Climate activists organized a demonstration inside a building on the University of Amsterdam’s Roeterseiland Campus complex. They want the university to cut ties with the fossil fuel industry, the same reason behind protests at other academic institutions in recent weeks.
The demonstrators say they plan to spend the night in the University of Amsterdam (UvA) building. The UvA said that protesting is possible, but that staying overnight in one of the buildings is not allowed. Earlier this year there was also a climate protest at a university building, where 30 people were arrested.
The demonstrators took action because they say the university has refused to comply with their demands. In February, the UvA decided not to enter into new partnerships with companies such as Shell for the time being, and said there would be a broad discussion about its existing collaborations. However, the activists doubt whether that will really lead to change.
“We, students and staff, are the university. We are simply reclaiming what is ours through peaceful direct action,” the End Fossil – Occupy! protestors said in a statement on social media. “Our demand for an autonomous space, the former Amsterdam Academic Club, was not granted and the building is still not being used. There is still no full transparency about the links with ‘Big Oil’, the fossil industry.”
The statement continued, adding, “We are not invaders, we are the university: students and staff who choose to make the changes we want to see in our universities and in our society ourselves.”
Last week there were climate protests at Utrecht University, Erasmus University Rotterdam, TU Delft, TU Eindhoven, and at the Van Hall Larenstein agricultural applied sciences university in Velp, Gelderland. The police put an end to some actions.
After the protest, Utrecht University decided to call climate change a state of emergency from now on. Erasmus University did the same. Later this month, activists also want to demonstrate at the Wageningen University.
Reporting by ANP
Image Students lead a protest inside the Roeterseiland campus of the University of Amsterdam. 16 May 2023 – Credit: End Fossil: Occupy! – Netherlands / Instagram – License: All Rights Reserved
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