Shaming Shell and confronting Mr Tar Sands

Dear friends,

Last week we attended the Shell AGM in The Hague with two powerful Indigenous women. Eriel Deranger and Mae Hank came all the way from North America to communicate their communities’ concerns about Shell’s plans to ruin their traditional territories through tar sands mining and Arctic drilling. The trip was a great success, made possible by the Indiegogo fundraising campaign. Eriel’s verdict was “it feels like they’re finally starting to take notice”. Read the full story here, and a huge thank you to everyone who contributed!


Eriel Deranger and Mae Hank oppose Shell’s ‘extreme energy’ agenda outside the AGM. Photo by Suzanne Dhaliwal.

We also went along to Shell’s shareholder meeting in London a couple of days later, where we confronted the company over its shameless lobbying against the EU’s Fuel Quality Directive. Shell’s answers were unsatisfactory, as usual.

There’s no rest for the wicked – we’re very excited to announce that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is visiting London next month! It’s not very often that we get to directly confront probably the most ruthless driver of the tar sands industry. There will be a protest that day – 13th June – and we’ll be in touch soon with further details. If you want to be involved, drop us an email.

Three more events for your diary:

  • Shell Out Sounds Flashmob 9th June: Join Shell Out Sounds in combining a love of singing with indignation about Shell’s sponsorship of the Southbank Centre. Meet 2:30pm at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London SE1 8XX, or, if you can, at 12pm at Calder Bookshop, 51 The Cut, Se1 8LF for a rehearsal beforehand. The song will be a reimagined version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Email for lyrics and further information.
  • Oil City, 9am, 1pm and 5pm daily on weekdays from 10th – 21st June. Site-specific theatre by Platform – ‘a spy thriller for the post-Occupy era’: Oil City takes audiences into the underbelly of London’s oil economy, looking at UK finance for Canadian tar sands projects. By eavesdropping on business people and seeking out secret documents hidden in dead-drops, you will help piece together a puzzle that interweaves government files with financial deals. More info. Book tickets.
  • Make Art Not Oil workshop, London, 15th June, 11am-7pm, venue tbc: a skills-based workshop for people wanting to creatively tackle oil sponsorship of our arts institutions, coinciding with the G8 Summit and Meltdown Festival. Come and learn skills useful for creative interventions, network with other artistic activists, and possibly develop an intervention for the Meltdown Festival (in the Shell-sponsored Southbank Centre) later in the week. To register, please complete this form. Email for further info.

Finally, we were amazed by all the donations that came in after the request in our last newsletter. Thank you to all of you who make it possible for us to do this vital work speaking truth to power. If you haven’t had a chance but still want to, it’s never too late to donate!

Yours ever-gratefully,

Sue, Jess, Emily, Ruthi

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