The Invisible Machine – a gas pipeline in the Caucasus and a handshake in No10

The Invisible Machine – a gas pipeline in the Caucasus and a handshake in No10

On the evening of Thursday 26th April 2018, it was warm and sunny in London. President Ilham Aliyev strode down Downing Street and was met by Prime Minister Theresa May with smile and a handshake. They posed for the cameras on the red carpet outside No 10 and then retired inside. A short formal chat...
Aliyev re-elected as President for another 7 years – the chain of oil autocracy that binds Azerbaijan

Aliyev re-elected as President for another 7 years – the chain of oil autocracy that binds Azerbaijan

On 18th April Ilham Aliyev will be inaugurated for the fourth time as President of Azerbaijan. His re-election comes as no surprise. It is so predictable that it barely counted as ‘news’ and consequently got next to no coverage in the international media. Originally the election was scheduled for 17th October, but at nine weeks...
Vive La Zad ! – in the midst of the tear gas, La Zad exists in our hearts

Vive La Zad ! – in the midst of the tear gas, La Zad exists in our hearts

The police arrived at 03.00 am on the morning of Monday 9th April. The exact number is, of course, unclear but it is said that 2,500 officers in riot equipment, with crash helmets and visors, Perspex shields and plastic body armour were deployed. Two and a half thousand highly trained men appeared out of the...
Communal Memory - the power of community to resist Shell in Nigeria

Communal Memory – the power of community to resist Shell in Nigeria

I’m holding in my hands a report published by Amnesty International in November last year – ‘A Criminal Enterprise? Shell’s involvement in human rights violations in Nigeria in the 1990s’. It analyses in forensic detail exactly how much Shell staff knew about, and were involved in supporting, the actions by the Nigerian military taken against...
All that Glitters. Azerbaijan and the Olympics

All that Glitters. Azerbaijan and the Olympics

Landing at Heydar Aliyev Airport in Baku I thought I knew what to expect. This was my second trip to Azerbaijan’s capital city, and I still had vivid memories of my first, the year before. Back then, I arrived at night and Baku seemed like one of the most opulent places on earth. The drive...

Activists intervene in Shell lawsuit

Amnesty International and CORE have challenged the UK government’s attempt to block a court case that seeks to hold Shell accountable for its role in human rights violations in Nigeria. Platform supports the coalition of groups challenging the UK government and calling on it to reverse its position. The FT reports:
Top 7 Resources for Kiobel v Shell @ #SCOTUS

Top 7 Resources for Kiobel v Shell @ #SCOTUS

Tomorrow the Supreme Court of the United States hears Kiobel v Shell, a case that alleges Shell aided and abetted human rights violations and crimes against humanity committed by the Nigerian military against the Ogoni people from 1992 onwards. The case has significance for the global movement for corporate accountability. The outcome in Kiobel will...
The Big 3: oil co's and legal cases this month

The Big 3: oil co’s and legal cases this month

Three of the world’s biggest private oil companies face landmark legal actions this February. Here is a brief run down of the main cases, what they are about and why they matter. 1. US v BP At the centre of the legal fallout from BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster in April 2010 is a  complex civil...
Legal Oil, Ethical Oil and Profiteering in the Niger Delta and the Canadian North

Legal Oil, Ethical Oil and Profiteering in the Niger Delta and the Canadian North

In this guest blog post, Professor Anna Zalik of York University Canada explores how governments and multinationals criminalise protest and gloss over the environmental injustices of oil extraction. Q: What does the Canadian Government’s fury at opponents of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline have to do with the Nigerian ‘legaloil’ campaign? A: Both positions are...

Pillage not development: Egypt’s military junta & the European public banks

(this article initially appeared in Bankwatch Mail 50) Bread, freedom, dignity, social justice. These were core demands articulated during the democratic and inspirational Egyptian revolution in Tahrir Square at the beginning of this year. Beyond this, there was widespread support for improved public services to the poor, a shift from subservience to US foreign policy,...

Mass environmental justice uprising engulfs Damietta on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast

The popular movement against a Canadian petrochemical plant has forced the Egyptian government to shut down the Agrium-Mopco gas-fertiliser factory, after residents shut down highways, bridges and a deepwater port, and battled the Egyptian military in the street. Grainy photos and video-clips  tweeted out – especially by Al-Jazeera’s @Mansourtalk – show locals standing up to...

Egyptian communities protest BP expansion plans

Egyptian communities concerned about a proposed BP gas plant on the Mediterranean coast have organised protests, including a sit-in on the site, road blockades and a raid on BP’s local office, as reported by Egyptian paper Al-Masry Al-Youm. The residents of Idku, east of Alexandria, are opposing plans to pump gas ashore from BP’s offshore...