Oxcam stages punt protest to raise awareness for climate change

Image credit: Caithlin Ng

Oxcam, Cambridge University’s Oxfam society, campaigned to raise awareness of climate change on Sunday, May 28, by staging a protest on a punt that travelled from Clare College Bridge to Silver Street Bridge.

Oxcam, which belongs to the international organisation Oxfam, seeks to tackle global issues like poverty. The punt stunt on Sunday was targeted at the issue of climate change and global displacement in particular, under the campaign title of “Don’t miss the boat on climate change”. Members of the society sat in the punt to carry signs for the protest, amongst which the captions included “We’re in this together”, as well as the campaign title. A member of Oxcam was also dressed in the punt as a polar bear in a onesie and mask, reflecting the problem of melting ice caps and the subsequent jeopardising of polar bear habitats.

Society President Miriam Quinn said, “I think that with the punts, we have potentially caught more of the students who have been sitting in their rooms or in their college libraries, and who suddenly see a polar bear flying past.”

The campaign also included a stall set up outside the Church of St Mary the Great, which featured more exhibits and leaflets on climate change. They elaborated on the climate problems Oxcam was seeking to tackle, including the potential displacement of residents because of changing climates in countries like Bolivia, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

One of the featured exhibits was a paper clock with the names of many countries written on it, with the tagline “The clock is ticking on climate change” written on it. Speaking about the inspiration for the clock, Emma Hall, one of Oxcam’s campaign officers, said, “We just wanted it to really hit home for people how widespread the disaster is, and how widespread it is going to be if we don’t start doing something.

“I think just our presence here in the city,” she added, “where we’re trying to make a name for ourselves as a society – getting out and doing these campaigns – is very important.”

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