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A one-man protest calling for action on fossil fuel divestment disrupted the University of Auckland’s recent graduation ceremonies.
Blaze Forbes, receiving a degree in Health Sciences, unfurled a banner stating “Alumni for Divestment” in front of the Chancellor and the audience while he crossed the stage at the ceremony.
The action was staged by the campus group Fossil Free University of Auckland, which aims to push the university to divest its $80 million endowment fund from fossil fuel companies contributing to climate change.
Blaze Forbes stated, “I’m ashamed that the University of Auckland, my alma mater, is funding climate change and wrecking the future that its graduates have to live with.”
Last year the group delivered a petition with 2,800 signatures to the University Council calling for fossil fuel divestment, however this was rejected.
In its accompanying press release, the group threatened to, “escalate its actions over the next few months,” in order “to make the university council consider its requests seriously.”
The campaign to divest follows on the heels of decisions by Victoria University of Wellington and the Otago University foundation trust to divest from fossil fuel companies in recent years.