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RBS AGM – the aftermath and the follow up

On the 28th of April, RBS held its Annual General Meeting in Edinburgh. Amidst the various motions relating to executive bonuses and a report back on the rocky road to recovery, two people raised concerns over the impact that RBS’ investments were having on indigenous communities in very different parts of the world. Eriel Tchekwie...

Contracts Curse: Leaked Oil Deals Put Ugandans at Risk

Oil contracts signed secretly in Uganda and exposed by PLATFORM will allow major oil companies to flare gas with impunity in the country’s Lake Alberta region on the border with Congo. As the New York Times reports: “Production is going to start in 2010 with no environmental assessment having yet been carried out,” said Platform’s...

PLATFORM leaks Uganda’s oil contracts – not such a rosy deal after all

Held secret by the Ugandan government and oil companies Tullow Oil and Heritage Oil, PLATFORM today is revealing the terms of the contracts for oil operations by Lake Albert on the Uganda-Congo border, and their economic implications. For the first time, one of Uganda’s Production Sharing Agreements is available to the public to read, after...

Killing T.I.N.A, Embracing T.A.B.O.O – The Writings on the Walls #6

Dorothea Smartt, one of the two commissioned poets from African Writers Abroad, today releases a beautiful, inspiring poem created out of the 7th November creative writing workshop: Killing T.I.N.A, Embracing T.A.B.O.O (see below). The ink is still wet but Dorothea’s willingness to share this piece is testament to the amazing Creativity, Connections & Co-creations that...

The Writings on the Walls # 1

To capture the essence of C Words, African Writers Abroad have released a constant stream of poetry online and offline, on physical and virtual walls. A leaflet will also soon be made available in the Arnolfini for visitors to take away which features this poetry together with newly commissioned work, contributions from participants on the...

BP & Shell support ‘astro-turfing’ climate blockers

Lobby groups funded by BP & Shell are organising public rallies in the US to oppose proposed legislation that would cap carbon emissions. The American Petroleum Institute (API) provided “upfront resources” to pay for an events company to organise public protest meetings. The tactic of “astroturfing” has been used by corporations since the 1990s to...

Romanian Nodding Donkeys

While the train passes through fields of shiny windturbines in Austria, after descending through the Hungarian mountains down towards the Black Sea, the Romanian plains are full of ‘nodding donkeys’, an ancient means of extracting crude from shallow fields in small quantities. As each ‘donkey’ can only extract so much, fields are littered with hundreds of these...

BP’s extraction operations in Brussels

Only in Brussels for 90 minutes, so not long enough to visit BP’s office on Rondpoint Schumann, adjacent to the European Commission. This provides the company’s easy access for major EU lobbying of various EU institutions. BP — Extracting Influence at the heart of the EU, a report published earlier in 2009 by Corporate Europe Observatory and PLATFORM unmasked BP’s attempts to harness EU foreign policy and legislative...

Waiting for the first train

I’m waiting at Kings Cross – St Pancras with my rucksack for the 12:57 Eurostar to Damascus. The train isn’t quite direct yet — need to change at Brussels, Munich, Belgrade, Istanbul and Adana. I’m leaving London – oil city and finance capital where BP and Shell extract knowledge, loans, social legitimacy and political power, where corporate executives sit...