Photographer: Gavin McCrory

Photographer: Gavin McCrory

By Cherry Tsoi

The excitement in the air was palpable as the crowds gathered in the main square (Stortorget) of Lund, Sweden. Fossil Free LU was preparing for their first event of an entire week’s worth of Divestment Action, and Bill McKibben was to lead the first action. The “Manifestation” showcased an audience lit up by individually held candles, and a banner emblazoned (literally – see inset photo) with the word DIVEST. Bill proclaimed it the “most beautiful demonstration” he had ever seen, and the “Divestment Choir” of Lund University students proved his statement true a hundred times over, the crowd hushed by their Fossil Free Lund light manifestation with Billenchanting voices.

The candles lit were in recognition of the suffering already caused around the world by climate change, says Caroline Westblom, Active member of Fossil Free LU, as well as a sign of hope that the university board will choose to divest from fossil fuels.

A procession of lights then made their way up to Eden, where Bill delivered an hour long lecture urging Lund University to divest from fossil fuels. He spoke of the Rockefeller

Photographer: Gavin McCrory

Photographer: Gavin McCrory

family, heirs of the Standard Oil fortune, who divested from fossil fuels in September of this year. “[They] don’t want to be involved in fossil fuel anymore… what excuse does this university have?” Bill also paid homage to the

Pacific Climate Warriors and those affected in the southern hemisphere – who do little to contribute to the problem itself.
“No one in Haiti can do anything – they can’t burn less fossil fuels, they don’t have some great endowment to divest. Lund University probably has more money [to spare] than all of Haiti.”

Divestment Action Week is a concerted effort by Fossil Free LU to show that Lund University has a united front – that students and teachers alike want their leaders to divest from the companies that are profiting from the destruction of the earth. We need your support – and it is no small thing to see it come from all corners of the earth – share our story, and send us yours! Use the #DIVESTERA hashtag @FossilFreeSWE, and keep your eye on our Facebook page for updates.

Haven’t signed our petition? Go here!

There are rumours that an entire department of professors will write an open letter to Lund University in the coming weeks, to call for divestment… Will the Lund University Board heed their call? Stay tuned – their board meeting is next Friday December 12th, and we will be there to make sure we’re seen and heard: Join our Unite for Divestment event outside the board meeting.

In the words of Bill… “[We] can promise you there is going to be a fight. We’re not going to surrender the one planet we have.”