Manchester Students remember Ken Saro-Wiwa in University Shell protest

Students from the University of Manchester held a memorial protest in remembrance of Nigerian human rights activists who were killed by the Nigerian military in 1995. The protest highlighted the new partnership to research biofuels between the University of Manchester and Shell.

STUDENTS HANG MEMORIAL EFFIGY IN UNIVERSITY SHELL PROTEST

Monday 10th November 2008

Students from the University of Manchester held a memorial protest in remembrance of a Nigerian human rights activist who were killed by the Nigerian military in 1995. November 10th marked the 13th anniversary of the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other activists.[1]

Shell oil company will be taken to court this February 2009, charged with complicity in his murder. ( http://www.unpo.org/content/view/8792/236/)

The protest highlighted the new partnership between the University of Manchester and Shell. [2] (www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/business/s/1068530_shell_and_manche...)

The group held banners reading 'Remember Ken Saro-Wiwa murdered on behalf of Shell on 13th of November 1995' and 'Shell operating at the University of Manchester' outside the Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre. They also displayed an effigy of Ken Saro-Wiwa as a powerful reminder of the execution of the environmental and human rights activist.

Philosophy student Gabriel Hassan said, "Until Shell sort out their human rights record and stop devastating the environment with their oil projects they have no business being on campus. Ken Saro-Wiwa was a man who stood up to the ruin brought upon his people in Nigeria by Shell and for that Shell had him hung. This is the kind of the thing that the university was always going to turn a blind eye to though."

The group asked if someone from the Institution could explain the ethical problems concerning the University’s partnership with Shell but were told to speak to the University’s press office. The press office suggested writing a letter to President and Vice-Chancellor Alan Gilbert. The group will deliver an open letter to the Vice-Chancellor asking for an explanation.

Security were called and removed the banners from the University building wall. Some students remained to flyer outside. Meanwhile another group retrieved the banner and displayed them high up on a lamppost on the other side of the building on Princess Street.

The student group held a discussion on the role of Shell in the Niger Delta and Rossport later that evening attended by around 100 people.

( http://www.corribsos.com/)

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NOTES TO THE EDITOR

[1] Ken Saro-Wiwa was a leader in the protest against the devastation of the Ogoni people's homeland in Nigeria caused by oil extraction projects run by Shell and Chevron. For more information about Ken Saro-Wiwa and the circumstances of his execution visit http://www.remembersarowiwa.com/

[2] Shell is one of 17 companies working with The Centre of Excellence in Biocatalysis, Biotransformations and Biocatalytic Manufacture (CoEBio3) based at The University of Manchester. See http://www.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/news/archive/list/item/?id=3983&year... and http://www.student-direct.co.uk/2008/10/shelling-out/ for more information.

Manchester Campaigns Collective
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