Two students were arrested and detained for 14 hours following a climate rally at King’s College London, in which calls for the university to divest from from fossil fuels were spray-painted in the main hall.
Students from King’s College Climate Emergency (KCCE) want the university to divest from companies profiting from oil companies and environmentally damaging practices. A 2013 FOI request found that King’s have £8m worth of investments in companies such as ExxonMobil, Shell and PetroChina, but in September 2016 the university agreed to partially divest.
In a protest on Wednesday, activists Roger Hallam and David Rhys Allen were arrested after spray-painting slogans in KCL’s main hall and were released at 4am this morning. The university may press charges, and in the meantime they are not allowed on campus.
Hallam said: “After signing petitions and sitting in committees for years it has now become necessary to spray paint the entrance of an institution which has been ignoring basic science on climate change for three decades. They’re so reluctant it’s unbelievable.”
Another activist, Luke Harwood, said: “The fact that institutions such as KCL are content to happily risk the fate of humanity for a profitable investment is beyond contemptible. When they seem so obviously unwilling to divest the only option is to escalate our message.”
This is the second time this term KCCE have spray-painted King’s property, Hallam was referred to Student Conduct by the university two weeks ago for spray-painting similar slogans on KCL’s Strand Building.
Last term protesters sprayed thousands of dots across campus to represent the need to ‘connect the dots’ on climate change.
They plan to escalate their campaign each week this term, with another spray-painting campaign and a student hunger strike.