PLATFORM newsletter June 2011

 

Dear All,In this month’s newsletter – Shell’s links with the Syrian regime, oil industry lobbying over Osborne’s budget, promenade theatre in the City of London, we are still hiring, and much, much more!

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The links between Shell and the Syrian regime

At the end of May, a Shell-chartered tanker was scheduled to dock in the Syrian port of Tartous. The Heidmar TBN is collecting almost 600,000 barrels of crude oil purchased by Shell. The shipment, worth over $55 million, has been marketed to Shell by state company Sytrol, an integral part of Assad’s regime of power. Repression of the democratic uprising in Syria has seen the regime kill over 1,000 and imprison 10,000. Yet Shell, one of the largest foreign investors in Syria, continues its close co-operation with the Ba’ath regime – extracting oil, meeting with regime leaders, delivering crude to state refineries and purchasing crude exports.

PLATFORM has been documenting the links between the oil company and the Syrian regime. Read more here.

North Sea Oil ‘tax’ 

In April the Chancellor, George Osborne, launched his ‘Fair Fuel Stabiliser’ as part of the budget that linked the rate of tax paid by oil companies to global oil prices. The oil lobby launched a furious counter attack, claiming that the measure would mean a massive loss of jobs and investment in the UK. With controversy over tax avoidance and public spending cuts raging in the streets, we decided to look a little closer at the alarmist claims being made by the oil industry. The briefing Death Knell or Crying Wolf? looks at the alarmist claims being made by the oil industry, and shows how the tax regime for oil companies in the UK is one of the most favourable in the world. Read the briefing here.

PLATFORM is hiring

We are looking for a Funding Development Co-ordinator to strengthen and support our existing fundraising activities whilst developing new funding sources for our work. This is an opportunity to have an important impact on the future development of a small, pioneering charity, working for social and environmental justice, which may include helping shape our wider campaigning messages and communications strategy. The deadline for applicants is 11 July. More info here.

PLATFORM Promenade – a walking tour around the City of London

This Summer and Autumn, PLATFORM is taking bookings for groups of academics, students or other interested parties to join us for a piece of promenade theatre in the financial district of London. Following the flow of oil and money from banks to insurance companies to art galleries, the promenade weaves through streets and passageways narrates, visualises and raises the challenge of how we each feed into the Carbon Web. For bookings please email: [email protected]

You can read an account from one of the participants of the tour here.

PLATFORM at the London Literature Festival

Sunday 3 July, 1.00pm Southbank Centre. James Marriott and Neil Ascherson: Beyond the Oil Road. The event will explore the cultural, social and political effects of this substance at the heart of modernity and the implications of moving beyond oil. Tickets £8, concessions available. Book here.

Shake! Update

Artists and young people from our course Shake! DJ’d, hosted, and performed at a fundraiser for UpRise Anti-Racism Festival at Proud Galleries, Camden, last week. It was a great night, and momentum is building. Big up to bold Shake poets Selina Nwulu and Rotimi Skyers. You can also read a review of last month’s Shake event at the Albany in Deptford too.

The Desk Killer book

With a contract from publishers Granta/Portobello, PLATFORM member Dan Gretton is now off full-time til December 2011, writing The Desk Killer. The book, on genocide and white collar crimes against humanity, arises from many years research, coming through first in the series of intense performances “killing us softly”, and developed through lectures, workshops, and interviews.

Living Memorial to Ken Saro-Wiwa,          SAVE THE DATE

Sokari Douglas Camp’s Bus is now at Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Tottenham, where we’ll be co-hosting a launch on Saturday 25th June, 1pm. This is a truly exciting site for the Bus. Watch this space.

Looking for storage space

We are currently paying way too much money to maintain a storage space in Central London to house the PLATFORM archive. We’d prefer to spend the money on more useful things, so with that in mind, we are casting our net out to see if we could find somewhere cheap or free to house these materials. We need about 50-100 square foot of dry, waterproof space, ideally in South East England. Please let us know if you have any good ideas.

 

PLATFORM in the news

Greenpeace and watchdog attack ‘scaremongering’ energy firms – Guardian, 27 May 2011

Shell accused over Syrian oil exports – Financial Times, 29 May 2011

Shell accused of supporting Syrian regime – Daily Mail, 31 May 2011

Mel Evans and James Marriott leading a group on ‘Promenade Theatre’ of the CityYou can read a full account of the Promenade Theatre here

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