Cornell Students for Animal Rights and Cornell Vegan Society stood in solidarity outside of Barton Hall during Sunday’s ClubFest, bearing signs of “Burning the Amazon is Genocide” and “Take Action” to protest the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.
International outrage continues to grow over the massive destruction caused by forest fires currently burning across the vast Amazon rainforest. But much of the commentary in the West has failed to link the fires to Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, and his collaborationist allies among the Brazilian business and political elite who are encouraging illegal miners, farmers and ranchers to slash and burn whatever land they deem fit for industry. Bolsonaro and his henchmen are dedicated to the unchecked destruction of the Amazon and its indigenous peoples for short-term profit, and the new Brazilian government is in power thanks to the efforts of a group of reactionary elites who wished to ensure that the 2018 election would be sufficiently rigged in their favor. Western commentary has also largely ignored the human toll of the destruction of the Amazon, as Brazil’s indigenous peoples are engaged in a struggle for their very right to exist. On July 23, a leader of the Wajãpi people in the Northern Amazon was stabbed to death by illegal gold miners on protected ancestral lands, part of a trend of escalating land invasions and violence against indigenous populations.
Cornell Tech’s Roosevelt Island campus is located less than 2,000 feet from the planned headquarters, which the University believed to be a factor in the company’s decision to build in Long Island City, a rapidly gentrifying Queens neighborhood.
In 2012, when Cornell Tech first opened its doors at a temporary location housed in Google’s Chelsea office, they could not have thought it, not in their wildest dreams. In 2017, when Tech’s state-of-the-art campus on Roosevelt Island went online, they could not have imagined it. After all, Cornell Tech was then, and remains today a project largely in its infancy — the campus itself is not slated for completion until 2043. It’s still a work in progress. And yet, in the largest windfall for Tech since it was greenlit by Hizzoner Mayor Bloomberg seven years ago, Amazon has elected to construct its much-heralded HQ2 within a stone’s throw of the Roosevelt Island campus. This move opens the door to exciting new academic and commercial possibilities for students and faculty at Tech, and will no doubt launch the nascent graduate school to the top of any potential applicant’s list (and more than a few rankings lists as well, we’d imagine).