AGMs, spaceships and Greenwash Gold

Dear BP-botherers,

Over the last few days, we’ve launched a campaign, fallen for a hoax, got thrown out of an AGM, and been covered by just about every news outlet we’ve heard of. It’s been fantastic to work in partnership with friends from the Gulf Coast and the Indigenous Environmental Network, and give  BP the hard time they deserve. Read on for:

  1. Spin and spaceships at the BP AGM
  2. BP dropped as Olympic ‘Sustainability Partner’?!
  3. The launch of Greenwash Gold 2012
  4. Save the date for “Get the Shell Out!”

If you’ve been impressed by the work we’ve been doing, please consider giving us a donation. We promise that we’ll spend it on similar hijinks.

Love and escape pods,

Jess, Sue, Emily and Ruthi

P.S Keep an eye on our events page. International Stop the Tar Sands day is on May 5th and if you’re in Oxford, please come along to the launch of Taking On Tarmageddon on 6th May.


1. Spin and spaceships at the BP AGM

BP’s Annual General Meeting last Thursday was once again an uncomfortable experience for the Board. They were confronted by questions on oil spills, tar sands, Olympic sponsorship and – bizarrely – interplanetary escape pods, before nine people “died” in protest at the company’s contribution to climate change and human rights abuses, and were removed bodily from the room by security guards.

In the meeting with us was Bryan Parras, representing devastated communities on the Gulf Coast. Speaking afterwards, he said: “Last year, I was barred from this meeting by BP’s security, along with other community representatives. While I was glad to be allowed in this year, I was insulted that the Chair tried to cut me off, and that the Board then completely ignored my question and instead reeled off their prepared PR spin.” Nonetheless, the media didn’t ignore Bryan and the rest of us, and BP’s PR department must have been cringing as they saw the headlines the next day.

For the full story, and links to some of the media coverage, click here.

For a list of the questions we asked in the AGM, and the non-answers we received from BP, click here.

2. BP dropped as Olympic ‘Sustainability Partner’?!

Our jaws dropped over our morning coffee as the news spread around the web – the organisers of the London 2012 Olympics had dropped BP as ‘Sustainability Partner’! At last, sanity was prevailing… Sadly, it was revealed to be an elaborate hoax by CAMSOL, a group of tech-savvy Londoners who had created a website that looked exactly like the official one, and sent out a fake press release, fooling several media outlets into covering the story.

Not very surprisingly, it seems that the Olympics’ Brand Police have now taken down the fake website, but the Daily Telegraph has a picture of it!

3. The launch of Greenwash Gold 2012

Who is the least ethical Olympic sponsor? It’s a tough call to make when the field is so strong. There’s Dow Chemicals, responsible for the Bhopal disaster. There’s Rio Tinto, poisoning and displacing local communities around the world. And Adidas, Atos, EDF and Coca-Cola all deserve an honourable mention. For us though, it has to be BP. But what do the general public think?

We will soon find out, following the launch of the Greenwash Gold 2012 campaign last Monday. UK Tar Sands Network joined forces with the London Mining Network and Bhopal Medical Appeal to encourage people to choose between BP, Rio Tinto and Dow, and vote! We would like to encourage you to vote for BP, and we’ve created this somewhat gory animation to try and persuade you! Please watch, share and vote…

4. Save the dates for “Get the Shell Out!” 

We are just catching our breath before we turn our attention to call out Shell on their devastating track record of environmental destruction and human rights violations in the tar sands and around the world. On the 18th of May we will be hosting a gathering of community members and campaigners who have been impacted by Shell’s atrocious activities globally. We hope you can join us and do share the invitation.

The Shell AGM takes place on May 22nd in the Hague. We will be going along with our friends from Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, IEN and the Alaskan Arctic to make sure that we put the board and shareholders on the spot about their hellish operations. There will also be London Shell shenanigans taking place on the day of the AGM at the Barbican Centre and at petrol stations across the UK. Check out Occupy Oil the Sequel so you can get involved!

Please get in touch if you saw the amazing fun we had at the BP AGM and want to join us to take on Shell! Email [email protected].

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