Divest Glasgow School of Art Campaign intensifies its campaign with a hunger strike for the Glasgow School of Art to divest from arms companies.
Glasgow School of Art (GSA) students Hannah Torrance Bright and Jasmine Roberts have been on hunger strike since 12 March as part of the Divest Glasgow School of Art Campaign against GSA’s unethical investment policy. The students intend to strike until the board divests from fossil fuel titans JP Morgan and Barclays, organisations invested in the arms trade.
The original demand for divestment was sent on 1 March and at the time of writing the board has not acted. The demands in the campaign include: publishment of the 2021 investment report by April; full review and Environmental Management System (EMS) report of current investments, immediate divestment from companies linked to fossil fuels; focus group for GSA staff to set and adopt ethical values and support of the University of Glasgow’s Divestment Campaign. Finally, the campaign demands GSA to assume responsibility for its role as a creative institution and redirect investments to reflect values of students and staff.
Students feel that the GSA is not staying true to its word or acting in line with its own comments on responsible investment. The GSA states that it is “committed to investing its funds in organisations which adhere to the highest possible social, environmental and ethical standards". Students believe that it is "hypocritical" of the GSA to emphasise sustainability and better futures when their fees go toward organisations funding climate destruction. The Divest GSA campaign's open letter states: “Our university education should be creating our future, but is instead financing the destruction of it.
"GSA emphasises sustainable creative practices, and our responsibility as artists to be a part of the conversation towards creating a better future, but this is pointless and hypocritical if the fees we are paying are directly funding the destruction of the global climate. The reputation of the school, and our integrity as creatives, is disgraced by this callous disregard for the future of life on earth."
17-year-old student, Jasmin Roberts, commented in the group's press release: “GSA are continuing to invest funds into fossil fuels and arms and continue to dismiss the demands for divestment. I do not think GSA has considered the urgency of our demands, as we have been continuously ignored.”
Fellow student on hunger strike, Hannah Torrance Bright, added: “the fact that we as students have to resort to starving ourselves in order to be heard by our university breaks my heart, but at this point we have no other option."
Further information on the Divest GSA campaign can be found here or @divestgsa on Instagram and Twitter.
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