Loughborough University are charging students in Loughborough People & Planet £430 for unnecessary costs from a non-violent protest to boycott fossil fuel financiers Barclays on campus! In March, we wrote chalk messages around the campus fountain demanding they listen to students and talk to us about boycotting Barclays. This step was necessary after the university refused to meet with us all year despite the support of hundreds of students and academics.
The university thought the chalk was paint and called in expensive external contract cleaners before realising it was chalk and would come out with water. The university are blaming us for not telling them it was chalk and are charging us for the external contractors. We have only ever used chalk and it has been cleaned with water every time. It was obvious to anybody that it was chalk, even head of security admitted he immediately thought it was chalk, but nobody at the university decided to check and now we're being fined.
We are currently in a climate crisis and Loughborough University were unwilling to speak to us about something we could do to fight this crisis. Barclays invested over $85bn into the fossil fuel industry between 2016-18, funding the destruction of the planet. We are convinced that this was the right time to take a strong stance.
As students, this is a lot of money for us and it would mean the world to us if you could chip in to support our right to peaceful protest. We should all have that right no matter our financial background. Please contribute to our crowdfund and share it with your friends and family!
Any money donated over £430 will firstly be used to pay for students to attend Power Shift, the People & Planet training camp where students can learn skills to defend workers and migrant rights and fight the climate crisis. Any additional donations will then go towards a Loughborough UCU hardship fund.