Statements of Support for CDCJ Sit-In

The following are solidarity statements issued in response to the Columbia Divest for Climate Justice sit-in in Low Library. Has your group released a statement of support not on this list? Let us know!

Statements below from: the Student Governing Board, Student-Worker Solidarity, Columbia Queer Alliance, No Red Tape, the Columbia University Democrats, SIPA Environmental Coalition, Columbia University Sewa, the African Students Association, Columbia University Apartheid Divest, Columbia Queer and Asian, Divest Barnard, the Barnard Columbia Socialists, Jewish Voice for Peace, the Barnard Zine Club, Columbia PorColombia, the Mobilized African Diaspora, re:claim, Columbia College Student Council, Columbia University South Asian Feminism(s) Alliance, Sciences Publica, Responsible Endowments Coalition, Bernie Sanders, the Roosevelt Institute at Columbia University, Columbia University Amnesty International, Columbia Engineering Student Council, Columbia International Relations Council and Association, Columbia University Students for Human Rights, the Environmental Law Society, Columbia University Club Bangla, Mark Ruffalo, Students for Environmental and Economic Justice, Asian American Alliance, Beloved Earth Community of the Riverside Church, Columbia Buddhism for Global Peace, Jill Stein, General Studies Student Council, Annie Leonard


From the Student Governing Board

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We, the Student Governing Board of Columbia University, recognize the power of civil disobedience and student activism.
SGB has traditionally served as the guardian of free speech and students’ rights on campus.
We denounce the threat of disciplinary action and arrest, and we will defend Columbia Divest for Climate Justice during this process.

‪#‎TimesUpCU‬

Karim Nader, Chair
Yona Korngold, Vice-Chair
Haidun Liu, Secretary
Laura Nassim, Representative
John Hao, Representative
Caroline Hurley, Representative
Aya Ouais, Representative

 

From Student-Worker Solidarity

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SWS stands with those occupying President Bollinger’s office to demand that he recommends divestment. See our statement below:

Last year, Gilberto Torres, a Colombian oil worker and union organizer, was arrested and tortured. His captors said they were paid by BP to protect the oil pipeline. Only after the threat of a national oil worker strike was he released.

This is an example of the long history of fossil fuel companies violating the human rights of working people. Extractive industries continue to profit from the exploitation of Black, brown, and indigenous communities throughout the world. People of color suffer from the health risks of environmental racism and a rapidly warming planet, even as their labor is exploited and devalued by fossil fuel corporations.

This is why Student Worker Solidarity supports CDCJ in calling for divestment from the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies. We support divestment because it is unacceptable for our university to continue funding unjust and exploitative labor practices. By investing in the fossil fuel industry, Columbia is complicit in destabilizing marginalized communities, contributing to climate change, and furthering the violent oppression of workers throughout the world.

 

From Columbia Queer Alliance

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Columbia Queer Alliance is in solidarity with the students occupying Columbia’s Low Memorial Library. We are in solidarity with Columbia Divest for Climate Justice, Divest Barnard, the Barnard Columbia Solidarity Network and all other allied groups who are calling for Columbia and Barnard to divest from the fossil fuel industry for climate justice. CQA is tied to a deep history of student-lead activism, as we must fight for our futures when those who are supposed to represent us fail. Columbia University has classically used tactics of intimidation, hiding behind ‘rules enforcement’ to regulate they ways in which student activists voice our concerns. As a group of queer and trans students who advocate for justice, we understand that climate justice is linked to all other forms of justice. Environmental racism and discrimination infringe upon the human rights of millions across the globe, disproportionately affecting communities of color, Third World communities, indigenous communities, and the Global South. We support the CDCJ students and their call for President Bollinger and the trustees to divest Columbia University from the fossil fuel industry.

 

From No Red Tape Columbia

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As an organization dedicated to ending sexual and dating violence, No Red Tape supports CDCJ’s demand for full fossil fuel divestment at Columbia. The same profit-driven motive that leads Columbia to deny survivors the direct services they need, has led to the university investing in damaging and extractive fossil fuel companies. As students devoted to fighting gender-based violence, we recognize that women of color and indigenous women across the globe are often most affected when their communities are devastated by climate change.

We stand in solidarity with CDCJ and with the brave students who continue to occupy Low Library despite threats, intimiation and harassment from the administration. We call on Columbia to divest from fossil fuels and stop funding injustice and violence throughout the world.

 

From the Columbia University Democrats

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We, the Executive Board of the Columbia University Democrats, stand in solidarity with our peers (including former Lead Activist Mike Glendinning) who are occupying Low Library. Columbia Divest for Climate Justice is on the right side of history. The crisis of climate change that our world faces demands meaningful action from Columbia University in the City of New York – an intellectual center that has long acknowledged the dangers posed by climate change, but has not fully acted upon that knowledge. Our investments should reflect our research and our values.

Moreover, as students at a university with a proud tradition of free speech, civil disobedience, and political action, we are troubled by recent threats made against the protesters. If the administration chooses to suspend, expel, or take legal action against them, they will have our continued support. As we return to New York from our advocacy trip in Washington, D.C., we hope we are coming back to a campus that has decided to make the world better than it was yesterday. Our planet depends on it.

Signed,
The Board of the Columbia University College Democrats
‪#‎InSolidarityWithCDCJ‬‪#‎TimesUpCU‬

 

From SIPA Environmental Coalition (ECO)

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We, the board of the SIPA Environmental Coalition (ECO) at Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs, fully support our fellow students who are currently occupying Low Library. Columbia Divest for Climate Justice (CDCJ) is on the right side of history.

ECO, a coalition of SIPA graduate students and alumni, is dedicated to elevating the profile of the world’s most complex environmental policy challenges. The university’s continued investment in carbon-intensive industries puts us behind our peer institutions, threatens the university’s reputation, and, in a decarbonizing economic system, will offer less impressive returns. Our investments should reflect our research and our values.

Moreover, as students at a university with a proud tradition of free speech, civil disobedience, and political action, we are troubled by recent threats made against the protesters by university administrators. If the administration chooses to enact any academic penalties, suspend, expel, or take legal action against them, the students will have our continued support.

Signed,

The Board of the SIPA Environmental Coalition (ECO)
‪#‎InSolidarityWithCDCJ‬ ‪#‎TimesUpCU‬

 

From Columbia University Sewa

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Columbia University Sewa, in upholding what it means to selflessly serve, is in solidarity with the students occupying Columbia’s Low Library. We are in solidarity with all other allied groups who are calling for Columbia and Barnard to divest from the fossil fuel industry for climate justice, because to exploit the environment for our ends is to detract from its potential as a haven for later life. The teachings of Sikhism are those that have focused, since the meditations of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, on the beauty and meaning of nature. Fossil fuels and their byproducts corrupt nature. As stated best by the Columbia Queer Alliance, “we understand that climate justice is linked to all other forms of justice. Environmental racism and discrimination infringe upon the human rights of millions across the globe, disproportionately affecting communities of color, Third World communities, indigenous communities, and the Global South.” And so, CU Sewa calls upon President Bollinger and the trustees to divest from fossil fuels, and we stand in support of the CDCJ students.

 

From the African Students Association

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The Executive Board of the African Students’ Association stands in solidarity with Columbia Divest for Climate Justice in demanding full fossil fuel divestment now. We recognize the power of student activism and organizing and applaud the courage of the students sitting in, right now, in Low.

Everyday on the Continent, corporations like British Petroleum and ExxonMobil that our University is invested in and profits from engage in unethical labor practices, allow for oil spills to prevent communities from sustaining their livelihood, and deny human beings their most basic right to health and safety.

As an organization dedicated to the well-being of Africans on the continent and the diaspora, we cannot stay silent as the fossil fuel industry perpetuates neo-colonial systems of exploitation and thrives off of the pillage of our continent and destruction of Black communities and communities of color worldwide with no regard for our lives and our futures.

We hope that President Bollinger makes the right choice and follows the lead of CDCJ who is on the right side of history.

‪#‎TimesUpCU‬

 

From Columbia University Apartheid Divest

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Columbia University Apartheid Divest stands in solidarity with the collective demands of the Barnard Columbia Solidarity Network, Columbia Divest for Climate Justice, and the students sitting in at Low for fossil fuel divestment.

We recognize the urgency of the issue of climate justice and our university’s complicity in perpetuating dangerous and exploitative systems on a global scale, primarily affecting communities of color and the global south. The fossil fuels industry is built on the idea that some bodies, some lives are disposable. It is our responsibility as students to demand the university stop sustaining death and start sustaining life.

Today we call on President Bollinger to support fossil fuel divestment as a first step towards more transparency and accountability in our university’s investments and what they perpetuate in the wider world.

‪#‎TimesUpCU‬‪#‎StandForJustice‬‪#‎StandWithCDCJ‬

 

From Columbia Queer and Asian

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Columbia Queer and Asian (Q&A) is in solidarity with the activists from Columbia Divest for Climate Justice, Divest Barnard, and other allied groups who are currently occupying Low Library to demand for Columbia and Barnard’s divestment from the fossil fuel industry. As queer/trans Asian students on campus, we recognize that all oppression is connected, and that the effects of environmental racism are disproportionately felt by communities of color and the Third World. For instance, the livelihoods and survival of numerous Asian and indigenous Pacific Islander communities, including Bangladesh, Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, Fiji, Tuvalu and Kiribati, are threatened by the effects of climate change. As an organization that acknowledges and resists Columbia’s complicity in the continued marginalization of the Global South, Columbia Q&A calls upon President Bollinger and the University Trustees to divest from the fossil fuel industry today, and we express our deepest support for CDCJ and Divest Barnard.

 

From Divest Barnard

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Divest Barnard stands with CDCJ and the students occupying Low Library. #TimesUpCU
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From the Barnard Columbia Socialists

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The International Socialist Organization stands in solidarity with Columbia Divest for Climate Justice (CDCJ) and their call for Columbia to divest from the fossil fuel industry.

Climate change is a serious threat not only to the other millions of species on Earth, but also to the survival of humanity itself. The effects of this threat are already apparent and very serious all over the world, disproportionately impacting working-class people, people of color, and those in countries subject to neo-colonialism and imperialism. Hundreds of thousands of people have already been killed by droughts, floods, and other natural disasters directly caused by the destruction of the environment.

Socialists understand climate change as a manifestation of the system that we live under, which prioritizes seeking profit over human life and dignity. We will not stand in silence as the supposed leaders of our society buy time and sell us excuses for why they are not doing anything to reverse the mass destruction of the environment. There is another course; and our colleagues who are occupying Low are choosing that alternative by saying “no, we will not let the search for profit continue to destroy people’s lives and the planet; we will not be complicit in Columbia University’s crimes.”

This is our university. As socialists, we fight for a world where ordinary people fully and democratically control society, and this includes university campuses. As students, we deserve to be in control of how the university we study under invests its money and how it runs. This is why we demand that the destruction of the planet and of working people’s lives does not continue in our name, that President Bollinger unconditionally support CDCJ’s demand for divestment from the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies, and that the Columbia administration drop all disciplinary charges against its students who have done them the service of reminding them of their commitment to creating a just, equitable learning environment for all of its students.

 

From Jewish Voice for Peace

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We, Columbia/Barnard Jewish Voice for Peace, stand in solidarity with Columbia Divest For Climate Justice and the students who are sitting in at Low Library until their demand for complete fossil fuel divestment is met. Given the urgency of the fight against climate change, we support CDCJ’s sit-in, and we echo their call that Columbia University act immediately to acknowledge and combat climate change by recommending divestment from fossil fuels. Not only do fossil fuel corporations poison the global environment, but they also commit gross human rights violations and thrive off of the exploitation of already impoverished communities, especially in the Global South. By refusing to divest, President Bollinger and the Board of Trustees are complicit in unethical labor practices, resource theft, and the denial of basic human rights to health and safety. Columbia has proudly demonstrated leadership with successful divestment efforts in the past, namely from South African apartheid and from private prisons, and we believe that recommending divestment from fossil fuels is just as ethically imperative and historically commendable. Divestment has proven to be a viable and effective tactic to mobilize support and effect change. We commend CDCJ’s choice to use this method to achieve their goal.

Furthermore, we stand behind the nine students remaining in Low who risk disciplinary action and arrest, and we will support them and their freedom of expression in the event that they are penalized. We recognize that the threats that the administration has made against the protestors are an attempt to stifle dissent and silence student activists. As an activist group that advocates for Palestinian human rights and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction of the State of Israel, we recognize the threats of censorship and administrative negligence on this campus, and we are proud of CDCJ’s action. We call on Columbia University to honor CDCJ’s demands and respect the protesters’ rights.

‪#‎TimesUpCU‬‪#‎StandwithCDCJ‬‪#‎WheresPrezbo‬

 

From the Barnard Zine Club

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We, the Barnard Zine Club, support Columbia Divest for Climate Justice call for full fossil fuel divestment at Columbia and their occupation of Low Memorial Library. CDCJ’s actions demonstrate that they share the fundamental ethos of zines and zine­making. Historically, zines have served as places of unedited expression for those whose voices are ignored and marginalized, particularly for people of color and low­income communities. CDCJ’s activism defends and advocates for these same voices in the face of an industry that disproportionately affects them.

As students who believe in the power of student activism and the right to free expression and protest, we fully support those currently occupying Low and celebrate CDCJ’s bravery and commitment in amplifying the voices of those made most vulnerable by the fossil fuel industry. We denounce the administration’s threats of disciplinary action, and we support, raise up, and honor Columbia Divest for Climate Justice as they see this process through to full divestment.
‪#‎TimesUpCU‬

 

From Columbia PorColombia

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We, the executive board of Columbia’s PorColombia chapter, stand in solidarity with CDCJ despite the administration’s threats to the students who are currently occupying Low Library.

Oil companies have played a prominent role in the history and economy of Colombia. However, as an organization committed to a just and prosperous future for Colombia, we believe that continued investments in fossil fuel companies go directly against our interests and goals. Through their support of the Colombian paramilitaries and their assistance in the kidnapping and torture of union organizers like Gilberto Torres, fossil fuel multinationals, such as British Petroleum, have exploited workers and contributed to violence amongst marginalized communities, violating their rights in Colombia and worldwide.

Moreover, the evidence of climate change clearly indicates a disproportionate effect on countries in the Global South such as Colombia, whose economies rely on agricultural development. We firmly believe that taking action against the companies that have been profiting from fossil fuels must be a priority for us, especially as we consider the wellbeing of indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities, who stand to face the most injustice from climate change.

We support divestment and we condemn our university’s financial support of companies that have disregarded human rights and fueled conflict in Colombia. We extend our continued support to the members of CDCJ standing on the side of justice.

‪#‎TimesUpCU‬ Columbia Divest for Climate Justice

 

From the Mobilized African Diaspora

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The Mobilized African Diaspora supports Columbia Divest for Climate Justice during their continued occupation of Low Library as they place pressure on the administration to finally take responsibility for their contribution to climate change. We additionally stand in solidarity with the Black and Brown people in our immediate environment and internationally who are, have been, and will face the devastating effects of climate change made possible by the nations, companies and institutions such as Columbia University whose investment fuels unprecedented destructive impact on our environment.

Columbia is a global actor with the power to impact, alter, destroy, and construct futures for people of color. It is then within our responsibility, as people contributing to Columbia’s neo-liberal narrative of “progress,” to demand radical change from our university’s most powerful administrators. President Bollinger, we demand you take accountability for your role in exacting and perpetuating environmental harm and require you personally suggest divestment from the top 200 fossil fuel companies to Columbia’s board of trustees.

While Bollinger refuses to respond to this demand, Columbia remains complicit in the climate change that is disproportionately harmful to the Black communities throughout the world. We trust that, with the continued effort from CDCJ, President Bollinger and Columbia University will be forced to take accountability for their contribution to climate change.

 

From re:claim

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We, the Organizing Committee of re:claim, are in solidarity with the students participating in the Columbia Divest for Climate Justice (CDCJ) sit-in in Low Library to demand Columbia divest from the fossil fuel industry.

As a campus publication that seeks to uplift the voices of those who are marginalized, we care deeply about how fossil fuels are destroying the planet, particularly harming Black communities, Indigenous communities and communities of color in the Global South. By investing in fossil fuels, Columbia is funding the destruction of the very communities it should seek to protect as an institution that claims to care about its global impact.

In addition, we firmly believe in the importance of peaceful protest and freedom of speech. As an independent publication focused on campus activism and resistance, we believe it is crucial for students to have the right to challenge the unjust decisions of those who hold positions of power in their institutions. CDCJ has been asking for fossil fuel divestment since 2012 and President Bollinger has refused to issue a meaningful response; we firmly believe it is CDCJ’s right to escalate in order to get President Bollinger to engage with their demand.

We will provide support and solidarity to those in the sit-in for the duration of their action and through whatever disciplinary proceedings Columbia will initiate as a result. We thank the protesters for their courageous action against the damage fossil fuels are inflicting upon our planet, and in particular, for advocating for the communities Columbia’s investments disproportionately impact.

 

From Columbia College Student Council (CCSC)

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The University’s Rules of Conduct allow for a range of potential sanctions — including expulsion — due to any infraction deemed “serious,” including occupation of a University building after closing hours. While we fully expect sanctions to be applied to a certain extent, we, the Columbia College Student Council, are concerned with the possibility of suspension or expulsion facing the students of Columbia Divest for Climate Justice who continue to non-violently occupy Low Library.

The Fossil Fuel Divestment movement has been a powerful voice on our campus for many years. Beginning in 2012, students have pursued many avenues towards fossil fuel divestment, including proposals to the Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing, successful ballot initiatives in Columbia College elections, and meetings with President Bollinger. Students’ strong passion demonstrated for this issue has received praise from many, including President Bollinger, and for this reason, we believe that suspension or expulsion would be an overly severe sanction.

This is not an official support of the fossil fuel divest movement, but an understanding that students non-violently protesting for issues that they are passionate about, after many failed attempts at seeking action on the part of the University, should not be punished by expulsion.

 

From Columbia University South Asian Feminism(s) Alliance

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Columbia University South Asian Feminism(s) Alliance stands in solidarity with Columbia Divest for Climate Justice, students occupying Low, and fellow allied groups on Columbia and Barnard’s campus who are collectively advocating to divest from an exploitative, damaging, and ruthless fossil fuel industry.

Columbia University’s complacency towards environmental racism further perpetuates the systemic oppression of marginalized communities right here in Harlem to those in the Global South. Columbia continues to advance neo-liberal policies that impact low-income women from communities of color and indigenous communities.

Currently, women in South Asian countries disproportionately experience the weight of environmental devastation through reduced access to reproductive services, sustainable living conditions, and clean water. Columbia prides its numerous research projects that address the plight of “vulnerable, poor women in ___ country,” but fails to see its own contribution in advancing social inequities. No one asked you for your pity, we are asking for your divestment.

We support CDCJ’s demands that call for university wide divestment. CU SAFA demands President Bollinger and the board of trustees to divest from the fossil fuel industry. Every moment delayed, is a moment that sides with injustice. ‪#‎TimesUpCU‬

 

From Sciences Publica

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We, the members of Sciences Publica, stand in alliance with the students of Columbia Divest for Climate Justice who have been occupying low library since Thursday April 14, and we support their demand for complete fossil fuel divestment for Columbia University. As a student group aiming to raise awareness on issues of social justice, we are attached to denounce the power games that benefit the richest at the expense of the rest of the population, and we support organizations dedicated to fight this market of injustice. We are fully and staunchly opposed to the drainage and damaging of natural capital led by greed-driven behavior.

 

From Responsible Endowments Coalition

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The Responsible Endowments Coalition supports the students of Columbia Divest for Climate Justice (CDCJ) on the fifth day of Low Library’s occupation.

The fossil fuel industry drives the climate crisis, exploits and oppresses communities along its entire supply chain, and has captured our political process by buying off our politicians. We commend Columbia Divest for Climate Justice for confronting their administration’s complicity in this destructive industry by demanding their university cut financial ties with the top 200 dirty energy companies.

President Bollinger must publicly recommend full fossil fuel divestment to Columbia’s board of trustees, and have the University divest its British Petroleum and ExxonMobil shares.

We applaud CDCJ for organizing and mobilizing students, alums, and faculty at Columbia University. Low Library’s occupation by CDCJ is an incredible show of student power and discipline. REC sees students demanding #endowmentjustice as the first step campuses are taking across the nation to ultimately turn to a cooperative economy powered by democratically controlled renewable energy. REC will continue to support these campaigners until all CDCJ’s demands are met and Columbia University is fossil free!

Support this action and Columbia Divest for Climate Justice by sending donations directly to student activists here.

#TimesUpCU #endowmentjustice

From Bernie Sanders

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From the Roosevelt Institute at Columbia University

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In light of the ongoing sit-in at Low Library by Columbia Divest for Climate Justice, we, the board of the Roosevelt Institute, support the right to exercise non-violent demonstration and freedom of speech. The ability to protest peacefully and make one’s voice heard is essential to a vibrant democratic culture here on campus.

Moreover, we support the right to a fair adjudication process for our fellow students. We are alarmed by allegations that the administration has shrewdly applied the Rules of University Conduct, possibly amounting to increased violations. We further find that certain actions call into question the impartiality of the Rules Administrator. We strongly believe that the protesters should not be suspended or expelled. This is not an endorsement of CDCJ but a commitment from Roosevelt to increase transparency of the Rules and to protect the rights of all Columbia constituencies.

Signed,

The Board of the Roosevelt Institute at Columbia

 

From Columbia University Amnesty International

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We, the E-board of Columbia University Amnesty International, wholeheartedly support Columbia Divest for Climate Justice and the peaceful demonstrations that have demanded that Columbia University divest from the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies.

Amnesty International is an organization dedicated to protecting and defending human rights and human dignity. This mission stems from our belief that we are the guardians of one another and of our world; that every one of us has the responsibility to ensure every fellow person is treated with the respect and the dignity they deserve. Investment in fossil fuel inherently violates this vision. Through knowingly proliferating the destruction of our planet’s climate and ecosystems, fossil fuel companies take advantage of many vulnerable communities, threaten our planet’s climates and resources, and diminish our global capacity to invest in renewable energy vital to future generations.

There is a direct tie between climate change and human rights including the rights to life, health, food, water and housing. Unless emissions are reduced significantly, around 600 million people will soon experience drought and famine. These changes will disproportionally impact women, indigenous peoples, and people living in poverty, and will lead to more refugees and more competition for resources.

The Columbia University Amnesty International Chapter endorses divestment and a termination of the destruction of our planet, its ecosystems, and its people. Change begins on a small scale, when each of us recognizes our responsibility to one another. We urge Columbia University, an institution that prides itself on innovation and forward thinking, to recognize this responsibility, and end its investment in the fossil fuel industry as soon as possible.

‪#‎TimesupCU‬ ‪#‎Divestnow‬

 

From Columbia Engineering Student Council

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We, the general body of the Engineering Student Council, unanimously stand in acknowledgement of the ongoing sit-in of Columbia Divest for Climate Justice members in Low Library. Columbia has a rich history of campus-wide dialogue on critical issues, and the right to protest peacefully is an essential part of our campus culture. We understand that the administration is currently considering severe punishments for our peers, and we would like to strongly encourage against the consideration of expulsion and other harsh punishments for these students, who are our colleagues, our constituents, and our friends. We advocate for a fair and just administration of the Rules of University Conduct, we call on both student activists and administrators to return to productive dialogue, and we offer our support as the Engineering Student Council to facilitate and expedite a resolution to this impasse.

Authored by members of the Policy Committee: Danielle Deiseroth, Ojas Sathe, Vanessa Chadehumbe, and Sidney Perkins, VP Policy.

Voted upon by ESC’s general body with the unanimous support of 22 of 25 members present.

 

From Columbia International Relations Council and Association

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New York, New York – April 19, 2016 – Last night, the Executive Board of the Columbia International Relations Council and Association discussed the protests conducted by the Columbia Divest for Climate Justice group currently occurring in Low Library. The board divided the question into two issues: divestment as a useful tool in the worthwhile battle against climate change and the administrative response to the students partaking in that protest. The views expressed herein are those of a majority of the Executive Board.

“In a matter of days, the global community will come together to sign the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the resulting document from the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. It is clear that climate change is not simply an issue isolated to seven protesters in Low Library and to our institution, but rather one that affects all of us. Further, even though we will all be affected, countries in the Global South could suffer more greatly than Northern ones as a result of increasing droughts, changing rain patterns, warmer temperatures and gradually rising sea levels. In addition to these negative consequences, climate change is already creating devastating consequences, with the amount of climate change refugees in South Asia increasing each year at an alarming rate, for example. Therefore, this problem, which is of not just scientific but also of social, cultural and political concern, is not one that can be passed off to future generations. Accordingly, the Columbia International Relations Council and Association endorses divestment from fossil fuel industries as one of the many tools in pursuing policy changes regarding climate change.”

“Additionally, reports of threats of suspension, withdrawal of funding and financial aid, and other methods of intimidation have recently permeated student press. Accordingly, the Executive Board disapproves of these tactics employed by the University Administration in pursuing an end to the occupation of Low Library, while also remaining cognizant of the many University Rules in place. With that in mind, the Executive Board wishes that the administration, as well as the students currently in Low Library, members of Columbia Divest from Climate Justice, and the Barnard Columbia Solidarity Network, work together to pursue constructive solutions.”

 

From Columbia University Students for Human Rights

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Columbia University Students for Human Rights (CUSHR) is proud to support the Columbia Divest for Climate Justice movement and stand in solidarity with their commitment to the occupation of Low Library. We strongly believe that our university should be divesting from funds and corporations that turn a profit while fundamentally making our world less sustainable. Although global warming affects all of our future livelihoods, CUSHR is particularly dismayed by the disproportionate impact of global warming on marginalized groups and indigenous peoples. It is imperative that our university divest from the fossil fuel industry in order to rid itself of its tacit support for the exploitation of these already marginalized groups.
We formally denounce any efforts on behalf of the administration to silence these students through arrests, suspensions or the like.
#HumanRightsofColumbia #studentactivism #ecojusticeissocialjustice
#HeyHeyPrezBoFossilFuelsHaveGotToGo #TimesUpCU

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From the Environmental Law Society

President Bollinger,

We, the Board of the Columbia Law School Environmental Law Society, reiterate our support for Columbia University’s divestment from fossil fuels and denounce the Administration’s threats of suspension or expulsion for nonviolent student protest. Columbia University is one of the most respected educational institutions in the world that has long been at the forefront of climate science. The threat of Climate Change is both real and accelerating, and Columbia University should align its financial holdings with its social values, its global mission, and its own scholarly research––and divest its endowment from fossil fuel interests.

Furthermore, Columbia University has always been, and should continue to be, a bastion of free speech and progressive thought. We are particularly concerned with the University’s threats of suspension or expulsion for those students participating in nonviolent protest at Low Memorial Library. While we respect the University’s commitment to enforcing campus rules, we denounce taking such harsh measures against these students.

Signed,
Environmental Law Society, Columbia Law School

 

From Columbia University Club Bangla

Columbia University Club Bangla firmly stands in solidarity with Columbia Students for Climate Justice, as the brave students protesting in Low enter their 7th day, and students across campus continue to protest and support CDCJ’s initiative in demanding Columbia administration to act now and take responsibility for being complicit in and profiting from climate change and devastation.

As a campus organization catering to the Bengali and South Asian community, Club Bangla recognizes that Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable nations in the world in regards to the catastrophic impacts of climate change and carbon emissions. As a low­lying coastal nation, Bangladesh is subject to extreme flooding, rising sea levels, and intense weather that adversely affects the livelihood of people, as well as agricultural land. As a low­carbon economy nation that neighbors some of the highest carbon emitting nations in the world, climate change disproportionately affects Bangladesh as well as other small South Asian nations such as the Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan, in its economy, food and water security.

We stand by CDCJ’S demand of Columbia to freeze its investments from the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies that hold most of the world’s fossil fuels. We demand as CDCJ does, to press the University to divest completely from the fossil fuel industry to mediate climate change for those living on the frontlines of climate injustices in Bangladesh and elsewhere. We believe that our planet’s future, as well as the future of those who inhabit the earth, are greater than any profit our University makes from using fossil fuels.

As CDCJ has stated: “Divestment is a tactic that is justified on moral reasoning; and if it is wrong to fuel climate change, it is definitely wrong to profit from the wreckage.”

For more information check out:
http://www.columbiaclimatejustice.com/about­divestment/#/divestment­101/

#timesupCU #divestnow #peopleandplanetoverprofit

 

From Mark Ruffalo

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From Students for Environmental and Economic Justice

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SEEJ stands in solidarity with the students of CDCJ who continue to occupy Low Library in wait of a response from President Bollinger. Climate change is one of the biggest threats we face today, and it has a tendency of hitting the most vulnerable among us the hardest. The vast majority of fatalities due to natural disasters occur in developing countries, while even in our own backyard, the homeless and those with no other place to go, suffer the harshest effects of hurricanes like Sandy and Katrina. The alarming escalation of these extreme weather patterns due to climate change is both an environmental and an economic injustice.

Divesting from the 200 biggest fossil fuel companies should not, for Columbia, be a revolutionary idea. Divestment has long been a part of this university’s history, and it’s proven to be a successful method of addressing injustice on a global scale. When students chained themselves inside Hamilton Hall in 1985, Columbia responded with divestment from South Africa and helped to end the apartheid, becoming well-respected as the first ivy league in the nation to do so. Now, when students occupy Low Library and demand that President Bollinger suggests divestment to our board of trustees, Columbia shouldn’t be punishing them for taking a strong, moral stance, with threats of suspension. Columbia should be thanking them, for continuing in this tradition of pushing the university forward, a tradition which has only served to give it its name as a good citizen of the world.

 

From Columbia University Asian American Alliance

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Columbia University Asian American Alliance (AAA) stands in solidarity with the student activists involved in Columbia Divest for Climate Justice, Divest Barnard, and other allied groups occupying Low Library that add their voices to the call for Columbia and Barnard’s divestment from fossil fuels.

Fossil fuel divestment has long been a contentious issue on the Barnard/Columbia campus. It has been pursued, discussed, and critically dissected by a number of student groups. We believe that these forms of student engagement are vital in reaching deeper levels of understanding, motivating discourse, and encouraging the student body as a whole, as well as surrounding communities, to investigate and analyze the processes occurring around them.

We recognize that environmental issues manifest within different forms of systemic and institutional inequalities and discrimination affecting people of color around the world. These issues hit home as many East, South, Southeast, Central Asian, and Pacific Islander communities are facing a crisis that could leave areas uninhabitable within our lifetimes. Many other parts of Asia, and the rest of the world, are dealing with the effects of climate change daily. As members of the Columbia University community, many of us benefit from privilege in which we are not forced to think about how climate change is affecting our personal lives today. But this privilege is not an excuse to disregard and ignore the consequences of climate change that many are facing. Marginalized communities are often the first to be forgotten.

Asian American Alliance stands in support with CDCJ in its demands for divestment from fossil fuels. Given that the students in Low are engaging in a non-violent protest, we propose that the students occupying Low Library should not be punished with suspension or expulsion by the administration.

 

From the Beloved Earth Community of the Riverside Church

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We stand with Columbia Divest for Climate Justice (CDCJ) as they request
the University divest from fossil fuels in a sit-in outside President Bollinger’s office. We desire with you a peaceful resolution and for the University to help lead the way to a more just fossil free world.

We know we, CDCJ, and all our compatriots in the Fossil Free Divest Movement will be shown to be on the right side of history. We look forward to the day when all our energy comes from sources that sustain our Earth. It should be obvious that it is against our interest to wreck our planet, and it necessarily follows that it makes no sense to profit even in the short term from that wreckage.

In solidarity,

Members of the Beloved Earth Community of The Riverside Church, NYC

 

From Columbia Buddhism for Global Peace

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Hello all,

Buddhism for Global Peace would like to issue a statement of solidarity, supporting Columbia University’s divestment of fossil fuels. Evidence showing the deleterious effects of fossil fuel use on the earth’s climate is extreme and incontrovertible, and it is as important as ever that the University take a step forward in reversing these wrongs. Essential to BGP’s core tenets of propagating Peace, Culture and Education is a healthy planet. As such, we will continue to support this civil protest until an agreement is reached. Thank you.

 

From Jill Stein

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From the General Studies Student Council

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Although we recognize that the students occupying Low may have committed “serious” infractions of the University’s Rules of Conduct such as “the occupation of a University building after closing hours,” we also believe that no student ought to be expelled for non-violently protesting issues that they are passionate about on campus.

This is not to say that we necessarily condone the actions taken by Columbia Divest for Climate Justice. However, we recognize the importance of upholding the right to the freedom of expression, including free speech and peaceful assembly on the Columbia campus.

For these reasons, we, as elected representatives of the General Studies student body, call on the University Judicial Board and any other relevant entity to not consider expulsion as a possible consequence of the Columbia Divest for Climate Justice protest.

 

From Annie Leonard

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