On the 15 February 2017 a protest took place organised by People & Planet, a group formed by students that leads on ethical and environmental work and plans campaigns, representing the University of Manchester.
The group has been campaigning for the University to divest from fossil fuel companies. The campaign has been working for three years but in the last year, the student support dropped in numbers. The reason that brought them out and protesting on 15 February was to voice their concern to the Board of Governors (BoD), which is in the process of deciding what to do for the investments this year. The students felt there has not been enough pressure for a full divestment campaign; in their last People & Planet meeting, they realised the importance that a public statement from the University stating that they had fully divested would make.
Many of the BoD support divestment, stating that it would not hurt their portfolio, yet the University does not feel comfortable being seen making a political statement. The protest was supported by People and Planet and by Fossil Free Greater Manchester, the latter brought with them the charming giant dinosaur which invites the public to go fossil free with him. On his belly, you can read: ”Don’t be a dinosaur move our money out of fossil fuels.”
They all showed up on 15 February to voice their concerns to the BoD that was meeting in Whitworth Hall that day. The protesters stated that a full divestment is not only the right thing to do but it is a necessity for the future of our planet.