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  • LIVE: Climate activists occupy John Owens Building – Day 7

LIVE: Climate activists occupy John Owens Building – Day 7

Welcome to a special Mancunion live blog on the ongoing occupation of the John Owens Building by climate activists People and Planet.

The student campaigners are demanding the University of Manchester makes a commitment to fully divest from fossil fuels.

They moved into the building on Tuesday morning with activists split between the financial board room and the corridor. Today marks their seventh day of occupation.

A meeting had been arranged between activists and the University’s Senior Leadership team for this morning in an effort to end the protest but People and Planet announced this morning (25th November) that talks had broken down.

They now say four of them are prepared to go on hunger strike as early as midnight if the University doesn’t agree to divestment.

A University of Manchester spokesperson said: “We welcome the chance to meet with students as it long as it is through the appropriate Students’ Union representatives. We have offered to meet on that basis.

“The University recognises that students have a right to protest peacefully, providing that this does not unduly disrupt the conduct of the University’s normal business. However, by occupying the corridor and meeting room they are causing significant disruption.

“On the issue of divestment, our policy is clear and in the public domain as part of our Socially Responsible Investment Policy (SRIP). We no longer invest in companies with more than 5% of their revenue from thermal coal (the type of coal used in power plants) or oil sands (also known as tar sands).

“We sincerely hope that the students will accept our offer and we look forward to meeting them in due course.”

You can follow this live blog for all the latest, with updates below.

People and Planet are also live tweeting here.

Tags: Climate Activists, Live Blog, Manchester, Manchester Protest, people and planet

Josh Sandiford

Deputy Editor

2:45 pm

Nicole Wootton-Cane

Senior management meet with SU exec officers

People and Planet have tweeted that University management are currently meeting with SU exec officers, and have offered them another meeting at 3pm, conditional upon them leaving the occupation. The occupiers maintain that they will not agree to this unless the University give written commitment that they will agree to divest.


1:02 pm

Josh Sandiford

Striking lecturers stand in solidarity

Climate activists have been occupying the management buildings for the past week demanding the University divest, but they’re not the only ones that have been locked in fierce negotiations with bosses.

UCU lecturers have also gone on strike today in a row over pay and pensions.

They’ve been on campus this morning protesting. En route, they stopped off to stand in solidarity with the climate protesters.

Large crowds gathered outside the John Owens Building, apparently chanting: “What do we want? Full divestment! When do we want it? Now!”

12:45 pm

Josh Sandiford

Activists threaten to go on hunger strike

A meeting between University Senior Leadership and student climate activists was due to take place this morning but won’t be going ahead.

The protestors, SU Officers, University leadership and investment experts were set to meet in the John Owens Building, which is home to the University’s Senior Leadership teams, including Vice-Chancellor Nancy Rothwell.

In a statement released this morning, the activists said that they expected the meeting to take place inside the occupied building but University leadership have said the talks were contingent on them leaving.

The activists are now threatening to go on hunger strike within 24 hours if the University doesn’t shift its position.

There are currently talks ongoing between University management and Students’ Union representatives.

Activists inside the John Owens building are waiting to see if any progress has been made.

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