Yale rejected the demands to divest last August, saying it wasn't the right way to address global warming.

"We were here today to say that we as students believe that this is important to us. This our future on the line; this is the world that we will lead in the future," Barrows said. "Yale loves to say that they're educating the leaders of the future, but yet they don't see any importance in conserving and maintaining a livable future for us to lead."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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