Students protest Oxford investments

College News News

Image Credit: Oxford Climate Justice Campaign

The Oxford Climate Justice Campaign marched in protest on Wednesday for a “divested, disarmed and decolonized university”.

The protest, which will take place on the National Day of Action on Divestment, will start at 12pm at Pembroke College. Protesters will then march to Exeter and New College. 

According to the Oxford Climate Justice Campaign, these are the three colleges with the worst record on investment, with Pembroke College having invested £8.9 million offshore, with Exeter having £3.2 million of offshore investments. New College, in addition to £118 million offshore, had £450,000 invested in fossil fuels as well as £216,000 in arms.

The campaign called for the march to be “silent and sombre” with protesters wearing black. 

When they arrived at each college, the protesters broke their silence and posted a “Time Is Up” notice on the gates, all whilst chanting and singing, before they then continue to march silently on to the next college.

The protest culminated at the Clarendon Building, where a rally took place, and speeches were made, in front of the office of the Vice Chancellor, Louise Richardson. 

Protests for divestment have previously taken place outside of the Clarendon Building.

A spokesperson for the campaign said: “Climate change – and the natural disasters and critical impoverishment it causes – has created business opportunities for many unethical industries. 

“These industries’ activities disproportionately impact the formerly colonised, the global working class, and communities of colour who are considered sacrificeable for profit. 

“Time is up for Oxford’s institutional support for these industries. We can, and must, do better.” 

The intention of the march is to demand for Oxford University to ‘honour its ethical responsibilities’ and divest any money in arms, as well as other industries that the campaign deems are linked to “settler-colonialism” abroad. 

It also demands the University ends investment in fossil fuels over the next two years.

The date of the march was on the one year anniversary of the Paradise Papers leak in November 2017, which first saw Oxford University’s investments in offshore funds and tax havens come to public knowledge.