Oxford climate justice campaign Annual Report Climate Justice Campaign 2018-19 Annual Report

Oxford Climate Justice Campaign (OCJC) is the student-led campaign at the founded on the conviction that our educational institution must use its enormous financial and cultural clout for envi- ronmental justice in a changing climate. We are part of the fast-growing, international Fossil Free movement, which works to cut support of the fossil fuel industry in major institutions. We ultimately see divestment from fossil fuels as a necessary, politically significant step in the transi- tion to a zero-carbon economy. The IPCC estimated in its October 2018 report that a zero-carbon economy should be reached by 2050.

OCJC is an official campaign of the Oxford University Student Union: building upon student activity during Trinity term 2013, the Oxford Uni- versity Student Union Environment and Ethics Campaign has adopted fossil fuel divestment as its main project.

The primary aim of the divestment campaign at Oxford is to remove the fossil fuel industry from the University’s investment portfolio (£2.6 billion of which is managed by Oxford University Endowment Manage- ment), and those of its colleges.

We work as a core group and also provide support and resources for associated divestment campaigns at Oxford colleges.

Website: https://oxfordunifossilfree.wordpress.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OxfordClimateJustice/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/OxUniFossilFree/ In 2018 and 2019, the Oxford Climate Justice Campaign was met with a number of challenges —and victories.

This year, the fight for climate justice gained momentum across the globe, with youth climate strikes and a devastating IPCC report lending a new urgency to the climate crisis. OCJC helped run youth strikes in Oxford, where over 1000 people took to the streets for climate justice. The Oxford City Council took note, declaring a climate emergency later in the year.

Meanwhile, OCJC continued to organize for divestment across the University. Eight college MCRs and JCRs passed motions for divestment, and OCJC scored an important divestment win at Wadham College.

OCJC members stood in solidarity with other groups fighting for climate and social justice. As the first UK fracking operations since 2011 began in Blackpool, OCJC members raised money to support anti-fracking protestors and protested in Lancashire. OCJC members also assisted in organising multiple events that aimed to jointly tackle climate issues and neocolonialism. ACT IOn From October 12 through July 3, Oxford Climate Justice Campaign members spent the 2018-19 aca- demic year making a powerful case for fossil fuel divestment. Beginning the year by participating in two anti-fracking protests, OCJC later rallied for divestment and decolonisation, held a talk on ex- traction along the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline, pro- tested at the annual Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race, leafleted and co-hosted a protest tour during Open Days, met with the Vice Chancellor and protested a university greenwashing showcase. s4 Protesting Fracking in the UK On October 12, OCJC joined Reclaim the Power and the Fossil Free Oxfordshire Divestment Campaign in organizing a protest against fracking. Across the UK during the same week, dozens of groups demonstrated against a proposed national policy change that would make it easier to bypass local authorities when constructing fracking sites. The organizers built a fake fracking rig next to the Radcliffe Camera to symbolize how fracking rigs might infiltrate com- munities under the policy change.

National Climate Crisis Rally — Stop Fracking in Blackpool On October 20, OCJC members traveled to the Preston New Road fracking site in Lancashire to protest fracking in Blackpool. More than one thousand people joined the protest, the big- gest presence ever. In 2018, fracking firm Cuadrilla began the first fracking operations in the UK since 2011 in Blackpool. 

5 6 Time is Up: Divest, Disarm, Decolonise March On November 21, the National Day of Action on Divestment, OCJC partnered with Demilitarize Oxford and Free Education Oxford to organise a mass march to protest the University of Ox- ford’s institutional support for fossil fuels and arms. The protest was organised in response to a Cherwell investigation that revealed that Oxford colleges invest millions of dollars in arms, fossil fuels and tobacco. During the protest, allies marches silently to the the colleges most appallingly implicated in the recent investigations, Pembroke, Exeter and New College. Upon arriving at each college, marchers posted a “Time Is Up” notice on the gates, picked up members of those college campaigns, chanted and sang, and marched silently on to the next. The march culminated at the University’s central building and the office of the Vice Chancellor, the Clarendon Building, with a rally and speeches.

7 Chad-Cameroon Pipeline Talk Following OCJC’s Divest, Disarm and Decolonise action, on January 30, OCJC hosted a talk by Professor Amber Murrey on “Extraction and Resis- tance.” Murrey’s talk explored the link between resource extraction and social change along the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline. Murrey is a decolonial political geographer, ethnographer and educator in the School of Geogra- phy and the Environment.

Boat Race Protest On April 7, OCJC partnered with Cambridge Zero Carbon to plan to peacefully drop a 20-me- tre banner reading “Oxbridge Come Clean” over a bridge at the annual Oxford vs Cambridge Boat Race in London. The banner drop was foiled by , who stopped and searched pro- testors and confiscated the banner. The claimed that they did not seize any items from protestors, but an investigation by the Oxford Mail found that the banner and cable ties were seized during the protest. The cable ties were not returned to protestors.

8 Open Day Leafleting During the 2019 departmental Open Days for students interested in studying at the University of Oxford, members of OCJC passed out leaflets to prospective students. OCJC members were kicked out of the mathematics and computer science Open Day events. 

9 Meeting with Vice Chancellor On May 15, OCJC held a meeting with Vice Chancellor Louise Richardson to talk about the importance of fossil fuel divestment. Richardson stated that Oxford lacked power to make a difference through adjusting its investments. “If we all boycotted and divested from fossil fuels, then it would make a change, but I don’t think Oxford’s investments would make a difference at all.” ~Vice Chancellor Louise Richardson

Divestment Supporters Family Photo On June 11, fossil fuel divestment supporters gathered in front of a large banner outside of the Radcliffe Camera to pose for a “family photo.” The photo was taken to show the powerful extent of support for divestment at Oxford.

Protesting University Sustainability Showcase On June 20, OCJC members held a 1.5 hour protest at the University’s sixth Sustainability Showcase to showcase Oxford’s hypocrisy in suggesting that it is doing well with regard to pro- tecting the environment while continuing to invest heavily in fossil fuels. ▸

10 Divest Decolonise Alternative Open Day Tour On July 3, OCJC partnered with Uncom- fortable Oxford to run a Protest Tour as an alternative to the concurrent Oxford Open Day. Half loud protest against university investment in harmful fossil fuels and half thoughtful discussion on historical origins of economic exploitation, the tour was open and free to all. The tour was led by Uncom- fortable Oxford.

11 DivesT

This year was a boon for divest- ment campaigns. The Oxford City Council voted unanimously to divest from frack- ing. With assis- ment tance from OCJC, 8 college JCRs and MCRs passed mo- tions for fossil fuel divestment, and Wadham College divested. Later, Oxford City Council declared a climate mile emergency. stones Oxford City Council Divests From Fracking On October 1, the Oxford City Council voted nearly unanimously in favour of divesting from fracking. Members of OCJC stood alongside Fossil Free Oxfordshire Divestment Campaign to thank Councillors Tanner, Howlett, Moran, and others for supporting the motion to recom- mend divesting the wider county’s £2bn pension scheme from fossil fuels, particularly frack- ing companies. 

13 College Divestment Motions and Victories During the 2018-19 academic year, 8 college JCRs and MCRs passed fossil fuel divest- ment motions. Wadham College committed to full divestment.

▶ Jesus College passed a JCR motion in November. ▶ Exeter College passed a JCR motion in November. ▶ St Anne’s College passed a JCR motion in November. ▶ Pembroke College passed both JCR and MCR motions in January. ▶ Mansfield College passed an MCR motion in May. ▶ Balliol College passed JCR and MCR motions in May and June. ▶ Wadham College committed to divesting from coal and tar sands, ‘controversial’ arms manufacturing and tobacco in June.

Oxford City Council Declares a Climate Emergency On January 28, the Oxford City Council unanimously backed a proposal to declare a climate emergency. 

“We’ve just had a historic vote at Oxford City The Oxford City Council votes in favour of declaring a climate emergency. Council – we declared a climate emergency. It’s  just the first step in a long journey to actually reduce our carbon emissions, so that means look- ing at every single policy, every single decision we make, every single funding decision we make, and actually focus all our efforts now on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” ~ Craig Simmons, Councillor, Oxford City Council

14 This year, OCJC participated in seven collaborations with other groups fighting for cli- mate and social justice. From raising money to support anti-fracking protestors to hearing from migrant justice activists to participating in the Youth Climate Strikes, OCJC members stood in solidarity with other groups col workingfor a more just world. lab orA

tions 15 Chemical Disco On October 31, OCJC collaborated with the Tap Social Movement and OxGrow Communi- ty Garden to hold a zombie-themed dance party to raise funds to support the Blackpool anti-fracking protests. Attendees were encouraged to dress as zombies to channel their post-apocalyptic rage at the chemical geocide.

Oxford Eco Platform Launch OCJC collaborated with Oxford Sustainability, the Oxford Climate Society and the Oxford Waste Society to launch an online platform where environmentally-minded people in Oxford can come together to share events, campaigns, articles and ideas. The Oxford Eco Platform has remained active during the 2019-20 academic year. 

What is the Best Forum for Tackling Climate Change? On November 22, OCJC collaborated with Oxford Sustainability, Amnesty International and the Oxford Climate Society to host a student-led panel discussion on the best forum for tackling climate change. The event aimed to answer questions such as, 'Is it too late for the bottom-up approach?' and 'Is individual action effective?'

Climate Action Week On February 4, OCJC collaborated with the Oxford Climate So- ciety (OCS) to host a town hall on how the University of Oxford can better support climate health. The event, entitled “Scale Up Oxford: Meeting Oxford’s Climate Responsibilities,” was held as part of Climate Action Week, a week of climate-relat- ed events co-hosted by OCJC, OCS, Oxford Sustainability, Union, Oxford Hub and Oxford Waste Society.

16 Supporting Youth Climate Strikes On February 15 and March 15, OCJC mem- bers assisted in running two Youth Climate Strike events by holding police liaison and safeguarding roles. More than 1000 protes- tors demonstrated. ▸

17 The February Youth Climate Strike received a front-page spread in the Oxford Mail.

18 Hot to Take Direct Action for Climate and Migrant Justice On June 19, OCJC joined with Reclaim the Power to host an event at which one of the mem- bers of the Stansted 15 talked about non-violent direct action with climate and migrant justice. The Stansted 15 are a group of activists who non-violently chained themselves to a flight set to deport 60 migrants from the UK.

Common Ground Symposium: Climate Change and Neo-Colonialism Between April 28 and May 4, OCJC co-hosted two panels on the link between climate change and exploitation as part of the 2019 Common Ground Symposium. The first panel, ‘How has Oxford benefitted from exploitation?,’ featured Emily Kibbe, who discussed the links between our investments and fossil fuels. The second panel was entitled, ‘A global Crisis: Climate change and colonialism.’ 

19 Photo Attributions

▶ Cover: [Unattributed] ▶ Front and back inner covers: U.S. National Park Service, https://www.nps.gov/ lacl/learn/nature/forests.htm ▶ Protesting Fracking in the UK: https://www.facebook.com/OxfordClimateJus- tice/posts/2254228551317017?sfnsw=cl ▶ National Climate Crisis Rally: https://www.facebook.com/OxfordClimateJustice/ photos/a.736856309720923/2268768633196342/?type=3&sfnsw=cl ▶ Time is Up: https://www.facebook.com/pg/OxfordClimateJustice/pho- tos/?tab=album&album_id=2332381793501692&__xts__%5B0%5D=68. ARCWgmZ5ckXKh_kX1Kc9Ef7rJSv22GnYiNgVbl0VC7ni6oCn8EerFKhYuE- J56LZE3We5o4nT3c1IkdoVETDUyJxjgXfLqfHqrExC_qnMpC-AG3BXDR2_l9Z- JUpOcV377gbjR9W945Md49Pwvr8Aw0e_kCADaZSvIg1o4UHble3SGO_Sd- 3MxvVUHBBVBRxPemohpMAAmISJJTkLMhsCQRH4MLyumCA76BFMt0Gh- vEt-pdda6galK5pL9z95oBbJ-HnyiHX0eHbmFdX7mesL9u3ZEjP-ueEi3I43ZQO- jPLesM5AlFbZRMlV1R5CH3ZSGSgwdh3X0YQKI2KixGR4Xhmx0dFqbeAcq-r-CB- DZAW6PsSmih98RLdBAl1pA2jhcwLhEJ8y5gnw2HIZXBr4TwBRAH2I5cZ3U4OuL- gwPUzSkyaRdthoiD_Ct9q1MWfdb5CqEgToMuNO0VFh4pPPAvkBbTRvnKrCZgHx- fa4Ag8_VO6ZB_zlaQXHwyd-UH6PNMpntOCjzzDTY3vnE_aAk&__tn__=-UCH-R ▶ Chad-Cameroon Pipeline Talk (Amber Murrey): https://www.geog.ox.ac.uk/staff/ amurrey.html ▶ Boat Race Protest, top to bottom: Joe Cook, https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/ news/17559270.boat-race-police-accused-aggression-intimidation/; Joe Cook, https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/17385 ▶ Open Day Leafleting: [Unattributed] ▶ Vice Chancellor Louise Richardson: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/ education/2017/08/14/oxford-university-criticised-vice-chancel- lors-116000-home-makeover/ ▶ Sustainability Showcase Protest: https://www.facebook.com/OxfordClimateJus- tice/posts/2254228551317017?sfnsw=cl ▶ Divest Decolonise Alternative Open Day Tour: [Unattributed] ▶ Oxford City Council Divests from Fracking: https://www.facebook.com/Oxford- ClimateJustice/posts/2233720716701134?sfnsw=cl ▶ Oxford City Council Declares a Climate Emergency: Zoe Broughton, https:// www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=27&v=pROjmRxA9hs&feature=emb_ logo ▶ Supporting Youth Climate Strikes: [Unattributed] ▶ Oxford Mail image: https://twitter.com/theoxfordmail/sta- tus/1096702056935624704