College Students Went On Hunger Strike Against Fossil Fuels But Gave Up When Their Parents Got Mad

Jason Hopkins | Energy Investigator

Several students attempted to wage a hunger strike to force Cambridge University to divest from fossil fuels, but they called it quits after their parents got worried.

Three college students began a hunger strike on May 17 to pressure Cambridge University officials to capitulate to their demands of divesting from fossil fuels. The moves were the latest in what has been a years-long campaign to remove the university from the fossil fuel industry.

Beth Bhargava, Ben Margolis and Sam Warren-Miell are all first year students at the school and members of Cambridge Zero Carbon Society, a climate change-oriented organization. The group has worked since 2015 to make Cambridge University adopt more environmentally friendly policies. Around $506 million of the university’s $8.5 billion endowment is invested in fossil fuel companies, according to Cambridge Zero Carbon.

“Divestment is one of those situations that calls on us to use every inch of our power, and every inch of our personal capacity, to fight for justice,” wrote Warren-Miell — one of the striking students — in an op-ed published Saturday. (RELATED: Woman Sleeps In Trees For Weeks To Protest Legal Pipeline)

The students, claiming their demands were partially met, ended their strike after reportedly going five days without eating. Students also admitted they quit at their parents urging, saying their moms and dads were worried.

However, it’s not completely clear where Cambridge Zero Carbon’s “win” is. The goal of the strike was to force the university’s governing council to divest from fossil fuels, but they did not agree to do this. The council simply agreed to hold an additional meeting in the next few weeks to discuss the issue.

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