Anyone that’s been around Imperial a while will remember the Fossil Free Campaign posters that went up during first term a few years ago. These declared “Imperial’s getting coal for Christmas” as part of a larger campaign to try and get Imperial to divest from fossil fuels. Whilst the Imperial group for this movement has become slightly quieter on campus lately, the national movement is going strong.
Last week over forty students decorated the front of King’s College London with balloons, flowers and poster paint dots in part of a gradually escalating campaign of action with the aim of getting King’s College London to divest from Fossil fuels.
The poster paint dots relate back to action from the last week of Autumn term when students sprayed 1000 chalk dots around the internal walls of King’s College to represent the need to ‘connect the dots’ on climate change. The point the campaign was trying to make, was the need for looking beyond polar bears and realising that the 2ºC temperatures limit that’s on track to be exceeded in a matter of years, will lead to an exponential increase in forest fires, floods, droughts, storms and sea levels.
At the start of this term, Roger Hallam, a PhD candidate in the Department of Culture Media and Creative Industries, spray painted “Divest from Oil and Gas Now – Out of Time” on the front of King’s. Then later in this term ten students and alumni spray painted the Main Entrance Hall of the College leading to the first arrests in decades of King’s College students during a political protest. Roger Hallam (student) and David Rhys Alan (alumni) were detained for 14 hours before being released without charges at 3am. Roger has since been suspended and David banned from College property.
A King’s student, Luke Harwood, has said the following: “The fact that institutions such as KCL are content to happily risk the fate of humanity for a profitable investment is beyond contemptible. When they seem so obviously unwilling to divest the only option is to escalate our message.”
King’s College seem to have at least started a dialogue and time will tell about how far these actions will go before a resolution is reached. With Green Week coming up this seems an ideal time to reignite efforts for divestment at Imperial.