Attend Fossil Free Mac’s Sit-In

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Attend Fossil Free Mac’s Sit-In

Graphic courtesy of Fossil Free Mac.

Graphic courtesy of Fossil Free Mac.

Graphic courtesy of Fossil Free Mac.

Graphic courtesy of Fossil Free Mac.

Zach Jordan, Contributing Writer

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A massive moment in fossil fuel divestment is upon us. On Friday, Oct. 4, members of the Macalester community will be participating in a sit-in at Weyerhaeuser Hall as a call for immediate action on the climate emergency. Macalester’s Board of Trustees will meet to discuss Fossil Free Mac’s proposal to place a moratorium on renewing any contracts that the college has with fossil fuel companies. If the board approves this measure, 40 million dollars worth of investments will be divested over a 15 year period, a huge step forward for the movement. This just might be the best chance we have had yet to finally halt millions of dollars from funding fossil fuel projects that relentlessly pollute our planet and destroy marginalized communities.

This is a call to action — the board of trustees has passed up opportunities to vote on the proposal twice now. There can be no further delay in action on this issue. The movement can only succeed with the support of a highly engaged community united through our demands for environmental justice and a cleaner planet. We stress urgency in the face of climate disaster, and it is past time for Macalester’s actions to match its rhetoric in regards to valuing sustainability and environmental preservation. There is no more room for debate on how the student body feels on this issue — in our referendum last spring, 94 percent of Macalester students stated that they support Fossil Free Mac’s proposal. To vote against the proposal would be to vote against the will of the students, members of the generation that will be responsible for fixing the mess created by these irresponsible investments.  

This meeting comes on the heels of the University of California system divesting entirely from fossil fuels, joining a wave of colleges seeking more ethical investments as they made their 13.4 billion dollar endowment entirely fossil free. With more than 40 educational institutions already committed to achieving complete divestment, Macalester is rapidly bleeding credibility as an institutional leader in the pursuit of climate justice. The people who have suffered from the environmental destruction of fossil fuel companies have the momentum.

Stand with us today and make your voice heard — we will not support funding the very companies that are responsible for much of the climate disasters that we see today. Starting at noon and concluding at the end of the board meeting, we will be occupying Weyerhaeuser Hall. All are welcome to sit with us in a place of peace and reflect on what Macalester’s ethical obligations ought to be as an institution of power and influence. We do not seek to aggravate; we seek to demonstrate. We are looking forward to seeing you there.