Student activists held a ‘bloody’ protest against Shell and British Aerospace Electronics (BAE) Systems at the careers fair last week.
In a video posted to YouTube, the students are seen throwing buckets of tomato puree and red paint over the companies’ stalls in Parkinson court whilst shouting ‘blood on your hands!’
BAE Systems is known as one of the largest arms dealing companies in the UK and have been criticised for their complicity in international war crimes. Shell have also come under attack from environmental campaigners over the global warming emissions from fossil fuels.
A campus wide vote by the Union was passed last year to lobby for the removal of BAE System from campus, however the University’s inaction has provoked frustration amongst many campaign groups.
According to their spokesperson, the company ‘recruits over 250 UK graduates every year and currently receives more than 20 applications for every place. All university recruitment activity is undertaken with the agreement of the university in question.’
In a statement to the newspaper, one of the activists, who asked to remain anonymous, said ‘Leeds University does not comply with its own ethical code. Making a profit from companies associated with social and environmental injustice is unacceptable and highly immoral. Our University should be investing money into companies who try to build a better world rather than destroy it, whilst also encouraging its students to work for principled companies. Our actions are an attempt to make the University think about its unethical actions and hopefully enforce positive change. We hope the university will listen to the Union’s 2013 ‘yes referendum,’ which voted to remove BAE systems from campus. We hope the University will also consider removing fossil fuel companies, such as Shell, from campus. The University reported at the end of September 2013 that it had 457,000 pounds of investments in Shell. This is but one example of how the University is failing to act on student demands, as well as their own investment policy.’