Fossil Free Rally at Uni23 April 2015
Protestors gathered to South Lawn yesterday to rally against the University’s divestment in fossil fuels in a National Day of Action alongside 15 other universities.
Students, staff, alumni and members from Fossil Free MU, UMSU’s Environment Department, and 350.org gathered at midday in preparations to march to the Raymond Priestly building.
Rally groups in support of divestment argued that a continued university investment would contravene national climate change targets.
“80 per cent of current fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground if we’re to stay below the 2 degree celsius guardrail of warning, which is an internationally agreed upon figure.” says Vicky Fysh, 350.org national campus divestment co-ordinator.
Over one hundred people holding spray-painted orange cardboard formed the shape of a large cross, indicative of their collective feelings towards fossil fuel investment. Other members waved large banners and poured black paint over a fake university degree titled the ‘Bachelor of Climate Science (Honours)’. A large range of age demographics were present.
Protests organised by 350.org have already occurred across six states and territories. International universities, such as Stanford University and the University of Glasgow, have committed to divesting in fossil fuels. In Australia, only the Australian National University has gone ahead with divestment.
“By divesting form fossil fuels, universities get to align their investments with their values. [They] also stop profiting from climate change and make a really clear statement about the need to move away from fossil fuels,” said Fysh.