POSTPONED: Campaigners to call for sex strike over Council’s climate hypocrisy

IMPORTANT UPDATE (12 March): In the light of the current COVID-19 pandemic we have taken the decision to POSTPONE this action to a later date.

Press Release
Divest East Sussex [1]
9 March 2020
More info: 07596 483 272

CAMPAIGNERS TO CALL FOR SEX STRIKE OVER COUNCIL’S CLIMATE HYPOCRISY
County Council must stop funding climate change, say campaigners

9 – 10am, Monday 16 March, County Hall, Lewes: Campaigners will issue a public call next Monday (16 March) for people of goodwill to refrain from sex with the fifty Councillors on East Sussex County Council (ESCC) until the latter agrees to stop funding climate change. The call will be accompanied by the performance of an extract from the ancient Greek play Lysistrata [2] – in which the women of ancient Greece use a sex strike to end the war between Athens and Sparta – outside County Hall between 9 – 10am.

The action is part of a noviolent direct action campaign aimed at compelling ESCC to stop funding climate change [3]. ESCC currently invests £175 million of the East Sussex Pension Fund (which covers Brighton and Hove as well as East Sussex) in fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas) [4]. Last October saw the County Council declare a ‘climate emergency’ on the same day that it voted overwhelmingly to continue investing in fossifl fuels [5]

Over the last four years fossil fuel companies have spent over a billion dollars on misleading climate-related branding and lobbying, in an effort to undermine global action on climate change [6]. They are also projected to spend $4.9 trillion dollars over the next decade developing new oil and gas fields, none of which investment is compatible with capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius [7].

Over 1,100 institutions across the world – collectively managing over $14 trillion worth of assets – have already made some form of commitment to divest from fossil fuels [8].

A spokesperson for Divest East Sussex said: “Though it has declared a ‘climate emergency’, East Sussex County Council continues to invest £175m of local people’s pensions in the giant oil and gas companies that are driving our current climate crisis – companies like Exxon and BP. This is pure hypocrisy. From Liberia to the Philippines, sex strikes have helped to win campaigns for peace and justice [9]. So next Monday we will be issuing a call for all people of goodwill to refrain from sex with East Sussex County Councillors until the Council agrees to stop funding climate change. We urge all those concerned about climate change to join this strike.”

More info: 07596 483 272

NOTES

[1] https://divesteastsussex.wordpress.com
[2] https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Aristophanes:_The_Eleven_Comedies/Lysistrata
[3] https://divesteastsussex.wordpress.com/2020/02/11/campaigners-to-hold-thunberg-in-outside-county-hall-in-protest-over-fossil-fuel-investments/
[4] https://democracy.eastsussex.gov.uk/documents/b14341/Item%204%20-%20Public%20questions%2011th-Feb-2020%2010.00%20Full%20Council.pdf?T=9
[5] https://divesteastsussex.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/323/
[6] https://influencemap.org/report/How-Big-Oil-Continues-to-Oppose-the-Paris-Agreement-38212275958aa21196dae3b76220bddc
[7] https://www.globalwitness.org/en/campaigns/oil-gas-and-mining/overexposed/
[8] https://gofossilfree.org/divestment/commitments/
[9] https://inews.co.uk/opinion/comment/sex-strikes-georgia-abortion-heartbeat-law-alyssa-milano-501981

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