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28th November 2019

Divestment campaigns come together to pressure University

Groups campaigning for UoM to divest in fossil fuels have decided to join forces in order to unify their efforts and increase the pressure on the university.
Divestment campaigns come together to pressure University
Photo: Fossil Free University of Manchester

Divested Yet?! is bringing together ‘UoM’s hottest divestment campaigns’ with the objective of encouraging better relationships so we can build stronger campaigns together. The divestment party will feature talks from dED_UCATION, Boycott Divestment & Sanctions, Fossil Free University of Manchester, Decolonise UoM and Greater Manchester Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. 

This event is taking place on the 6th of December at Fuel in Withington, beginning with talks at 6pm, followed by music from 7:30pm. Tickets cost £2.74 online or £4 on the door. All proceeds will go towards dED_UCATION, supporting their research into university divestment from the arms trade. 

Demilitarise Education (dED_UCATION)

“Demilitarise Education has created a space for underground activism, we invite young people to join the community and use their own skills to empower peace.

“Our guiding principles are to use research, media, collaboration and technology to support peace and hype up the peace force! Our current focus is on helping untangle, expose and end UK University ties to the global arms trade. dED are building a report called The People’s Plan for Divestment (PP4D) and throughout 2020 we want our survey on divestment, sustainable innovation and public opinion to reach thousands of people across Manchester and help drive engagement while building groundbreaking research.

“This research will be turned into accessible media content for all to learn from. Universities represent a hub of innovation and leadership, and therefore we must demand more ethical practice that can help sustain a healthy planet for all.”

– Jinsella Kennaway

Boycott Divestment & Sanctions:

“The UoM Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign is part of the international Palestine solidarity movement. They are answering the call made by over 170 Palestinian civil society groups in 2005 to non-violently protest Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism through a political, economic, and cultural boycott. This is based on the successful boycott campaign against apartheid South Africa in the 1980s, which the city of Manchester played a prominent role in.

“The three core demands of BDS are the end to the occupation and colonisation of Arab lands by the state of Israel, equal rights for Palestinians living in Israel, and the right of return for all Palestinian refugees. We uphold these demands. As a student group, our main campaign is to get the university to divest its shares from Caterpillar, an American construction company which sells armoured bulldozers to the Israeli state for use in destroying Palestinian homes, schools, villages and agricultural land, and to build illegal settlements.

“A senior IDF commander described Caterpillar bulldozers as the “main tools of the occupation”. They state that UoM is complicit in war crimes against Palestinians. They plan to keep campaigning until the university severs all institutional links with Israeli apartheid.”

– Frank Roche

Fossil Free University of Manchester:

“Fossil Free University of Manchester is a campaign run by the People and Planet Society calling for the University to divest its investment portfolio of the £11,975,986 (as of March 2019) it has in fossil fuel companies. This campaign has been running for eight years and has had the support of over 1000 students and staff in petitions, protests, and occupations throughout this time.

“In recent years they have made dramatic progress. Lizzie Haughton (Activities and Development Officer) now sits on the University’s investment sub-committee, representing calls for divestment to the University administration. They also claim to have received private messages of support from a majority of the Board of Governors.

“This year Fossil Free UoM has also stepped up its grassroots activism. They have staged protests outside Board of Governors’ meetings, and staged a ‘Fossil Fools Day’ protest on 1st April 2019. As of writing 14 students and SU representatives have just finished their occupation of the boardroom of the Finance Committee in the John Owens Building. This occupation lasted over 7 days and resulted in a promise from the university to seriously examine it’s Socially Responsible Investment Policy (SRIP). This campaign is part of a global effort to end institutions and pension funds’ involvement with fossil fuel companies. 78 UK universities have now divested, and they are increasing pressure for the University of Manchester to join their ranks!”

– Kayleigh Crawford

Decolonise UoM:

“Decolonise UoM is a collective of staff and students at the University of Manchester who, through political education and building collective power, aim to reimagine and build a democratic, liberated and free education for all. We advocate for justice by dismantling the what they see to be the racist, ableist, transphobic, homophobic, sexist structures of the University.

“We also advocate for divestment from companies and institutions that are complicit in the decimation of our planet and human lives. We advocate for the reformation of university governance so that is in the hands of staff and students. We advocate for an end to the hostile, racist and xenophobic environment infringing on our campus.

“We advocate for a decolonised curriculum that not only diversifies our reading lists but is actively critical of the colonial thought processes implicit in the fabric of our education. We advocate for a free education that values education as a human right rather than a consumer good.

– Sara Khan

Greater Manchester Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

“Greater Manchester & District CND is part of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). We campaign for the elimination of nuclear weapons, an end to illegal, interventionist wars, and the closure of the nuclear power industry. 

“Greater Manchester & District CND acts as a coordinating body, supporting eight local CND and peace groups. We also support individual members of CND in the region. We play an active role in Greater Manchester Stop The War Coalition and have strong links with other regional progressive and environmental organisations.”

– Yasmeen Hussein

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