from This Is Not a Drill
HIT REPORT. Over the weekend, environmental activists smashed the glass doors at the University of Cambridge Department of Chemical Engineering’s main entrance. They took this action in protest of the department’s fossil fuel research, funding and lobbying. The activists also spray-painted the words “THIS IS NOT A DRILL” on the building’s main walkway in red.
In a report to climate action reporting website This Is Not a Drill, the activists gave two reasons for targeting the department. “This department was founded with money from Shell and it’s committed to keeping up its fossil fuel connections over the years – including collaboration with BP, Exxon and Schlumberger. Because of this, Chemical Engineering staff lobbied against against a recent vote to cut fossil fuel research ties at the University of Cambridge. It shows how completely corrupt they are.”
According to Fossil Free Research, partnerships such as those maintained by the Chemical Engineering department bias research outcomes. The vote referred to is the recent motion (also known as a Grace) which was blocked by the University of Cambridge’s governing body from going to a full vote after intervention from fossil fuel funded scientists, including several from the Department of Chemical Engineering.
A member of the protest group spoke about why they broke the glass: “Companies like Shell and Exxon have profited from murder and the theft of land, and the University of Cambridge doesn’t just work with them – it actively protects them. If votes and conversations won’t change that, maybe direct action will.”
The protest follows several notable climate actions reported by This Is Not a Drill in the last three months:
- In October, the front windows were smashed at fossil fuel giant Schlumberger’s oil research centre in Cambridge, which hosts a test oil drill on University of Cambridge land.
- In November, Cambridge’s Department of Engineering was targeted for its research collaborations with BP and Shell, as well as its doctoral training centres funded by fossil fuel companies. Protestors shattered its rock-shaped advertising screen in multiple places, which still hasn’t been fixed.
- Most recently, at the start of this month, the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies was spray-painted to highlight its sponsorship by numerous fossil fuel companies and the oil company executives on its board.