Students drenched in oil protest VC’s fossil fuel interests
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday 12 October
Students drenched in oil protest Vice-Chancellor’s fossil fuel interests
Students at the University of Auckland have covered themselves in oil in protest at Vice Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon’s support for university investments in the fossil fuel industry.
The students walked through the University campus and into downtown Auckland behind a masked costume of the Vice Chancellor. They aimed to link his support of the University Foundation’s investments with the impacts of climate change on their future.
“By refusing to act on divestment, McCutcheon is aligning himself with oil cronies who will disregard our planet in order to extract all the world’s fossil fuel reserves. This action is showing the public what that looks like,” said Fossil Free University of Auckland activist Regan Shere.
“Our future is being flooded by the fossil fuel industry’s contribution to climate change, and by refusing to ask the University Foundation to divest from these companies, McCutcheon is putting profit above our future.”
“The University Foundation is scared to embrace fossil fuel divestment. But climate change is an emergency, and there is no planet B. What’s needed is leadership, and the Vice Chancellor needs to get out of the way of action,” said Shere.
Students from Fossil Free University of Auckland have been campaigning for the University Foundation to divest its $180 million endowment fund from fossil fuel companies for the last two and a half years, gathering support from over 25 clubs and student associations on campus, and staging multiple protests, most recently occupying the University Clocktower building in May.
The group estimates up to $2.5 million of that is invested in fossil fuel companies.
On Friday October 20 they plan to mobilise hundreds of students for a day of creative and subversive action to show the power of the fossil free movement.
Said Shere “Our cause is going mainstream, with even the university being forced to recognise our efforts, awarding us ‘General Club of the Year’ at the 2017 Club Awards. On Friday, October 20th, we’re going to flood the campus with a wave of action for divestment and show that a fossil free future is unstoppable.”ENDSNotes to editor:
Fossil Free UoA campaign and University Foundation investment information: http://350.org.nz/fossilfreeuoa/news/
Flood The Campus details: https://actionnetwork.org/events/flood-the-campus