BP F***ing the Future subvertsTagged as: culture environmentalism olympics
With the Olympics now only three weeks away, protests against Olympic sponsor BP are escalating. Today dozens of BP logos across London were sabotaged, including the UK’s most prestigious billboard site at Cromwell Road. Around the capital, protesters hit petrol stations, BP-sponsored cultural institutions and advertising hoardings, protesting against one of the world’s most environmentally destructive companies being a major sponsor of the London Olympics. Signs were splattered with oil and BP’s tagline ‘Fuelling the Future’ was subvertised with the URL ‘f-ingthefuture.org.uk’.
BP has continuously been slammed for its systematic disregard for the environment, human rights and worker safety, including its failure to clean up after the Gulf of Mexico disaster of 2010, its decision to enter the devastating Canadian tar sands, and its plans to drill for Arctic oil. This criticism has increased dramatically since BP was announced ‘Sustainability Partner’ of the London 2012 games, and today’s protests follow a series of recent actions targeting BP’s Olympic sponsorship:
* On the eve of BP’s AGM in April, protest group CAMSOL posed online as LOCOG and announced BP had been dropped as Sustainability Partner.
* In April, the UK Tar Sands Network nominated BP in the Greenwash Gold campaign as ‘worst Olympic sponsor’.
* Since April, the Reclaim Shakespeare Company has been invading Shakespearean performances across the country to protest against BP’s sponsorship of the Cultural Olympiad.
* Last week, acclaimed actor Mark Rylance spoke out against BP’s sponsorship of the Games, revealing he had questioned his own involvement in the Opening Ceremony.
One of those taking part in the action, Brendan Pierce, said, “BP is paying tens of millions of pounds to clean up its tarnished image, in what could well be the most expensive use of propaganda in history. But with even its own business projections preparing for a six degree temperature rise, BP knows it is damning us to a future of runaway climate change.”
Another activist, Deborah Dudley, said “Reports suggest that BP’s sponsorship of the Olympics has been highly effective at laundering its filthy image, so we’re revealing the dirt behind the glossy branding. I’m proud to be taking direct action as part of a worldwide movement for climate justice. I encourage others to get involved.”
A website, f-ingthefuture.org.uk, shows pictures of the action and outlines the problems with BP’s sponsorship of the Olympics.
For more information, interviews and high-resolution photos, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What the website says:
Why shouldn’t BP sponsor the Olympics?
BP’s green logo is plastered all over the Olympics. The company is ‘Official Fuel and Gas Provider’ and also sponsor of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival.
Worst of all BP is ‘Sustainability Partner’. That’s right, the organisers of the Olympics have decided to allow BP, one of the dirtiest companies on earth, the opportunity to rebrand itself as socially responsible and take an active role in proposing how society should approach climate change.
Do you remember images of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico from BP’s deep-sea Macondo well back in 2010, coating the ocean and its inhabitants? Have you heard of BP’s plans in the tar sands, the world’s second largest oil deposits after Saudi Arabia, that can only be extracted by using four times as much greenhouse gas and have been labelled the most destructive project on earth? Have you heard about BP’s deals to extract oil from the depths of the pristine Arctic, despite the potential risk of a catastrophic spill even harder to clean up than the Gulf?
Do you think BP has earned the right to be ‘Sustainability Partner’ to the London 2012 Olympics?
Does BP have the right to have any association whatsoever with the Games, whose founding statement speaks of ‘universal fundamental ethical principles’, whose 2011 Charter declares that the Games should be ‘promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity’, and require ‘mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play’?
Do you think oil and sport shouldn’t mix?
Do you sometimes have the feeling that wherever you turn these days, advertising has intruded a little further, uninvited, into your personal space?
BP is a corporation that feeds off injustice and the destruction of the natural world that we and countless other species rely on. That destruction comes most threateningly from the current brutal destabilisation of the world’s climate.
BP is deeply embedded in British society – our energy, our pensions, our investments, our culture… It pumps serious money and effort into keeping things this way. Marketing works. Shiny advertisements around the capital do change the way people perceive a company. By sponsoring activities like the Cultural Olympiad, the London 2012 Festival, the World Shakespeare Festival and the Games themselves, BP is able to continue its catastrophic, though increasingly profitable, operations. That’s why we had to act.
Remember, if you see any ‘improved’ BP advertisements, please take a photo and email them to email@example.com – and don’t worry, we won’t assume that you have any responsibility for them!
Here are a few more things you can do:
- Take action for climate justice! See Rising Tide UK and Climate Justice Collective for ways to get involved.
- Learn more about BP’s enormous environmental and human rights atrocities. Start with tar sands.
- Move your money away from banks and other institutions who will lend it to fossil fuel-based projects
- Harness your creativity to a more caring, conscious future, possibly by contributing to Art Not Oil‘s ‘Cutural or Vultural 2012?’ gallery.
- Be part of a movement for real, deep, positive and lasting social and ecological change: http://www.occupyuk.info, http://occupylsx.org
- Cut your carbon! Cut out short-haul flights, minimize car use, minimize your meat consumption, insulate your house. There are plenty of things you can do…but whatever you do, try to challenge the overarching mindset and system that’s allowng this insanity to happen!
(NB. These links are not connected to us, we just like ‘em!)