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Common Dreams

Day of Action: Students Stand Up Against 'Pillaging of Planet'

College students across the country are erecting camps, dropping banners, and rallying to tell their institutions to divest from fossil fuels

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Students on college campuses across the country are standing up Thursday against the fossil fuel industry saying they will no longer support the "pillaging of our planet," and neither should their schools.

Sponsored by's Fossil Free campaign, the day of action was planned to highlight the growing fossil fuel divestment campaign, which over the last semester has spread to more than 300 colleges and universities across the US as well as to campuses in Canada, Australia, the Netherlands and Britain.

"Students want colleges to show the fossil fuel industry they will not support the pillaging of our planet," wrote one activist on Twitter. "The real radicals are the fossil fuel industry, completely altering the climate of our planet."

The capstone of the day is a rally at San Francisco City Hall, where students will join co-founder Bill McKibben and city supervisors who recently voted to push the city’s pension fund to divest $583 million from the fossil fuel industry.

Other actions include students at Colorado College camping out on campus to call for divestment, Northern Arizona University activists dropping a big banner over a campus building, a die-in at Cornell University to symbolize the human cost of climate change, and the construction of a 'climate refugee camp' on the Bowdoin College main quad.

You can view a growing collection of photos from the day's actions here.

Though officially launched just six months ago, the fossil fuel divestment campaign has already claimed a number of victories: four US colleges have announced their intention to divest their endowments from fossil fuel stocks and bonds, and in late April ten US cities made similar commitments.

“If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage," argues Fossil Free in their missions statement. "We believe that educational and religious institutions, city and state governments, and other institutions that serve the public good should divest from fossil fuels.”


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