Handover to BP

Handover of the Dead Planet Award 2010 to Tony Hayward, Bob Dudley, Carl-Henric Svanberg as well as other responsible managers and major shareholders of the oil and energy group BP in London in April 2011 organised by the ethecon foundation.

ethecon award winner Diane Wilson at BP general meeting arrested – chairman of the ethecon foundation arrested during the handover of the International ethecon Dead Planet Award to the responsible managers of BP

On Thursday, April 14, 2010 Diane Wilson/USA and Axel Köhler-Schnura were arrested and detained in London. They both wanted to present the International Dead Planet Award 2010 as well as the corresponding Open Letter to the reviled managers and major shareholders of the BG group during the general meeting of the BP group in November 2010 in Berlin. Diane Wilson is a fisherwoman from the Gulf of Mexico (Texas) and in 2006 she was awarded with the International ethecon Dead Planet Award 2006 for her outstanding commitment to rescue and preserve our Blue Planet. Axel Köhler-Schnura is founding donor and honorary chairman of the ethecon – Foundation Ethics & Economics.

Thousands of shareholders became witnesses of the scandalous event when security forces of the BP Corporation denied the two activists to enter the shareholder meeting and had them then arrested and detained by the police. And that even happened although both of them held shares and were proper shareholders of the company. Wilson was released just after the general meeting was over, Köhler-Schnura could leave after 1 hour; but he was still refused access to the general meeting.

The handover of the ethecon Black Planet Award was accompanied by big public actions already on April 12 in London. Persons concerned came from all over the world to attend the event. Representatives of native Indian tribes from Canada and Papa New Guinea whose land was destroyed on a large scale by the extraction of tar sand by BP; fishermen and women from the USA/Gulf of Mexico, workers from different countries who face danger to life and limb because of insufficient security. Chairman of the ethecon foundation Köhler-Schnura: “The big Kick Off Event on Thursday evening was an overwhelming demonstration of international solidarity to fight against corporate power and greed for profit!”

Due to the arrest and detention of the two activists, members of the delegation from the US who all had proper admission tickets were also denied access to the general meeting. An official team from CNN that accompanied the fisherwoman from the Gulf Coast was denied access as well although they had proper accreditation and press cards.

Nevertheless, the general meeting of BP did not run according to plan. The meeting was supposed to last for two hours, but even after 5 hours the meeting was still in process. This occurred only because of the never-ending flood of speeches that were held about environmental and other crimes that were committed by the corporation. Activists who wore printed t-shirts in order to protest against BP were violently removed from the hall. Representatives of the Indian tribes from the USA impressed everyone by reporting facts about the devastations in Canada. Antonia Juhasz, a well-known author from the United States, impressively presented the consequences of the Gulf disaster.

And the biggest surprise for the pilloried, leading managers of BP was that the International ethecon Black Planet Award 2010 was presented during the general meeting after all. Although Diane Wilson was in jail and the price trophy was confiscated by the police “as an object that is intended for criminal damage”, ethecon member of the board of trustees Lydia Will (born 1986) and ethecon activist Anabel Schnura ( 1990) were able to enter the hall and present the award. They managed to stand at the microphone and read the statement to handover the International ethecon Black Planet Award 2010 to C.H. Svanberg, Tony Hayward and Bob Dudley as well as to other responsible managers and major shareholders of BP. During the speech they raised the Black Planet trophy in the air in an accusing manner (see photo). They accused the management board: “You have shareholders arrested for no reason in a democratic country such as the UK but nevertheless you cannot prevent the handover of this unwanted price!”

ethecon proves with a comprehensive facts dossier that the above mentioned people take the responsibility that the pursuit of profit for BP is more important than the safety of their own employers, health of residents and protection of the environment. Like that BP is directly and deliberately responsible for the earth to end up as a Black Planet and that just because they are interested in making profit and having personal wealth.

Together with numerous critics from all over the world, hundreds of small shareholders voted during the BP general meeting with millions of shares that represent together investments of 12 billion US dollars, according to Wallstreet Journal Investments. BP and its responsible managers have learned a lesson in democracy on April 14 and at the same time they had to learn that they are faced with worldwide resistance.

Documentary: “They Fear Exposure“

The documentary filmmaker Nancy Boulicault who is a member of the British organisation Art Not Oil took part in the handover action of the International ethecon Black Planet Award 2010 that was presented to responsible managers of the BP Corporation. The handover took place on the occasion of the shareholder meeting of BP. In order to prepare the planned actions we met up with British, Canadian and American activists and concerned persons of the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. The short documentary “They Fear Exposure” had its world premiere during the ethecon conference in November 2011.

Photos of the handover can be found here

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