‘Stop Horsing Around’: Students protest at Jesus College demanding divestment

Students and fellows at Jesus College have held a peaceful protest calling for a full divestment from fossil fuels

A number of both students and fellows have been peacefully protesting at Jesus College today, demanding that the college commits to divest from all fossil fuels by the end of 2021.

Members of the Jesus College Climate Justice Campaign organised a socially distanced die-in (a form of protest where participants play dead) on Jesus College’s First Court lawn.

The aim of the protest was to urge “college management to commit to full divestment by 2021 and to reach net zero emissions by 2030”. It comes after the University of Cambridge pledged to fully divest from fossil fuel investment by 2030 last week, followed by Christ’s College’s decision to match this promise.

However, the Jesus College Climate Justice Campaign believes that divestment can be achieved far quicker, and that the “timeline announced is not compatible with the scale of the crisis”. They believe the Cambridge colleges are in a position to divest “much more rapidly than the central university due to the distinct nature of their investment portfolios”.

Students at the protest today wore blood stained horse masks as they surrounded Barry Flanagan’s iconic Bronze Horse. They carried signs ordering that the college “stop horsing around” and that they “say neigh to fossil fuels”. Another witty sign read “What would Jesus do? Divest obviously”.

Image Credit: Jesus College Climate Justice Campaign

Last year Jesus College sold all direct investments in fossil fuels but the campaign states that “£46 million is [still] invested through a private fund manager” that isn’t bound by any “sustainable criteria restrictions”.

James, an undergraduate student currently studying at Jesus, said that the students are “grateful for College management’s engagement on the issue so far”, but that “Jesus College is still failing to treat the climate crisis as the existential emergency that it is”.

Another student of the college, Sarah, states that we “cannot stand by” whilst the climate change crisis worsens and irreversible damage is done to our planet. She adds that in order to combat this, Jesus College must “vote to fully divest all its investment in fossil fuels, and make a firm commitment to net-zero carbon emissions”.

Feature image credit: Jesus College Climate Justice Campaign