Two graduates have been arrested after they allegedly sprayed orange paint on university buildings at the Penryn Campus today.
The local MP for the area has condemned the graduates' actions, saying students shouldn't have to deal with 'eco-zealots'.
A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesperson confirmed: "Officers have attended Falmouth University this afternoon following reports of paint being thrown as part of a possible protest. A man and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and remain in police custody."
The JustStopOil group have admitted to being behind the incident. They say that at around 11am this morning, Ethan Paul, 22, a renewable energy engineering graduate from Exeter, used buckets of paint and spray cans to cover the walls of the University of Exeter’s Stella Turk building at Penryn. At the same time, on the opposite side of the road, Holly Astle, 28, a Falmouth illustration alumna, used a fire extinguisher to paint the Falmouth Link Building.
Speaking ahead of his action, Ethan said: "Universities have had 30 years of IPCC reports and COP conferences to sort this out and they have catastrophically failed my generation because they refuse to stand up to our government. They have wasted the one chance we had to prevent the greatest threat our species has ever faced.
"I joined the University of Exeter to study renewable energy engineering because I was terrified about the climate crisis. I realise now that we already have all the technical solutions we need, but until people at educational institutions stop taking millions from fossil fuel companies our government will continue committing genocide. Join me in civil resistance – it may be our last chance of securing any kind of future."
Holly added: "Universities are meant to have a duty of care over their students but are failing miserably as they set them up for a future that won't exist. What are they doing to prepare youth for the prospect of climate breakdown and civilisational collapse? Universities are responsible for sustaining a double reality of recognising the existence of the crisis, without feeling any incentive to act on it."
"We are angry that universities continue to prop up the government as they drill for new oil in an act of violence against the young. Students and staff alike must join us in civil resistance to stand up against this injustice. This is what students across the country are doing, step up and march with us in November."
Commenting after the incident Cherilyn Mackrory, MP for Truro and Falmouth, and Cllr Connor Donnithorne, Prospective MP for Camborne and Redruth, said: “Just Stop Oil are at it again, this time vandalising Falmouth Uni. Students should be able to study in peace without having to deal with these eco-zealots.
“We are calling on Jayne Kirkham and Perran Moon to condemn this, however, it is doubtful that they will as Labour continue to stand idly by and let this disruption occur. Their silence is totally damning.
“Until Sir Keir Starmer returns over million pounds received from Dale Vince, Just Stop Oils funder in chief, Labour will remain complicit in this madness.”
In response, Perran Moon, Parliamentary Candidate for Camborne, Redruth & Hayle said: “Of course we don’t think people should be throwing orange paint at buildings. Under Keir Starmer, the Labour Party is a Party of service, not protest. If you want to stop oil, just vote Labour.”
Jayne Kirkham, Parliamentary Candidate for Truro & Falmouth added: “As the Conservatives row back on their climate commitments and Rishi Sunak travels the country in his private jet, Labour is focussed on talking climate change and the huge benefits that action like investing in renewables and insulating homes could bring to Cornwall: well paid jobs and lower energy bills.”