BP or not BP? That is the question

Friends, Romans, company-baiters – lend us your ears!

This week we helped launch the Reclaim Shakespeare Company, which made its debut with a stunning piece of ‘guerilla Shakespeare’ on the stage at the BP-sponsored Royal Shakespeare Theatre no less! We are also gearing up for International Stop the Tar Sands day, swiftly followed by hitting Shell hard at their AGM next month. There is much ado about tar sands right now. We hope you can get involved!

1. Protesters take to the stage over BP sponsorship
2. Time to get MPs involved in Greenwash Gold 2012
3. Get the Shell Out!
4. Upcoming events: International Stop the Tar Sands Day, Pete the Temp and more

Fare thee well. Parting is such sweet sorrow…

Jess, Sue, Ruthi and Emily


1. Protesters take to the stage over BP sponsorship

On April 23rd 2012 – Shakespeare’s birthday and the launch of the World Shakespeare Festival – a group of merry players known as the “Reclaim Shakespeare Company” took unexpectedly to the stage in Stratford-upon-Avon, just before a Royal Shakespeare Company performance of The Tempest. This piece of guerilla Shakespeare aimed to challenge the RSC over its decision to accept sponsorship from BP in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster and the oil company’s decision to start extracting highly polluting and destructive tar sands in Canada. Just two days later a second troupe of intrepid performers claimed the stage to sing an anti-BP ballad before the opening of BP-sponsored Twelfth Night.

– Find out more at the beautifully-crafted BP or not BP? website

– Watch the film of the incredible two-minute performance and savour the cheers from the audience

– Read the letter that appeared in the Guardian that same morning, criticising BP sponsorship of Shakespeare

– Follow @ReclaimOurBard on Twitter, and like BP or not BP? on Facebook to keep up to date with the campaign

2. Time to get MPs involved in Greenwash Gold 2012

Last week we launched the Greenwash Gold 2012 campaign with London Mining Network and the Bhopal Medical Appeal. We are, of course, encouraging people to vote for BP as the worst Olympic sponsor. If you haven’t watched the hilariously gory film promoting BP’s extreme badness then please do, and share with your friends. And don’t forget to actually vote!

Meanwhile, John McDonnell MP has got on board with the campaign and tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons, supporting it and urging the Olympic authorities to ‘bring forward reforms of the process by which Olympic sponsors are selected so that known polluters and human rights abusers are never allowed to tarnish the image of the Olympics again.’ Brilliant! However, so far only 16 MPs have signed it, so please write to your MP and ask her or him to add their name to Early Day Motion 2951.

Finally, make sure you tune into Resonance 104.4 FM tonight from 8-9pm to hear more about the Greenwash Gold campaign. Clayton Thomas Muller from the Indigenous Environmental Network and Derrick Evans from the Gulf Coast Fund will join representatives of communities in Mongolia, Utah, West Papua and India to talk first hand about the impact these greenwash monsters have had on their lives and livelihoods. You can also listen online.

3. Get the Shell Out!

We are getting ready to again don our best suits and briefcases as we prepare for the Shell AGM on May 22nd. Before we head off to the Hague we hope you can join us on May 18th, 7:30 pm at Toynbee Hall to hear from community members who are resisting the reckless activities of Shell across the globe from the Canadian Tar Sands, the Arctic and Nigeria.

For London people out there TONIGHT, 7pm @ LARC is a screening of the Award-Winning Shell resistance film “The Pipe” – the story of the Rossport community and their struggle against Shell’s devastating pipeline construction. There will also be a bar, cake and film screenings of some past Shell Rising Tide and UKTSN actions to get you in the mood for the next few weeks of Shell-stopping!

4. Upcoming events: International Stop the Tar Sands Day, Pete the Temp and more

The Big Six Energy Bash: May 3rd, 11am Central London
UK Tar Sands Network is proud to support the Climate Justice Collective‘s Big Six Energy Bash, a day of direct action against corporate control and for energy democracy. We will be joining the Dirty Energy Bloc.

Pete the Temp vs. Climate Change: May 3rd, 7.30pm, The Cockpit, Gateforth Street, Marylebone, London, NW8 8EH
Launch of new show from Pete the Temp, co-star of last November’s ferocious oil orgy. In this multimedia, theatrical, stand up poetry show, Pete tells the story of some of the sticky situations he gets into on his quest to stop climate chaos.

International Stop the Tar Sands Day and 350.org Climate Impacts Day: May 5th, worldwide!
A convergence of two important global days of action! We will be joining a coalition of groups including 350.org, Occupy London, and Lush, in organising actions in London, Oxford and elsewhere. See here or here for an event near you, or email [email protected] to find out more.

Taking on Tarmageddon: May 6th, 7pm, East Oxford Community Centre, Princes Street, Oxford, OX4 1DD
We are very excited to finally see this new film by Campbell Road Productions, a documentary about People & Planet activists and young people from the Beaver Lake Cree Nation in Alberta coming together to take on ‘the most destructive project on Earth’. The film will be introduced by some of the people involved in making the film and will be followed by a discussion about the rewards and intricacies of tar sands solidarity campaigning.


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