People and Planet protesters occupy Old College

They’re at it again

Protesters have launched an Occupy-style protest outside the office of University of Edinburgh Tim O’Shea, in the Old College quad.

People and Planet Edinburgh aim to force the University to withdraw investment from fossil fuels and arms companies, staging a ‘Divestival’ with free food and live music.

The protest follows two previous demonstrations by the activists.

Last month, People and Planet Edinburgh, amongst other campaigning societies, organised a blockade of Charles Stewart House, the university’s finance building.

This also involved a release of a statement saying that further action would be taken if the university continued to invest in such companies after March 31st.

People and Planet Edinburgh were also behind the much publicised sit-in in Charles Stewart House last May.

After a ten-day occupation, the protesters managed to force the university to withdraw investment from coal and tar sands companies.

The university last month announced that it would not invest in companies which get more than 20% of its profits from arms.

However, the activists believe this is not good enough.

Nuri Syed Corser, a Politics and Anthropology student, said:

“Edinburgh has the chance to join the movement for a fair transition to a renewable economy, but we have to recognise that this is only possible if the political and financial power of the fossil fuel industry is broken.”

Michaela Sophie, a  Environmental Geosciences student, said:

 “The UK government has recently cut tax for North Sea Oil, despite its prices predicted to fall to the lowest level since 1986.

“We have also seen cuts to renewable energy subsidies, while solar power is on track to becoming the cheapest energy source.”

“It is clear that now is the time for our public institutions to take real action to secure a sustainable industry which will provide jobs for its future graduates.”