BP + Tar Sands = Climate CrimeTagged as: bp casanare climate_crime colombia environmentalism repression solidarity tar_sands workers_struggles
Dateline: BP Shareholders Annual General Meeting, ExCel Conference Centre, London, Thu 15 Apr 10 – At the apex of the 'BP Fortnight of Shame', at the entrance to the BP AGM, climate chaos and human rights activists persuade BP shareholders to vote for the FairPensions anti-Tar-Sands motion. Mobilised by the UK Tar Sands Network, Rising Tide and Climate Camp, we let BP shareholders know, in no uncertain terms, that BP + TAR SANDS = CLIMATE CRIME.
TWO WEEKS OF INTENSE COLLECTIVE BP BRAND-TRASHING
Organised in solidarity with our indigenous First Nations sisters and brothers at the sharp end of the Canadian Tar Sands climate crime atrocity, the 'BP Fortnight of Shame' began on Fossil Fools Day, Thu 01 Apr 10, with widespread direct action pranks, including London Rising Tide delivering a 'Back to Black' Corpoate ID rebranding package to BP's global headquarters in St. James Square – see, eg:
• 'BP Goes Back to Black'
» video, 2:38 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNLzN3zld7o
Then on Sat 10 Apr 10, the London direct action component of an International Day of Action on Canadian Tar Sands saw 200+ people mount an "illegal" occcupation of the Shepherd's Bush BP petrol station for a samba-&-ceillidh-powered 'Party at the Pumps' – see, eg:
• 'BP hit by nationwide protests over plans to Enter the Tar Sands'
» video, 5:14 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=An6-tdxd12M
» pix-&-vidz-led action report – http://london.indymedia.org.uk/articles/4613
The fortnight's culminating protest occured alongside the Colombia Solidarity Campaign, demanding "BP MUST RECOGNISE ITS RESPONSIBILITY TO CASANARE WORKERS, COMMUNITIES AND THE ENVIRONMENT", on the west plaza entance to the ExCel Conference Centre, as vote-casting investors arrived for the BP shareholders Annual General Meeting. First Nations Tar Sands campaigners Clayton Thomas-Muller and George Poitras from the Indigennous Environmental Network of North America were on hand, giving interviews to journalists and videographers, before going into the BP AGM at for the 11:30 start.
For more on the international anti-Tar Sands actions, check out:
• 'Anti-Tar Sands Protests Gather Momentum'
» IMC UK Feature article – http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/04/449169.html
MAKING A KILLING IN COLOMBIA, AGAIN AND AGAIN
Bruno Federico of COSPACC (Corporación Social para la Asesoría y la Capacitación Comunitaria) spoke in his native Italian, ably translated by a bilingual supporter, of the mass murder of social movements opposed to BP's exploits in Casanare, eastern Colombia, where BP has been operating for twenty years.
"During that time, 2600 people have been disappeared, 6500 people have been killed by paramilitary groups, right wing armed groups that have institutional links to the Colombian government.
More recently there has been 100 documented cases of direct state assassinations of civilians. Community leaders were forced to flee and social organisations that challenged BP's practices were exterminated.
There has also been severe environmental damage caused by the extraction; water contamination, water depletion, landslides from seismic exploration. There has been very little challenge to BP's environmental impact due to the communities being unable to organise.
However communities and workers are currently mobilising and have presented a list of demands to BP around five key themes:
- labour issues,
- social investment,
- human rights,
- public good
- and environment.
» more info – http://www.espacio.org.uk/bp/CasanareMission2007Report.pdf
[source: 'Oil, Violence and Social Movements in Colombia' – http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/04/449208.html ]
HOLDING BP TO ACCOUNT FOR CLIMATE CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES
The UK-based FairPensions ethical investment campaign had tabled Special Resolution 25, a deliberately softly worded proposal aimed at garnering the widest possible support from shareholders, to which Clayton, George and other Tar Sands campaigners spoke:
That in order to address our concerns for the long term success of the Company arising from the risks associated with the Sunrise SAGD Project, we as shareholders of the Company direct that the Audit Committee or a Risk Committee of the Board commissions and reviews a report setting out the assumptions made by the Company in deciding to proceed with the Sunrise Project regarding future carbon prices, oil price volatility, demand for oil, anticipated regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and legal and reputational risks arising from local environmental damage and impairment of traditional livelihoods. The findings of the report and review should be reported to investors in the Business Review section of the Company’s Annual Report presented to the Annual General Meeting in 2011.”
[source: 'Oil sands [sic] resolution and response' – http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/set_branch/set_investors/STAGING/local_assets/downloads/pdf/IC_AGM_oil_sands_resolution.pdf ]
In an attempt to marginalise any criticism of the "right" of the BP Board of Directors to commit what ever climate crimes they deem to be a profitable "investment", Special Resolution 25 was shunted to the arse-end of the agenda, to be rushed past at the hurry-up so that the shareholders could adjourn for their free lunch, courtesy of the BP bosses.
By miracles of modern communications technology, we were able to listen in on the proceedings of the debate inside the BP AGM on the sound system (see pic B7 above). So in the debate around the FairPensions Special Resolution, we got to hear the impassioned pleas from George, Clayton and others to BP to account for the financial and ecological risks, the environmental damage (local and global), the health damage to downstream First Nations communities, and the human rights violations that BP's Tar Sands encroachments would entail– and to the polite, bland, evasive, corporate greenwash reply supplied on behalf of the BP Board. But we did hear from a person supporting the Special Resolution of and article in Wednesday's Financial Times:
"BP has until now not had a presence in the vast resources of Canada’s oil sands, which are second only to Saudi Arabia in terms of proven reserves. It is now working on the proposed $2.4bn (£1.5bn) Sunrise project, split equally with Canada’s Husky Energy, and expects to make the final investment decision by early next year."
[source: 'BP to press on with Canada oil sands plan', by Ed Crooks and Fiona Harvey, at FT.com (free registration required), on 14 April 2010 23:27 – http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6828b3de-4813-11df-b998-00144feab49a.html ]
So in fact, as the questioner put in, BP had already POSTPONED their final investment decision for a FOURTH time, until 2011 – I wonder if all the pressure piled on them by our 'BP Fortnight of Shame' might have influenced them so to do?
As I was preparing to leave for home, we got word on an iPhone from FairPensions of the voting percentages on the their Special Resolution:
In favour: 06%
Against: 85% (ie: voting as directed to do so by the BP Board of Directors)
WE WILL SHUT THEM DOWN
This is, of course, merely a single battle in the long-running war over the Tar Sands atrocity, in a struggle for the future life-bearing capacity of our small blue jewel of a home world, which pits the climate criminal oil corporations against people and planet. BP bosses thought they could get away with applying their corporate "Silent Running" tactic (adopted by analogy from the military submaniner's tactic of that name) to their desire to mire BP in Tar Sands shit, whereby executives would gain big bonuses if they suceeded in keeping their corporation's climate criminal activities OUT of the public domain, unscrutinised by jounalists, and under everybody's radar. Thanks to the initiative shown by our First Nations sisters and brothers like Clayton and George, plus Susan and Ariel Deranger (see, eg: 'From Athabasca to Copenhagen', video, 3:49 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2vfa6qwKgw ), our campaigning direct action depth charges have blown them to the surface for all to see.
So now you know of the sigle most destructive industrial climate criminal atocity on Earth, we invite you to find out more via the links below, then to make the most important transition of all: from concerned citizen to active climate chaos campaigner. Because the greater our number, the stronger our forces, and the more quickly we can score the telling victory required for the future of our human civilisation and our precious ecosphere: SHUT DOWN THE TAR SANDS!
» Climate Camp UK – http://www.climatecamp.org.uk
» Columbia Solidarity Campaign – http://www.colombiasolidarity.org.uk
» COSPACC: Corporación Social para la Asesoría y la Capacitación Comunitaria – no website found
» Espacio Bristol-Colombia – http://www.espacio.org.uk
» FairPensions – http://www.fairpensions.org.uk/tarsands/action
» Indigenous Environmental Network – http://www.ienearth.org/tarsands.html
» Rising Tide UK – http://www.risingtide.org.uk
» Support the Beaver Lake Cree – http://www.co-operativecampaigns.co.uk/toxicfuels/beavercreenation.php
• UK Tar Sands Network:
» website – http://www.no-tar-sands.org
» blog – http://www.tarsandsinfocus.wordpress.com
Up the Revolution,
Tim Dalinian Jones
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