Double double, oil is trouble (and so is custard!)

Dear Custard-spillers,

RSC at the British Museum from rikki indymedia on Vimeo.

It’s been a busy few days. We finally announced the results of the Greenwash Gold 2012 competition for worst Olympic sponsor on Friday in Trafalgar Square – and found seven of our crew behind bars for spilling some green custard on the ground! Turns out the Olympics police are a little touchy.

Yesterday we continued our efforts to shame BP’s sponsorship efforts when we joined a large troupe of players in the Reclaim Shakespeare Company to ‘reduce BP to rubble’ in a Macbeth-esque pop-up play inside the British Museum.

We have more events coming up to tell you about. No rest for the wicked!

1. BP’s greenwash awarded Gold
2. No more o’this, BP, no more
3. Upcoming events

Jess, Emily, Ruthi and Sue


1. BP’s greenwash awarded Gold

The results for the Greenwash Gold 2012 campaign – the public vote for the worst Olympic sponsor – were finally announced on Friday, in front of the Olympic clock in Trafalgar Square. BP came in second, Dow third, and Rio Tinto first. For good measure all three received gold medals, presented by a giant-headed ‘Sebastian Coe’. The award ceremony featured a ‘representative’ from each company having slimy green custard poured over their heads to recognise and reward their greenwash – in BP’s case for its decision to enter the tar sands and its refusal to compensate victims of the Gulf of Mexico disaster; Rio Tinto, which is sourcing metal for the Olympic medals, has been responsible for deadly air pollution in Utah and is poisoning precious water sources in Mongolia; Dow Chemical owns Union Carbide, the company responsible for killing 25,000 people in the Bhopal gas disaster in 1984, for which it is dodging criminal charges.

But the ceremony descended into chaos after the custard had been poured, when 25 police officers appeared and arrested the three ‘executives’, and several others who were cleaning up the few drops of custard that had landed on the ground. Jess and six others spent the rest of Friday in custardy in a bizarre end to an otherwise non-confrontational campaign!

The Guardian reported on the protest, the film is up here, and more information is available on the Greenwash Gold website.

2. No more o’this, BP, no more

BP sponsorship remained front and centre of our agenda as we joined with the Reclaim Shakespeare Company on Sunday to banish BP from the British Museum. Taking place inside the BP-sponsored Shakespeare: Staging the World exhibition, the performance continued the call of the previous four performances in asking the culture world to sever its ties with the oil company. In a performance based loosely on Macbeth, three ‘BP executives’ lured a museum director under their spell and enticed him with money and oil before an angry ‘customer’ interrupted and ousted the BP executives by ripping the logo out of his programme. The performance was interrupted by real security guards who did indeed help eject the BP executives from the building!

The film is up here. See the Democracy Now coverage here.


BP’s Wyrd Executives are removed from the Museum by security, accompanied by loud declarations of approval from the other performers. Photo by David Hoffman.

3. Upcoming events:

Counter Olympics Network demo: No Launchers, No Logos, No Limos!
28th July: 12 noon, Assemble Mile End Park, East London.

March to Victoria Park for People’s Games for All. To include speeches, entertainment, “alternative games”, and children’s events. The Counter Olympics Network links people and organisations critical of some or many aspects of the 2012 Games. This event is supported by approximately 50 groups including the UK Tar Sands Network. If you’re planning on coming along with UKTSN and would like to be a steward, please email [email protected]

Launching Tar-Free Oxford
Sunday, August 5, 4pm – 8pm, Friends Meeting House, 43 St Giles, OX1 3LW

Do you live in Oxfordshire? Do you really want to do something about those damned tar sands, but not sure what you can do all the way from over here? Well now is your chance to get involved!

We are starting a group of local people who want to take action on a local level and show the solidarity with front line communities. The launch will start with a  screening of the excellent, one-hour long, Taking on Tarmageddon followed by a short general intro to Tar Sands.  We will then break into small groups (Open Space style) to brainstorm and discuss what we want to do as Tar Free Oxford. Don’t worry if you don’t know what Open Space is, all will be explained… If you’ve already seen the film, you are welcome to join us at 5pm. Of course, you are also very welcome to see it again!

In the meantime, you can join the new Tar Free Oxford Facebook group and/or the Facebook event for the launch.

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