anti-shell protest at awards


tomorrow marks the sixteenth anniversary of the killing of ken saro-wiwa and eight other activists in nigeria. today, shell, complicit in their execution, was polishing its image by sponsoring an awards event for young entrepeneurs at the centrepoint building in central london. rising tide organised a reminder of shell's bloody history outside the event, involving grim reapers, sombre drums, and hundreds of leaflets.

after meeting and dressing just round the corner, a dozen or so activists arrived outside the centrepoint building, creating quite a stir with a morbid beat from two huge surdo drums, several ghostly shell logo skull-faced grim reapers, and an excellent banner using the shell and livewire logos and the slogans "shell livewire - supporting bright young business, shell deathrope - hanging outspoken young nigerians".

centrepoint security at first overstepped the mark, pushing people and trying to snatch the banner, but they retreated indoors and closed off the entrance when they realised they were being filmed, allowing the protest to continue right outside.

hundreds of leaflets were handed out to interested passers-by, and police, who arrived after around 40 minutes, waited for instruction up the command chain before deciding to leave the protest alone.

after about 90 minutes, with leaflets running out, and the young entrepeneurs apparently led out of the building via an underground car park, it was off to the pub for a well-deserved drink for the activists.

it was on the 10th november in 1995 that the nigerian government hanged ken saro-wiwa and eight other young activists who were campaigners against the devastation caused by shell and other oil exploiters in their homelands. shell was later shown to have been complicit in the murders. to this day, shell still attacks communities (like rossport in northern ireland, as well as continuing abuses in the niger delta) and destroys the planet through oil extraction, and to offset their destructive image they put tiny amounts of their profits into high profile sponsorship events like 'livewire', a youth business enterprise.

Thanks too to 'You and I Films' for producing a video of our (S)Hell DeathROPE action, and to Kevin Smith of Platform for the informative interview/voiceover, which you can watch online at:

• ‘Shell Death Rope - In Memory of Ken Saro-Wiwa’, at vimeo
» video, 2:29 –

Thanks to Ben Amunwa at Platform, there are also two blog postings about our (S)Hell DeathROPE action:

• ‘Protest Exposes Shell’s Grim Record on Human Rights’

If you are also inclined to acknowledging that the catastrophic climate chaos caused by anthropogenic global warming is the most serious social/economic/political issue humankind has ever faced, and want to join in taking grassroots direct action to influence our civilisation toward climate justice, then do please consider joining London Rising Tide (or your local Rising Tide group).

• Rising Tide, London
• Next action planning gathering: Thu 17 Nov 2011, 19:30-21:00 (and afterwards (optionally) down t’pub), at the London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate Street, Whiechapel, London E1 1ES
» LARC –

• Rising Tide, UK and around the world
• see left hand column for links to Rising Tide groups all around the world