Art Activists Spill Oil at Iconic British Museum in Protest at BP Sponsorship

Like the Tate, whose trustees meet to discuss their sponsorship arrangements tomorrow, the British Museum receives money from BP on an annual basis.

LONDON.- Five members of the art activist group Culture Beyond Oil today poured non-toxic black oil around the British Museum’s world famous Easter Island sculpture, in protest at BP’s sponsorship of the museum.

The group, inspired by Liberate Tate’s intervention at Tate Britain earlier this month, said it had deliberately chosen the giant statue of a human head because it represents the way in which civilizations once considered invincible can collapse in a short period of time. The activists were careful not to pour oil on the sculpture itself, which is seated on a modern stone plinth.

Like the Tate, whose trustees meet to discuss their sponsorship arrangements tomorrow, the British Museum receives money from BP on an annual basis. In return the company is able to use the building to hold corporate parties and launch events, as well as having its logo used on official British Museum publications.

Lisa Reardon, one of the artists who took part, said: “Institutions such as the British Museum are amongst the most valuable assets that this country has, but their worldwide reputation is being tarnished by the sponsorship deal with BP.

“Unless the people who run this museum want to see its famous pillars become a crumbling relic of the oil age they need to stop giving BP cover for its destructive business. This oil company is using our best loved museums and galleries to distract us from a catastrophic headlong rush to extract the last drops of the black stuff.” Continue reading

No Free Press For BP Oil Disaster

08 July, 2010
Inter Press Service

NEW ORLEANS – Last week, the U.S. Coast Guard, working in concert with oil giant BP, instituted new restrictions across the U.S. Gulf Coast that prevent the media from coming within 20 metres of booms or response vessels on beaches or water. But the insidiousness of the restrictions runs even deeper.

“You can’t come in here,” Don, the security guard hired by BP, told IPS at the Oiled Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at Fort Jackson, Louisiana.

Inside, the International Bird Rescue Research Center, one of the companies hired by BP to clean wildlife, works to wash oiled birds before returning them to the wild.

The centre has limited access to the media, and had been open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for two hours at a time. IPS arrived at the centre on a Wednesday, only to learn that it had just reduced its media days from three to two, and was no longer open to the media on Wednesdays. Continue reading

“You Should Be in Prison!”: Protester Interrupts BP Hearing

The protester appeared to be the same woman arrested at a Senate hearing last week - Diane Wilson, a Texas shrimper,activist and co-founder of Codepink for Peace. (Credit: CBS)

by Eric Zimmermann

WASHINGTON – No sooner did BP CEO Tony Hayward begin the first sentence of his opening statement at a House hearing Thursday morning than a protester disrupted the hearing.

A woman with oil covering her hands and spread on her face stood up and started shouting down Hayward before he could get a word in.”You should be in prison!” she yelled at the BP chief.

Security guards struggled to quiet the woman down, and eventually removed her from the hearing room.

“Emotions run high on this issue, but we have a hearing to conduct here,” subcommittee chairman Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) said.

© 2010 The Hill

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Colombian Army Attacks Striking BP Workers

June 2, 2010: The Colombia Solidarity Campaign (London, UK) organised a picket outside the BP HQ in support of Colombian oil workers who have occupied a BP plant.

Claire Hall, Espacio Bristol-Colombia

A five month long mobilisation against BP in the Casanare region of Colombia has escalated after the Colombian army entered the BP installations with force this week and confronted workers who have been peacefully occupying BP installations since May 23 to protest BP´s failure to conclude negotiations with the workers and community.

At midday on Wednesday a heavily armed commando group of the National Colombian Army leapt over the security fence of the Tauramena Central Processing Facility and subjected the group of workers to physical and verbal aggression. Oscar Garcia, of the National Oil Workers Union said “this war-like handling of a group of workers is an excessive use of force and treats a labour conflict as though it were an issue of public order. This shows how BP is bent on war against workers who are only demanding that their fundamental rights be respected.”[i]

The calm response by the striking workers brought the situation temporarily under control but the army remains present and tensions are high. Colombia continues to have the highest level of trade union murders in the world with 17 trade unionists murdered so far this year. Continue reading

Black Agenda Report: Yes, Obama is “Engaged” – in a Colossal Crime

Wed, 06/02/2010

your president is engaged

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Obama is a facilitator of the corporate enterprise that has spawned the Mother of all Pollutions.”

In a rational polity, the great abomination to Earth and Man in the Gulf would spell the end of the Obama presidency. We are witnessing cataclysm on a geological scale, an event with the potential to alter planetary destiny, precipitated not by the three hundred million year arc of wayward comets or the incremental slide of continent-molding tectonic plates, but by the routine exercise of corporate power in the United States.

The man in charge of the government that both permitted and abetted the heinous corporate crime (“Drill, baby, drill!”) should, by all rights, be in terminal disgrace. Instead, much of Obama’s “base” behaves as if the First Black President is an innocent party – a victim of circumstances – rather than a facilitator of the corporate enterprise that has spawned the Mother of all Pollutions. But then, Teflon is a petrochemical product. Continue reading

7 Greenpeace Activists Charged With Felonies in Anti-Drilling Protest

Port Fourchon, Louisiana, Greenpeace activists at the ship "Harvey Explorer" send a message to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar: " Salazar Ban Arctic Drilling" as part of the protest. The activists used oil from the spill to paint the message "Arctic Next?" on the bridge of the ship, which is scheduled to depart for Alaska for drilling operations in July.

by Brian Merchant, Brooklyn, New York

Yesterday, Greenpeace activists staged a protest to highlight the fact that even now, as federal authorities are helpless to stop millions of gallons oil from gushing out of the Gulf of Mexico, offshore drilling is scheduled to continue in Alaskan waters. Seven Greenpeace members boarded the very ship that’s heading north in July to oversee drilling operations, and wrote ‘Arctic Next’ on the hull in oil spilled from the Deepwater Horizon. They’ve all been charged with felonies.

All seven have been slapped with the felony charges of Unauthorized Entry of a Critical Infrastructure and Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling. The protest was staged to coincide with the Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s visit to Louisiana’s oil-impacted region to assess the damage. Continue reading