A student occupation demanding that the University of Tasmania (UTAS) divest its $300 million portfolio from the fossil fuel industry has entered its second week.
The sit-in outside the university vice-chancellor's office began on October 14, and is part of a nationwide campaign calling on other universities to do the same.
Fossil Free UTAS released a statement on October 19 saying: “We are here to demand that the university gets off fossil fuels because it will save students' money today and because it is the morally right thing to do.”
Students had tried to communicate their goals to vice-chancellor Peter Rathjen and other decision-makers, but had largely been ignored.
Fossil Free UTAS explained that prior to the occupation, it had “questioned university decision-makers as to whether they are confident that their investments in fossil fuels are currently profitable.”
“We have heard nothing back from the university, it seems highly unlikely that they have given this issue the important attention that it deserves.”
“UTAS is trying to wait us out, they think we will get bored and go home; but this campaign isn't going to end until they divest from fossil fuels.”
“We're willing to be arrested if that's what it takes, and the safety of our climate and our planet is what drives us to be here for almost a week now.”
Campaigners are asking people to contact the UTAS vice-chancellor and tell him to divest from the fossil fuel industry. People are also being asked to bring signs, banners and anything else that may help attract attention to the occupation.