Written by Isobel.
All views are Isobel's.
First of all, we want to say a massive thank you to everyone that came along and support the Hull University Union Climate Strike last week. Whether you signed our placard, made one yourself or joined us for the strike, it was an overwhelming success and we were really proud of what we all achieved together.
Why were we on strike?
On Friday 20th September, Hull University Union joined the massive global day of action as we shut down all our services and operations for one hour, between 10.00am-11.00am, and went on strike for climate justice. This strike marked the beginning of a week of action all over the world and we joined what was likely to be the largest climate protest in world history!
It was important that we stood in solidarity with the global strikes and other Students’ Unions in order to get involved with shaping the way that society meets the needs of future generations and the planet. It is a global issue that we all need to take responsibility for. In striking, we were part of students coming together from across all levels of education and signalling that we want change and to save our futures.
What happened at our Climate Strike?
Starting at 10.00am on Friday 20th September, more than 60 students and staff joined us outside of the Student Central to strike. We were absolutely overwhelmed with the support. There were some absolutely fantastic placards that had been made at home and at our placard making session the day before. They were creative and vibrant, which looked amazing as we stood together. We began with chants and sounded our siren before I delivered a short speech.
Following this, we marched across campus chanting, “act before you have no choice, listen to the student voice!”. We stopped outside the Venn building (where the University leadership are based) and on Cottingham Road where once again I outlined the part of my speech, which reiterated what we wanted to see on our campus and from our University. This included the following:
- Declare a climate emergency.
- Set targets to become carbon neutral.
- Commit to divest from fossil fuels.
- Reduce single-use plastic on campus.
After this, we said goodbye to the Hull University Union staff and hopped on a bus to join the city strikes. When arriving we sounded our siren again and joined the group waiting, representing Hull University Students’ Union. We then marched we hundreds of others through the city and by the end of our march, the group gathered and key groups were given the opportunity to speak. As President, I spoke again, speaking of our support for the global strikes, standing in solidarity and outlining what we wanted to see from our University. After this, we returned to campus feeling proud of what we had achieved today!
The results so far?
- Email from the VC showing support for our strikes.
- Email from Head of Finance to look into ethical investment.
- Email from University PR to say what an "amazing experience" the protest on campus was.
- Got our voice heard on multiple media outlets, including the Hull Daily Mail, Look North and BBC Humberside.
What is happening next and how can you get involved?
If you are interested in finding out more about what we are doing and have an interest in learning more about climate justice, you can join our Facebook group and stay up to date with everything we are doing.
Or, if you have ideas about how the campus can be more environmentally friendly and sustainable, you can join our campaign as we work towards divestment from fossil fuels, becoming more plastic-free and tackling the climate emergency!