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5 NAU students arrested after fossil fuels protest

(Facebook Photo)

PHOENIX — Five students at Northern Arizona University were arrested Monday after refusing to leave a campus building they had occupied all day in a sit-in protest.

The peaceful protest was organized by Fossil Free NAU, a group of students who say they are trying to pressure NAU President Rita Cheng and the Flagstaff school’s nonprofit fundraising branch, the NAU Foundation, into taking a stance on fossil fuel divestment.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports that the five students were led away peacefully in handcuffs when they refused to leave the lobby of NAU’s Student and Academic Services building at its 9 p.m. closing time.

NAU police say all five were cited for trespassing and released.

Fossil Free NAU said on its Facebook page that more than 50 students participated in Monday’s protest, in which students held signs reading “youth choose climate justice” and “Rita – stand with us.”

“President Cheng needs to stand with students who are fighting for climate justice, lest she side with the industry responsible for the destruction of communities and corruption of our politics,” the group said in a Facebook post.

The sit-in continued Tuesday morning at the same building in which the five students were arrested Monday.

The group posted a video on their Facebook page with students singing an original protest song.

“Solid as a rock, rooted as a tree, I am here sitting in and Rita can’t move me!”

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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