New England Community Rallies for BC Student Rights

On Sunday April 12, BC Admitted Eagle Day, approximately 150 students, faculty, and community members from across New England converged onto the BC campus in protest of the suppression of free speech at Boston College. BC students, some already on disciplinary probation and worried of further repercussions, gathered for lunch together in Ignacio to distance themselves from the protest. The protest was a resounding success, followed that evening by a unanimous approval of the student group Climate Justice @ Boston College by the Undergraduate Student Government at Boston College (UGBC). Below are select photos, videos, and articles about the event.

Newton News coverage of the event as their leading story on April 15, 2015.

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BC Students in Ignacio Hall wave to protestors as they march by through campus.

Five articles in the student newspaper, The Heights, covered the events:

(1) ‘We don’t even go here’,
(2) UGBC Vote Positions CJBC One Step From University Recognition,
(3) LTE: Letter From Climate Justice At Boston College,
(4) LTE: Letter From Former UGBC Vice President Chris Marchese,
(5) LTE: From Climate Justice On A Lunch With John Fish

BC Banner Drop by Students for a Just and Stable Future!

This morning members of the Boston community held a banner drop on BC’s campus, showing the administration that they can’t silence the divestment movement on campus with disciplinary sanctions. Climate Justice @ BC is deeply thankful for all the support.

Follow the event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1643575725876084/

Divest Banner Drop at BC

Fight Back @ Boston College – Rally April 12, 12:45pm, BC T-stop

The Boston community will be converging on the BC campus on April 12 in protest of the treatment BC students have received from their administrators, such as disciplinary probation for helping organize a peaceful vigil on campus. Upon denial of a permit, and for fear of further administrative backlash, CJ@BC will not be sponsoring the event – but off-campus community groups will be moving forward with the event.

For more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1643575725876084/

– Nate

CJ@BC Permit Denied, Members Fear Expulsion

Please help and spread the word!
Climate Justice at BC is getting attacked. Because of the repression and punishment BC students have faced, students, faculty, and community members outside BC planned a peaceful march and rally on April 12, meeting at 1PM at the BC green line stop. This is during BC’s admitted prospective students day. Special guests include Bill McKibben and Bob Massie. Climate Justice @ BC tried to work with the administration, as they always have, and have again been denied a permit. Worse, it now appears as though they will punish BC students anyways, even though most will not attend, and the students went out of their way to tell the administration about the action. Some CJBC members fear they may be expelled from school.

Here’s the call to action with the sign up link and a history of some of the repression and punishment.
Here’s the Facebook event.
This madness has to end

CJ@BC Withdraws Affiliation with April 12 Rally

Dear allies of Climate Justice at BC,

 

On April 8th, a CJBC member met with Dean Mogan. The aim was to work with the administration, honestly and respectfully, as we have always tried to do. As you may know, the larger Boston climate justice community, as well as those concerned about the repression and intimidation of student organizers at BC, decided to hold a peaceful march and rally on April 12th, meeting at 1PM at the BC green line stop. We want to be clear, CJBC did not have to tell the administration about the event. We could have kept the event a secret, as we suspect outside groups would have preferred. Instead, we approached the administration and sought a permit.

Unfortunately, the Dean of Students has again denied a permit to protest. This was done on the same grounds as past permit denials: CJBC is not a registered student organization and BC is concerned with liabilities. While we will continue attempts to work with the administration, CJBC has decided to withdraw our participation. Let us be clear, we are no longer affiliated with the event in any way. The action was never ours, but we wanted to be honest and transparent with the administration. As a sign of good faith, we let the administration know about this event which was organized by outside groups, and we are now being punished for that. Our attempts at working with the administration appear to have backfired: it now looks as though some CJBC members–those who continue to try and work with the administration–may face consequences regardless. We hope that is not the case.

We had hoped we would be able to work with the administration. We are saddened that we won’t be able to attend collectively as CJBC. It means the world that the whole Boston climate justice community has been so moved as to come to our aid, and we deeply wish we could participate. However, to our knowledge, faculty, staff, students, and the larger Boston area climate justice community will continue to hold the rally on our campus. It is also highly likely that acclaimed activists Bill McKibben and Bob Massie will be attending and speaking.

We hope those coming to stand in solidarity with climate justice organizers are not treated with hostility. If you choose to attend, you do so at your own risk. In all likelihood, it appears as though BC may lockdown what is typically an open campus. We are aware of the irony in preventing faculty and students, mothers and fathers, ministers and community allies from entering campus, when they are only seeking to demonstrate for the basic rights of students and the urgency of climate justice. Nevertheless, this is the situation.

Love and Solidarity

Climate Justice @ BC

 

https://climatejusticebc.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BCFossilFree

@Fossil_Free  @BClimateJustice

Support BC and Divestment through the Divest Fund!

Rights on the Heights II: The Struggle Continues

Boston College students host their second “Rights on the Heights” rally in protest of aggressive oppression of students from the university administration. This protest follows on the heels of the first rally, which took place three months ago in  December 2014. Developments since the first protest have included new rules from the administration that further limit the ability of students to secure permits for protests along with punishment of student organizers of recent events, barring some students from applying to study-abroad programs.

Rights on the Heights II: The Struggle Continues. Zack Muzdakis gives opening remarks to over 100 students gathered on campus.
Rights on the Heights II: The Struggle Continues. Zack Muzdakis gives opening remarks to over 100 students gathered on campus.

Read more about “Rights on the Heights II: The Struggle Continues” in the front-page BC Gavel article here.

Watch the speakers here or below:

BC Students Join Hundreds Asking National Grid to Save Cape Wind

Upon the announcement from National Grid and NStar (now EverSource) that they would not honor their contracts to purchase electricity from Cape Wind – effectively sabotaging the project – Massachusetts residents rose up under the banner Save Cape Wind. BC students joined a rally at the Boston Commons calling on National Grid MA President Marcy Reed to Save Cape Wind.

Below is a video from the rally.

 

Universities Across The Country Launch A Multi-School Fossil Free Divestment Fund

Press-Release:

Main Contact:     Sarah Vukelich, Williams, sarah.m.vukelich@gmail.com619-609-3458

Secondary:     Becky Romatoski, MIT, rrromatoski@gmail.com651-587-7172;

    Bobby Wengronowitz, BC, bobbywego@gmail.com630-464-5875

Website:     http://divestfund.org/

Donate Here.

Cambridge, MA – Alumni, parents, and students from universities across the country have launched a bold new Multi-School Fossil Free Divestment Fund. The Fund facilitates tax-deductible donations for those who would like to give to an educational institution but are hesitant because the institution invests in the environmentally, financially, and morally hazardous fossil fuel industry. The Fund will hold and invest donations until a school’s endowment:

  1. Immediately freezes any new investment in fossil fuel companies and

  2. Divests within five years from current holdings of fossil fuel companies.

For participating schools unable to stand up to fossil fuel companies by the end of 2017, their funds will go to participating schools that have divested. Morgan Curtis, a Dartmouth student, explains the timeline: “Back in 2011, the IEA [International Energy Agency], hardly a radical organization, found that 2017 was the cutoff for building any new fossil fuel infrastructure if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. We haven’t even hit 1° C yet, and it’s already been disastrous and lethal, especially for those least responsible.”

The Fund allows parents, alumni, faculty, staff, students, and others to leverage their donations to help universities do the right thing. As Brandeis alumnus Naveh Halperin explains, “I want to give to Brandeis because I had an amazing experience there, but I can’t donate knowing they’re investing in morally unjust industries that undercut their mission to strive for social justice.” Since donations will go to other universities if a given university has not divested, the Fund creates a friendly competition to push for action at a level commensurate with the urgency and magnitude of the deepening climate crisis. “Money donated acts as a financial carrot, but if universities continue to support the rogue fossil fuel industry, those donations turn into a stick” says Chris Nidel, an MIT alumnus.

While financial contributions are important, the number of donors is equally powerful. College rankings are important for many institutions. Five percent of those rankings are derived from alumni giving, meaning even small donations matter. Boston College student David Corbie says he is “working on getting others to use their ‘senior gift’ as a way to encourage our school to stand up for climate justice.”

Fossil fuel divestment campaigns have been underway for years. Their aim is to stigmatize the fossil fuel industry and loosen the iron grip they have on our political and economic system. Hundreds of institutions–from schools and churches to public pensions and philanthropic foundations–participate in divestment. Many have already divested. The Fund, carefully designed over 18 months, adds one more arrow to the quiver in the fight for climate justice.

A sample tweet (with the right number of characters to allow for the image) is this:

Donate to @DivestFund Your Alma Mater receives the $ only when they stand up to #FossilFuels #divestfund.org

Thanks so much for your donation, spreading the word, and all the good work you do.

Peace and Justice,

The DivestFund team

#Rights on the Heights – Alyssa Florack Speaks for CJ@BC

If anyone missed out on the energizing and inspiring rally held at BC on Friday (Dec 5, 2014), then you can catch some of the great speeches here!

Alyssa Florack speaks below about the challenges students have had with the administration over simply forming a student group to address climate change. My favorite moment in her speech is at minute 2:00.

More videos on the way, keep you eye out!

Best,

Nate