Tribute to Nick Reeves, CIWEM - artist, environmentalist, activist

Tribute to Nick Reeves, CIWEM – artist, environmentalist, activist

“BP, Shell and all other petrochemical corporations must be denied control of our arts and cultural institutions, right now.” Nick Reeves Earlier in the summer, we heard the shocking news that Nick Reeves, the vigorous Executive Director of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Managers, died after a severe stroke. He was only 60....
PACE’s failure to hold Azerbaijan accountable for its Council of Europe obligations leads to sharp increase in political arrests

PACE’s failure to hold Azerbaijan accountable for its Council of Europe obligations leads to sharp increase in political arrests

This morning, I knelt handcuffed and gagged outside the European Court of Human Rights, alongside a picture of Rashadat Akhundov, a 29 year-old Azerbaijani activist with the N!DA civic movement who has been detained since March. Akhundov was initially arrested on politically motivated charges of weapon possession, but now faces more serious charges of inciting...
More Like People: Social Change Without The Pretentious Corporate Stuff

More Like People: Social Change Without The Pretentious Corporate Stuff

When did voluntary action become a ‘sector’? When did groups working to achieve social change start to have their own ‘Chief Executives’? When did ‘a seat at the table’ come to trump ‘an ear to the ground’? The professionalisation of social change has come with many costs: out-of-touch services, campaigns that can’t move beyond addressing...
News from Virginia - The most difficult retreat of all

News from Virginia – The most difficult retreat of all

Mika Minio-Paluello, Anna Galkina and James Marriott are travelling in North America as part of a book-tour to promote The Oil Road – Journeys from the Caspian to the City of London. You can find more info about their confirmed speaking dates in Virginia, the Bay Area, Toronto, Baltimore and Washington DC, New Orleans and...
The heart of a mountain lain on its side - Blacksburg, Virginia

The heart of a mountain lain on its side – Blacksburg, Virginia

Mika Minio-Paluello, Anna Galkina and James Marriott are travelling in North America as part of a tour over September and October to promote The Oil Road – Journeys from the Caspian to the City of London. You can find more info about their confirmed speaking dates in Virginia, the Bay Area, Toronto, Baltimore and Washington...
Is Lord Risby's trip to Algeria a warm up for DSEI arms sales?

Is Lord Risby’s trip to Algeria a warm up for DSEI arms sales?

Special trade envoy Lord Risby is off on a trip to Algeria this week following on from a trip by Cameron earlier on in the year. The trip is happening just before the controversial DSEI arms fair takes place in London. A number of groups, including us, Campaign Against Arms Trade and Algeria Solidarity Campaign...
Slow travel across the Atlantic: The Independent Voyager

Slow travel across the Atlantic: The Independent Voyager

Mika Minio-Paluello, Anna Galkina and James Marriott are heading to North America as part of a tour over September and October to promote The Oil Road – Journeys from the Caspian to the City of London. You can find more info about their confirmed speaking dates in Virginia, the Bay Area, New Orleans, Baltimore and...
Margaret Atwood talk at the Southbank Centre - sponsorship, Shell & dystopias

Margaret Atwood talk at the Southbank Centre – sponsorship, Shell & dystopias

Chris Garrard is an activist and composer who was lucky enough to have a ticket to the sold out Margaret Atwood talk last night at the Southbank Centre. You can read Chris’ blog here and an interview with him about his chamber-opera version of The Handmaid’s Tale here. Last night, I went along to see...
Margaret Atwood says "we must talk" about Southbank Centre and Shell

Margaret Atwood says “we must talk” about Southbank Centre and Shell

The wonderful author Margaret Atwood is speaking tonight at the Southbank Centre about her new book MaddAdam, the highly anticipated trilogy, coming after Oryx and Crake, and After The Flood. The trilogy is an important work in the emerging field of climate change literature, with a dark, specualtive look at a dystopian future where the...
Fracking, Balcombe and international solidarity

Fracking, Balcombe and international solidarity

Hamza Hamouchene is researching the oil and gas sector in Algeria with Platform. Over the weekend he went to the Reclaim The Power camp in Balcombe to give a workshop, take part in a plenary and the protests on Monday. You can read his previous blog on Algeria, gas and human rights here. The Reclaim...
Gazprom polar bear ‘gift’ seeks to gloss over the reality of Arctic drilling

Gazprom polar bear ‘gift’ seeks to gloss over the reality of Arctic drilling

NB This blog post was part of an internet hoax instigated by Greenpeace and The Yes Men. You can read more about it here. Check out this ‘video news release’ from the giant Russian energy  company Gazprom, celebrating its new partnership with Shell to drill for  oil in the Arctic. The bear in the film...
Arms, oil and Algeria - Are EU gas supplies more important than human rights?

Arms, oil and Algeria – Are EU gas supplies more important than human rights?

A guest blog by Hamza Hamouchene, who is currently at Platform researching UK’s energy interests in Algeria. With the production of North Sea gas dwindling dramatically, developing Algeria as a major natural gas exporter has become an economic and strategic imperative for the EU. The country features heavily in both EU and UK energy policies and has...