Extinction Rebellion students call on the University to take drastic climate action
November 22, 2019
- A banner reading ‘No education on a dead planet’ was dropped from the Reading Room at the University of Glasgow as part of a nationwide day of action by the Extinction Rebellion Universities movement.
- The banner was dropped from the reading room at 1pm. The activists remained nearby, to inform passers-by about the messaging behind this action.
Annie Lane, 21, an Extinction Rebellion activist, and student at the University commented, “We are disappointed by the lack of action the University of Glasgow is taking to stay true to their declaration of a ‘climate emergency’. If they have plans to become more sustainable, that’s great, but it’s important that staff and students at the university know about it too. As far as I know, they have made no effort to hasten their divestment plans nor have they attempted to engage with staff or students about the climate and ecological crisis – as members of the community, we should be more actively involved with their decision making – the university needs to be more transparent!”
This follows the recent news that has come to light regarding the university’s unethical investment practises – over £3 million is invested in arms manufacturing companies such as BAE, Boeing and Honeywell, despite the ‘socially responsible investment policies’ that the university supposedly implements  – a realisation that has created a new wave of protests at the university.
It is not just investment and divestment practices that students are concerned about.
Vidya Nanthakumar, 19, an Extinction Rebellion activist and student at the university commented, “We are also disappointed at the lack of teaching about the climate crisis. We are taught next to nothing on the catastrophic implications that the climate crisis is having in places around the world right now, nor the real-life implications that it will have in the UK very soon. Universities should be adequately teaching us about this, and to be the globally conscious ‘world changers’ the University of Glasgow claims to create. The climate crisis affects all subjects, and mitigation strategies require an interdisciplinary approach.”
This failure to adequately educate students about the climate and ecological crisis forms the basis of the XR Universities movement – a group within Extinction Rebellion that demands that education institutions reform and act in accordance to the climate knowledge they produce, and make this knowledge accessible to all members of the public, to truly convey the urgency of the threat that we face.
About Extinction Rebellion Universities
Extinction Rebellion Universities is a branch of Extinction Rebellion (XR), a non-violent direct-action movement formed to take urgent action in the face of climate emergency and ecological collapse, as part of the global justice movement.
Extinction Rebellion Universities support the 3 demands of XR, but also aim to create a ‘movement of movements’ that forges links between not only educational establishments, but all other groups involved in environmental campaigning, with the hope that this will make academic knowledge less privileged and more accessible to the public. The movement calls for all disciplines and all professions to be engaged in the climate crisis and for educational establishments to facilitate that process.