2003 ACTIONS AGAINST BAKU CEYHAN PIPELINE

 
  Tuesday 25th March-Protestors Build Pipeline in Central London
Friends of the Earth coordinated a march to which protestors constructed a dummy "pipeline" banner. The pipeline protest started outside the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and then wound its way down Bishopsgate and past Liverpool Street Station to BP's headquarters in FInsbury Circus where it ended in a rally.
     
 

Tuesday 11th February - Protests outside BP's Quarterly Results
L ondon and Oxford Rising Tide were there to greet the journalists and financial analysts with 2 banners, bank note leaflets with John Brown's head in the place of the Queen (I promise to bear the payment of $1.5bn of public money) and packs of information concerning the risks of the pipeline to hand to analysts. Despite the cold, it was a well targeted and worthwhile presence outside their offices.

 

25th January London Baku-Ceyhan Teach-in
The day was a great chance to get to grips with the ins and outs of financing the pipeline, and exploring the key arguments to use to exploit the divisions and splits within the different organizations which have been approached for funding. A report of the day is available by emailing info@risingtide.org.uk

 

23rd January-Activists invade offices of EBRD
Leeds Earth First! Entered into impromptu meetings with senior staff in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on 23rd January. After walking into the Bishopsgate Offices, campaigners handed out leaflets and engaged the staff in conversations about financing the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline.

Meetings were had with the Director of Communications, who assured campaigners that they ëwould not finance the project if it doesnít bring fairness and benefits to the people of the host countriesí, with the director of the environmental department who could not name a single pipeline which had produced the benefits which BP is proposing for this one; and with the Energy Business group director, who said that the EBRD ëwouldnít feel comfortable funding a project which doesnít bring fairness to the people in the host countries.í All of them assured campaigners that the project would be considered on its merits, that they were open for communication and welcomed it on these issues.

This is at odds with one of the directors view, who replied to an email questioning funding saying that they would take no notice of NGOs and campaigners views. Keep the emails and communication flowing!

 

13th January 2003- Manchester Baku Campaign Occupies Greenwash Offices
Manchester Baku Campaign writes:

we strolled into the Manchester offices of environmental consultants Environmental Resource Management and carried out an "Environmental and Social Impact Assessment" on the office, to investigate the effects of our occupation, based on ERM's real life assessment of the pipeline's impacts

We then locked ourselves to the office furniture, engaged the staff in complex ethical debates ("do you think a pipeline that leads to environmental destruction and human rights abuses is a good or a bad thing?"), scampered about, sang songs, "helped" with the office filing, yelled facts about the pipeline very loudly to make sure that EVERYONE COULD HEAR, played hide-and-seek with security guards and generally made a nuisance of ourselves for the rest of the day.

Eventually, having got most of the staff to promise to complain (or at least enquire) about the pipeline to head office, and after collecting their phone numbers in order to call up and remind them, the campaigners sauntered out of the office and went home!

 
 
   
 
   
 
   
 
   
 
   

2nd December 2002- London Occupation of ERM

A report from this Monday's occupation of ERM
BP's Baku buddy
At the start of the working day on Monday December 2nd, London Rising Tide carried out an environmental and social impact assessment of the London office of Environmental Resource Management (ERM ). This took the form of an occupation of the office of ERM executive chairman Robin Bidwell, the handing out of questionnaires (closely echoing ERM's own materials) to employees on all the building's five floors, the hanging of banners reading 'Oil makes war', 'ERM makes climate change' and 'No public money for BP's Baku-Ceyhan pipelines', and the setting up of a spoof website for company employees and others: www.erm-concerns.com Every employee knew exactly why we were there, and several came out for a chat.

Some even agreed with us, so let's hope that the seeds of doubt and dissent have been sown within the company. Three London Rising Tide-ers (LRT-ers) were barricaded into Bidwell's office until 3.30 that afternoon, issuing a single demand: that ERM's sever all links with BP, including stopping work on the Baku-Ceyhan pipelines.

In the event, they came out voluntarily on the condition that they wouldn't be arrested, joining their friends on the street having been searched, filmed and had their names and other details taken. The UK media passed it by, but a report went out in Azerbaijan via the BBC world Service's Azeri arm.

It was a great day, and was also LRT's second action against the proposed pipelines, the first being the Climate Criminals' Critical Mass, back in July this year.

But it won't be the last. If you have a little or a lot of time and energy, and would like to get involved, email shells@gn.apc.org, or ring the Oxford office, which acts as a networking point for UK Rising Tide groups: 01865 241097. There are many different aspects to what we do, such as making banners, giving talks, getting arrested and designing websites.

You don't have to have done any of these things before, as we're keen to share skills along the way. We also try to talk through the various different aspects of direct action as well as the potential implications for people with busy lives, jobs and/or families. Time is short, so get in touch if you're up for helping to take action against the pipeline in London.

From Indymedia:

Rising Tide invades ERM offices over BP Baku pipeline

Rising Tide London invades the offices of ERM, the so-called Eco Consultants for BP's Baku-Ceyhan pipeline. They are carrying out an environmental audit in the office of ERM boss, Robin Bidwell. The CSR manager's trying to talk them out.

9.00am., 2.12.02 Eco-protesters target eco-consultants Direct action protest against controversial BP pipeline A dramatic protest this morning took place at an unlikely target: environmental consultants. Protesters from London Rising Tide have occupied the Cavendish Square office of Environmental Resource Management (ERM). ERM has been carrying out research work for oil giant BP on the proposed pipelines system planned to be built from Baku in Azerbaijan, through Georgia to the port of Ceyhan in Turkey.

London Rising Tide (LRT) have occupied the office of ERM boss Robin Bidwell, as well as hanging a banner reading ‘oil makes war’ and ‘ERM makes climate change’ from a tree outside his window. They plan to stay put until the company pulls out of the pipeline project, and are prepared to stay overnight and beyond to achieve that aim. ERM offices in Oxford and Manchester have also been targeted today.

ERM has been carrying out Baku-Ceyhan environmental and social impact assessment work for BP since 2000, and continues to play a crucial role in convincing public funders that the project is safe to support.

Similarly, LRT-ers are carrying out an impact assessment of ERM’s office, distributing questionnaires to employees which are modelled closely on the ERM leaflet distributed to communities living alongside the pipeline’s proposed route.

ERM employees are also being encouraged to take a sneaky look at a new website created for them by LRT – www.erm-concerns.com – which includes a knockout game involving the green record of Robin Bidwell, more questions for employees and further information about the pipeline. A dedicated email address has also been set up for employees to express their views on this action, the pipeline and ERM’s role in it: erm-concerns@yahoo.co.uk

One of the LRT assessor/occupiers, Mary Fulton, said: "ERM are playing a crucial if low-key role in grooming BP’s Baku-Ceyhan pipeline for public investment. We’re in their office today to expose that climate change-inducing role, one which is defined more by the profit-motive than any desire to improve the environment or make life better for communities affected by the oil industry."

"And we’ll carry on taking direct action until UK cash and UK companies have severed all connections with the planned pipeline," added Alistair Arnesen, another LRT-er.

London Rising Tide is part of Rising Tide UK, a rapidly-growing grassroots network supporting community initiatives and local protest against climate change, and for climate justice.

London Rising Tide: shells@gn.apc.org

 

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