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joshsandiford
25th November 2019

LIVE: Climate activists occupy John Owens Building – Day 7

The student campaigners are demanding the University of Manchester makes a commitment to fully divest from fossil fuels
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LIVE: Climate activists occupy John Owens Building – Day 7
Photo: People and Planet

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.

Josh Sandiford

Josh Sandiford

Deputy Editor

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