'Only the Beginning': Nationwide Campus Walkouts Issue Climate Call to #ResistRejectDenial
"We won't allow Trump and his fossil fuel billionaire cabinet to foreclose on our future"
To show that President Donald Trump's climate denialism does not have their consent, thousands of students at universities and colleges across the U.S. on Monday are expected to walk out of class to urge their campuses to divest their assets from the fossil fuel industry.
"Continuing to act is how we keep hope alive and build the resistance even stronger," the GoFossilFree.org website declares of the action, dubbed #ResistRejectDenial.
Campuses with scheduled actions span from Evergreen State College in Washington State to University of Arizona to Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.
At Harvard University, students are calling their action Inaugurate a New Harvard, and will deliver to the offices of University President Drew Faust a petition demanding, among other things, that the administration show climate change leadership. "A Trump era demands that we resist, protect, and progress at the local level," said university senior Mattea Mrkusic in a statement.
Speaking to the Real News Network, Varshini Prakash, senior campaign coach of the Divestment Student Network, said that Trump has chosen "the interests of the one percent over the interests of the people." That is "why we need really powerful movements now more than ever. And that's why youth are saying from day one—we're not going to lie low. They want us to be scared. They want us to be depressed. They want us to be sad. But that's not what we're going to do. We're here to fight," she said.
The call to action underscores the urgency driving the youth-led protest:
Time is up for our colleges and universities to divest from the fossil fuel industry and reinvest in a just transition away from fossil fuels. There is no room for neutrality when the president of the United States is actively threatening the very future of this planet.
These walkouts will be the first ripples of a wave of continuous escalation that will crest this Spring. This action is only the beginning—but the bigger we begin, the more impressive our impact will be in the weeks to come."
Added Greta Neubauer, director of the Divestment Student Network: "For any chance at curbing the worst impacts of climate change, our universities must stand on the right side of history with students and take action now against Trump's climate denial. We won't allow Trump and his fossil fuel billionaire cabinet to foreclose on our future."