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Stanford Students Stage Sit-In Against Fossil Fuels

Nearly 400 Stanford students planned an “indefinite” sit-in while singing, chanting and joining hands outside the administration building Monday and Tuesday, calling on university President John Hennessy and the board of trustees to divest Stanford from all fossil fuel companies.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, students were holding up signs which included slogans that read “Wind power to the people” and “Don’t be fossil fuelish” in an attempt to get their message across the administrators. Two large signs brandished the hashtag #DivestStanford.
Yari Greaney, a student organizer with the campus group Fossil Free Stanford, told the Chronicle that “Stanford students are taking the lead and standing with communities on the front lines of climate change because we do not accept the fossil fuel industry.”
In May of last year, Stanford reportedly became the first major university to divest its $18.7 billion endowment of stock in coal mining companies, citing coal as the source of the most carbon of any fossil fuels. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the decision included mutual funds with coal stocks as well as investments in individual companies.

However, for student organizer Josh Lappen, who is also with Fossil Free Stanford, complete divestment is the only option.

“To avoid catastrophic climate change, we need to divest from coal, oil and gas,” Lappen told the Chronicle. “They decided to delay, not to take the issue seriously…We’re going to occupy this place to hold them accountable.” The students reportedly pitched tents with the intention of staying indefinitely or until the board of trustees complies with their requests.

As of Tuesday, the students were still camped outside of the administration building’s entrance.

The University of California reportedly divested coal and tar sands mining companies last month.

Several leading Democrats have stated that climate change poses a greater threat to humanity than terrorism.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz and on Facebook.

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