For protesting against BP ethecon awardee Diane Wilson is supposed to go to prison for 2,5 years

At 9.30 am (local time) Diane Wilson’s hearing begins on Friday, August 20, at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in Washington. While the managers of BP who are responsible for the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico do not get charged, the International ethecon Blue Planet awardee 2006, Diane Wilson, is facing two and a half years in prison. The reason for this is her peaceful protest against the BP company in the US Senate.

On June 9, a Senate Energy Committee hearing took place, during which the political and environmental activist Diane Wilson poured fake oil on herself, protesting most of all against Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, who tried to block the bill that was supposed to lift the oil companies’ liability cap (the Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act). At that time, the liability cap was still at $75 million - by far not enough to repair the damage caused by BP. Diane Wilson was outraged: „How dare she side with big oil over the American people who have been so devastated by this manmade disaster?“

Wilson, a shrimper in the Gulf of Mexico, was removed from the hearing and arrested. Just for this peaceful protest, officially seen as an „interruption of a Senate hearing“, she is supposed to go to prison for 280 days. Her first court hearing was to be on June 18. Medea Benjamin, like Diane Wilson a co-founder of the peace and social justice movement Code Pink, reacted by demanding: „BP CEO Tony Hayward should be in jail, not a distraught shrimper!“

Even before her court hearing could take place, Diane Wilson protested once more against the people in charge of BP. During the hearing of BP CEO Hayward by members of the US Congress, with her hands and face covered in black fake oil, she demanded that Hayward should be charged with a crime. This interruption of the hearing, as well as her alleged resistance against her arrest, could get her a maximum penalty of 280 days for each „offense“.

The court hearing on Friday deals with the sum total of 840 days. „ethecon - Foundation Ethics & Economics“ considers the protest actions of their awardee as part of her right to the freedom of speech and demands that all charges are dropped immediately and unconditionally. Axel Köhler-Schnura, chairman of the foundation’s board, is shocked: „With its reckless greed for profit, the BP company has caused the death of eleven people and one of the worst environmental disasters of all times. The corporate power of the companies is so strong that the perpetrators go unpunished while the victims find themselves intimidated by jail terms, and muzzled!“

In 2006, Diane Wilson was presented with the International ethecon Blue Planet Award 2006 for her courageous effort to save the Blue Planet. The shrimper and mother of five has been fighting against the destruction of one of the most species-rich habitats of the world, the Gulf of Mexico, for decades.

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