Group known as Fossil Free Penn makes 'climate justice' demands
Last night Fossil Free Penn started an encampment on College Green to demand climate justice from @Penn. Throughout the night we were harassed by Penn Police and university officials - but we are still here.— Fossil Free Penn (@fossilfreepenn) April 20, 2022
Join us on CG to show Penn we will not be silenced. #FFPEncampment
On Tuesday night, students at the University of Pennsylvania converted the communal campus green into a stage for political theater. Envisioning themselves as champions of the oppressed by fighting "climate injustice," this particular faction of students created a campaign known as Fossil Free Penn. Staked in the ground was a sign that read, "We are student activists demanding global climate justice and Philly community justice." Seeking to compel the university into financially divesting from "fossil fuel" industries, the group submitted a 2018 proposal, outlined here:
- stop new investments in the coal and tar sands industries;
- remove holdings in the top 100 coal and top 20 tar sands companies (listed in Table 1) within 5 years; and
- reinvest a portion of the extricated funds into clean energy assets.
The proposition prioritizes a move away from "fossil fuels," regardless of practicality or feasibility. The students should know: they showed up with tents and camping chairs made with petroleum-based synthetic fibers, and it's safe to assume that at some point, they enjoy the convenience of gas-powered vehicles.
According to one of the protestors, Xiye Bastida:
We are occupying UPenn Campus to demand Divestment and Climate Justice Commitments!— Xiye Bastida (@xiyebastida) April 20, 2022
The University of Pennsylvania is still giving money to the fossil fuel industry and have negatively impacting the surrounding Philadelphia community#FossilFreePenn#FFPEncampment pic.twitter.com/XxPgO3cBoA
Bastida declares the group's intent to stay as long as it takes to get what they want and gripes about the university funding of the "fossil fuel" industry. Predictably, the irony abounds. If Bastida and her fellow academics are that bothered by their school investing in energy companies that turn a profit, a logical solution might be disenrollment. (The University of Pennsylvania yearly tuition and fee schedule is $63,452.)
But the hypocrisy goes on...another written display at the encampment said:
This is Lenni Lenape land. As we work + [sic] build community here, we pay respect to indigenous elders past, present + [sic] future. This always was + [sic] will be indigenous land. Penn is a colonizer + [sic] and continues their legacy of occupying + [sic] and displacing the black [sic] community.
Interestingly, it doesn't appear that anyone pointed out the irony: while complaining about European colonization and stolen land, they annexed and occupied land that didn't belong to them.
The spectacle is something to be seen, because observing those committed to doublethink is something at which to marvel, but nonetheless, the reality is that university attendance nearly always equates with intellectual regression.