VIDEO: Climate activists hijack Board of Trustees meeting

Board members were forced to leave early, as the students’ disruption made the continuation of the meeting impossible.

Climate Activists insisting that the University of Pennsylvania take steps to divest from all fossil fuels shut down a Board of Trustees meeting.

A group of climate activist students shut down a Board of Trustees meeting in early November at the University of Pennsylvania.

About 100 members of a group known as Fossil Free Penn stormed the meeting to demand a town hall to move toward a full divestment from fossil fuels by the university, according to a report by student paper The Daily Pennsylvanian. Video of the incident shows students in the meeting room holding signs and chanting “the impact of the fossil fuel industry is genocidal” and “which side are you on?”

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The activists eventually were successful in ending the meeting about 20 minutes early, with several board members leaving out the back door, but Penn spokesperson Stephen MacCarthy told The Daily Pennsylvanian that the board had dealt with all matters on its agenda before being shut down, having passed resolutions just minutes before the disruption began. 

”We are disrupting Penn’s status quo, and this is just the beginning.” Fossil Free Penn Coordinator and Maeve Masterson told The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Fossil Free Penn has been actively demanding a town hall to consider divestment since earlier in the semester, as Penn has rejected several proposed divestment plans in recent years. The group has hosted ongoing weekly sit-ins every Friday since Sept. 27.

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“We want everybody to be there with us,” Fossil Free Penn Coordinator Emma Glasser told The Daily Pennsylvanian regarding the sit-ins.  “Students, faculty, staff. We all have a right to a livable future, and that’s what we’re fighting for.”

After the meeting was shut down, Fossil Free Penn Coordinator Katie Collier reportedly told a group of about 100 students standing outside the meeting location that “this is in no way over.”

Campus Reform reached out to the board and the university for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication. 

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