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Penn and Yale were getting ready to play the second half of Penn’s homecoming football game, but there was a problem: dozens of protestors had taken up temporary residence at midfield and delayed the start of the half for 90 minutes.
The students did eventually exit the field, more than a few of them doing so in handcuffs.
Why? Well, apparently it had to do with the University’s involvement with fossil fuel investments. Additionally, the protestors were looking for the school to save the University City Townhomes. These are affordable housing units that are set to be redeveloped.
Most protesters left after an hour, but a handful remained to hold signs calling on Penn to divest from fossil fuel investments, save the UC townhomes affordable housing program, and pay local taxes in the PILOTs program. They were arrested by police. Good for the protesters!— Rikker Dockum /ɹɪkɹ̩/ (@thai101) October 22, 2022
Last month, Penn Senior Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli wrote that the school does not have “any influence” over the redevelopment plan.
PILOTs stands for “payments in lieu of taxes,” and the push is for Penn to make payments to an Educational Equity Fund governed by the local school district and the City of Philadelphia.
One video posted by Fossil Free Penn, which was involved in the protest shows some fans trying to tear up their banners.
Seeing fierce pushes for progressive causes from Penn students shouldn’t be that surprising. It’s the same school that had transgender Lia Thomas on its swim team, which led to widespread criticism.
Penn led Yale through threequarters by a score of 13-10.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle