Cambridge Zero Carbon Society stages FOOTY protest on Senate House lawn
Football and fossil fuels marry in strange demonstration
Cambridge Zero Carbon Society staged a ‘Climate Kickabout’ this morning on the Senate House lawn, with the aim of sending a message to University officials on the need for divestment.
Divestment protesters wearing masks of several global leaders including Donald Trump, Theresa May and Justin Trudeau invaded the Senate House lawn at 11am this morning, and began playing a game football using a world globe.
On the organisations Facebook page a video set the Match of the Day theme shows protesters hoofing a ball about the Senate Lawn, while a message to the University on divestment policy plays over the top. Senate security seems to watch the masked figures bizarre protest with a look of bemusement, as protesters chant “We Love the Climate we do”.
Later on, the authorities appear to take one of the balls, before returning it, much to the relief of the demonstrators, who return to their Monday morning kickabout.
On the subject of their ‘Climate Kickabout’ the Cambridge Zero Carbon Society told the Tab: “Cambridge University Council has ignored countless calls from academics and students to publicly commit to divestment. The action today was a way of highlighting that world leaders are willing to play games with the planet, and Cambridge shouldn’t be complicit in this. We condemn the University’s complete lack of engagement and won’t stop taking action until the Council listens to the demands of staff and students. There’s a lot more to come!”
Speaking to the Tab, a university spokesperson provided comment: “While the University respects and upholds the right to peaceful protest, permission to protest on University land must be obtained beforehand. This was not the case in this morning’s incident, and protestors were asked to move on, which they did immediately.”
Additionally, on the subject of divestment, the spokesperson said: “The University seeks to invest responsibly in order to carry out its charitable mission, which is ‘to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence’.
“The University Council respects the views of the Regent House, while remaining conscious that responsibility for investment matters rests solely with the Council, not with the Regent House, and so this Grace is advisory rather than mandatory.
“The Council recognises the concerns around climate change. It also has to take its investment responsibilities very seriously as these fund key research and education about, among other things, the reasons for and solutions to climate change. As a result, it is commissioning a report to understand the consequences of any divestment from fossil fuel companies, including for its teaching and research programmes.
“Pending the outcome of the report, the University will continue to pursue a policy of ‘active engagement’ with fund managers to ensure that the interests and values of the University are reflected in how holdings are acquired, managed and traded.”
The demonstration was live-streamed to the group’s Facebook page, lasting around 15 minutes. We can only hope nobody receives college fines for streaming football.