UCL and Shell, sitting in a tree…

UCL and Shell, sitting in a tree…

Laurie Chen reports on Fossil Free UCL’s newest campaigning method – oil

Around 50 students from Fossil Free UCL staged a ‘love in’ protest outside a UCL Council meeting yesterday afternoon.

Following on from the high-profile ‘die in’ held in November, UCL Fossil Free launched the next stage of their campaign against UCL’s alleged investments of £14.4 million in the fossil fuel industry.

On this occasion, protesters adhered to the Valentine’s Day theme by wearing broken heart placards which urged UCL to ‘Stop Breaking My Heart’ and ‘Hook Up With Renewables Instead’.

While Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’ and Soft Cell’s ‘Tainted Love’ blasted from speakers, the group lined the South Wing corridor chanting slogans such as: ‘UCL and Shell, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G’ and ‘UCL, UCL, don’t put us in climate hell!’

Members wore facemasks printed with the Shell logo and the Provost’s face, respectively. Some even came dressed as cupids.

‘UCL, UCL, don’t put us in climate hell!’

The highlight of the protest came when the first council members started to arrive. A handful of masked protesters began to undress and smear “oil” over each other, while onlookers ‘ooh-ed’ and ‘aah-ed’. Cries of ‘It’s an oil orgy!’ were clearly heard.

As a result, council members had to cautiously make their way around the protesters. At one point, a member of staff shouted ‘Throw a lighter at them!’

Pi spoke to one of the event organisers, David Powe, a current MSc student in Transport and City Planning at UCL. He said “It takes individual actions to change the world. We at Fossil Free UCL will continue to pressure the university to divest its unethical shares in fossil fuel companies such as Shell and BP, and are hoping to get more people involved. We are not going to shut up, and our campaign is only going to get louder!”

Image credits: Eden Evans, www.fossilfreeucl.tumblr.com

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