Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Protesters thrown out of BP AGM

Police talk to shrimp farmer Diane Wilson from Texas who daubed herself with oil and tried to gain access to the BP AGM
Canadian Jasmine Thomas from British Columbia demonstrates at the BP AGM in London
British oil workers demonstrate at the BP AGM in London

Oil giant BP has faced the anger of protesters inside and outside its annual general meeting, which came just days before the first anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

Activists wearing t-shirts which spelt out "No Tar Sands" in protest against BP's extraction of oil in Canada were dragged out as they tried to stage a demonstration during the meeting.

And a group of fishermen and women from the Gulf coast who say their livelihoods have been destroyed by the oil spill that followed the explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon rig last April were denied entry to the meeting.

Louisiana fisherwoman Diane Wilson was arrested for breach of the peace after a demonstration in which she smeared herself in an oil-like substance as she tried to gain access to the AGM.

Ms Wilson had previously protested last year at the US Congressional committee hearing when then BP chief executive Tony Hayward gave evidence.

Speaking outside the Excel centre in London's Docklands before making her protest, Ms Wilson said the only way to stop the kind of accidents that had happened in the Gulf of Mexico was to make corporate officers responsible and bring manslaughter charges against Mr Hayward.

"My community is dead. We've worked five generations there and now we've got a dead community. I'm angry, I've been angry a long time," she said.

Inside, BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg tried to interrupt US activist and author Antonia Juhasz as she read a statement from Keith Jones, father of Gordon Jones, one of the 11 men who died when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded last April.

She was then given an opportunity to read part of the statement, in which Mr Jones accused BP of taking chances with the safety of those on the oil rig, in order to make more money because they were greedy. "You were rolling the dice with my son's life and you lost," the statement said.

In response to her comments, BP chief executive Bob Dudley read out the names of the 11 men who died when the rig exploded. He said nothing could be done to bring the 11 men back, that the accident had "shocked and saddened us all", and the company would do everything it could to make sure it did not happen again.

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz