invasion team | 02.12.2002 11:06
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: email@example.com
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. Rising Tide UK is also part of the international Rising Tide network: www.risingtide.nl
London Rising Tide: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rising Tide UK: www.risingtide.org.uk