Protesters gathered in the rain carrying shovels, drums, and banners to protest Trinity’s continued investments in the fossil fuel industry and demand divestmentEXTINCTION REBELLION CAMBRIDGE

Having sparked controversy in February by digging up Trinity College’s front lawn and depositing soil in a Barclays Bank on St. Andrews Street, Extinction Rebellion Cambridge yesterday returned to Trinity (19/08) to continue their protests against the college’s investments in the fossil fuel industry.

Alongside other members of the climate activism group who participated in the live-streamed and socially-distanced march from Christ’s Pieces to Trinity Lawn, four arrestees charged with criminal damage from the protest in February were also present after appearing in court yesterday morning.

XR claims that they had previously underestimated the extent of Trinity’s fossil fuel investment by proposing that the college’s investment stood at £9 million. The group now claims that, when accounting for investments in fossil fuel refinement and oil technology, the college’s current investment stands at £16 million.

This protest is the most recent to follow on from action last week, which included a game of croquet on Senate House Lawn and a nude protest on King’s College lawns.

This ‘fresh wave of direct action’ against the University and non-divested colleges was promised by XR in a press release at the start of the month after their demands for full divestment by the end of July fell short.

According to XR, 23 colleges remain non-divested.

While weather conditions drove turnout down, the handful of protestors who had gathered carried shovels and a large banner reading ‘No More Excuses Divestment Now’ - with all participants required to wear masks, bring their own hand sanitiser and maintain a social distance from one another.

In a symbolic gesture, XR protesters gave wildflower seeds to the Trinity porters, commenting that “the College seemed to be finding it difficult to reseed their lawn, which it has now stripped completely bare”, before concluding their speech with a Cree Indian proverb which linked the death of the ecosystem to materialistic financial gain.


Mountain View

Extinction Rebellion stage symbolic croquet match on Senate House lawn

In a statement to Varsity, one of the arrestees from February warned that “Humanity is sleepwalking into a catastrophe of unimaginable horror on an incomprehensible scale”, urging people “to contrast [the digging of Trinity Lawn] to the damage [...] being done [...] by the fossil fuel emissions supported by this college [Trinity]".

The statement added that the arrestees apologised for the “oversight” in underestimating the extent of Trinity’s fossil fuel investment, but did not apologise for the initial act of criminal damage to college property.

XR expressed hope that the event will raise awareness for the issue of college divestment and put pressure on the remaining 23 non-divested colleges.

Varsity has contacted Trinity for comment.

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