Climate activists with the UK’s far-left Extinction Rebellion are saving the planet by digging up their college green near their school’s famed “Newton’s Apple Tree.”
“Extinction! Rebellion! Extinction! Rebellion!” about two dozen climate crusaders took to the Trinity College lawn with pitch forks and shovels, then took heaps of dirt and dumped it on the floor inside Barclays Bank, the Citizen Free Press reports.
The protest was designed to draw attention to the college’s alleged “collusion in the destruction of nature” at Innocence Farm in Suffolk, England.
“The idea that a rich institution like Trinity College, which tells the world it is serious about tackling this crisis, is looking for profit from environmental destruction is quite simply astonishing,” Derek Langley, member of Extinction Rebellion Cambridge, told BBC.
Local businessman Tim Norman said the “counter-productive vandalism” is leaving folks scratching their heads.
“(It) seemed to confuse the tourists too, as it wasn’t clear what they were doing it for,” Norman said.
A Trinity spokeswoman told BBC the college “respects the right to freedom of speech and non-violent protest but draws the line at criminal damage and asked the protestors to leave.”
“Academics at Trinity are actively engaged in research to understand and develop solutions to climate change, and taking practical steps forward,” she said.
A spokeswoman for Barclays Bank confirmed students dumped wheelbarrows of mud in the lobby of the bank’s branch at St. Andrews Street.
Activists posed for social media pictures with their destruction, which they touted as responsible.
One told BBC activists “were careful to ensure that the digging took place a safe distance from the tree so as not to cause any damage to it.”
“Trinity College has invested ($11.8 million) in oil & gas companies, the most of any of the 45 Oxbridge colleges,” XR Cambridge posted to Twitter. “They own Innocence Farm in Suffolk and want to sell it to Felixstowe Port to build a lorry park for 3,000 vehicles. They are complicit in the climate & ecological crisis.”
The reality is the lorry park was turned down by planning officers, but activists complain the college could still develop the property for housing, with also apparently bad for the climate, the Free Press reports.
“Trinity bought the Trimley Estate in 1933 with a long view to commercial and residential development,” an Extinction Rebellion statement read. “Their timeline of 85 years point to an underlying intention to sell every acre of the Trimley Estate for high-value residential use and profit. Development of the land would be highly profitable to Trinity College, increasing the value of the estate significantly.”