FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2016
Contact: Elana Sulakshana, 703-589-0040, firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK -- A group of 16 Columbia University and Barnard College students spent the night in Low Library last night outside of President Bollinger’s office, and are currently occupying the space inside his office. They are staying until President Bollinger meets Columbia Divest for Climate Justice’s demand of a public recommendation for full fossil fuel divestment, risking potential school sanctions or arrest.
“I am sitting-in, because I see climate justice as a human rights issue. It is immoral that Columbia actively profits from an industry that threatens the wellbeing of vulnerable communities around the world,” said Nikita Perumal, General Studies senior and CDCJ organizer.
“The risk that I am facing is minor in comparison to the danger that people are facing when they confront the fossil fuel industry and private interests around the globe. I am willing to take this stand because climate change is affecting so many people, especially communities of color, and it is hypocritical for Columbia to invest in companies that profit off of destruction and death. Instead, Columbia should invest in real solutions, led by communities who are most impacted by climate change,” said Iliana Salazar-Dodge, Columbia College senior and CDCJ organizer.
CDCJ’s action follows a series of arrests of fossil fuel divestment campaigners on campuses across the nation. In Boston, four Divest Harvard students were arrested at the headquarters of their investment management company. Just this week, 34 students have been arrested at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, out of more than 250 have participated in a sit-in for fossil fuel divestment. The hashtag being used to track the national movement is #LeadWithUs.