Zero Carbon Society bring University finance offices to a standstill

Image credit: Cambridge Zero Carbon Society

Earlier today, members of the Cambridge Zero Carbon Society shut down University finance offices in order to ‘send a message’ to the University Council, which is due to meet next week.

The Society released a statement on their Facebook page stressing that:

“This University is funding climate crisis. Students and staff have gone down every possible democratic route to hold the University accountable, but management has not listened. We are in a climate emergency and so we will continue to escalate our actions until it commits to divestment. The University Council must break its bonds with fossil fuel companies.”

“For as long as the University bureaucracy continues to collaborate in the destruction of ecosystems and livelihoods through funding catastrophic climate change, it is our moral imperative to disrupt the functioning of that bureaucracy. No more business as usual. ”

“Today we disrupt the finance office because this is at the forefront of the marketization of this university. On the behest of finance, the University management invests in catastrophic climate and social breakdown, overriding the democratic will of its members, all for the sake of profit. Students have rejected this unaccountable Corporation Cambridge, and we will not stop escalating our disruption until the University commits to divest from fossil fuels.”

“University Council are meeting on Monday 23rd April. It has the responsibility to uphold the democratic will of its members and take the lead in promoting climate justice. We demand it does so.”

The University of Cambridge currently invests around £377 million of its endowment in fossil fuels shares and stocks and the Council meeting, scheduled for Monday 23rd April, has been hailed by some as a sign that the Zero Carbon campaign is nearing a breakthrough.

How the University might respond to the Zero Carbon Society’s latest direct action is unclear, however. A spokesperson Varsity: “We’re aware of an ongoing incident at Greenwich House and security are on site managing the situation. We will update staff with any developments.”

The activists, who met this morning at 07:30am, ended the shutdown this afternoon. The Society released an updated statement on their Facebook where they announced a rally to be held on the day of the Council meeting, adding that:

“This is it. This university does not belong to the whims of higher management. They cannot continue to rest in the convenience of the economic status quo - to invest in the companies that are driving climate breakdown and human rights violations. The university invests on behalf of its members.”

 

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