Has RBS stopped financing the tar sands? (Spoiler: No)

Has RBS stopped financing the tar sands? (Spoiler: No)

Last week RBS chairman Philip Hampton took part in a live Q&A session on the Guardian in response to the Libor-rigging scandal. One of the questions that was put to Hampton by a reader was How do you continue to justify continued your role in financing the Canadian tar sands, arguably a greater crime than...
MAKE8ELIEVE - online art magazine issue dedicated to oil

MAKE8ELIEVE – online art magazine issue dedicated to oil

As an organisation that combines arts, activism and research with a pretty hefty focus on the damage caused by UK oil companies, we were super-excited to have a flick through the third issue of an online arts magazine MAKE8ELIEVE, that aims to “build international connections by publishing creative interpretations of one topic per issue.” It’s...
Top 12 journeys on The Oil Road - Travel writing around the Mediterranean & the Caspian

Top 12 journeys on The Oil Road – Travel writing around the Mediterranean & the Caspian

A heavily shortened version of this list by James Marriott and Mika Minio-Paluello first appeared in the Guardian in January 2012. In researching The Oil Road – Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London, we feasted on others’ descriptions of the mountains and plains, villages and cities, open seas and jagged coastlines...
Celebrating women's leadership in anti-oil activism as part of #SilverAction

Celebrating women’s leadership in anti-oil activism as part of #SilverAction

If you go down to Tate’s oil tanks this Sunday, you’re sure for a pretty amazing piece of participatory performance art. Hundreds of women over the age of sixty will convene in The Tanks at Tate Modern as participants in Suzanne Lacy’s new performance artwork Silver Action. Women from across the UK who took part in significant activist...
Skewing debate on oil sponsorship of the arts on The Today Programme

Skewing debate on oil sponsorship of the arts on The Today Programme

BBC Radio 4’s The Today Programme hosted a five minute discussion on corporate sponsorship this morning (at 0854). I promise I’m not just bitter that they never called me in, but I think it was fairly poor journalism to pick a handful of one-sided voices for the so-called debate. The panel included Rita Clifton, who was once named ‘The...
Shell guilty: Court in the Hague orders Shell to pay compensation over oil spill in Nigeria

Shell guilty: Court in the Hague orders Shell to pay compensation over oil spill in Nigeria

It’s big news. For the first time, Shell has been found guilty in a court outside of the country in which it inflicted damage; in this case, in a court in the Hague for an oil spill in Nigeria. Shell will be forced to pay compensation to a farmer whose land and livelihood was ruined...
BP in Algeria - following the hydrocarbons, regardless of the dangers

BP in Algeria – following the hydrocarbons, regardless of the dangers

The recent attack on a gas plant in Algeria is a horrible reminder of the costs involved when companies relentlessly pursue oil and gas extraction in conflict regions. 38 workers were killed during the violence. Since the crisis there has been a lot of speculation about what it means for security spending in the region....
Shell on trial - landmark ruling on oil spills due this Wednesday

Shell on trial – landmark ruling on oil spills due this Wednesday

This Wednesday a Dutch court will rule on whether Shell should clean up oil damage that destroyed a group of Nigerian farmers’ land in a landmark case that could lead the way for a spate of similar actions in the future. The farmers, whose land has been destroyed by oil from Shell pipelines, have travelled...
Who shook the Shakers? The influences behind the upcoming arts, race, media and power course

Who shook the Shakers? The influences behind the upcoming arts, race, media and power course

This February sees a new session start for the Shake! course on arts, media, race and power. Over five days young people will have space to imagine what justice looks like, experiment with new ideas, learn new tools, such as practical hands-on techniques in spoken word, online media, film/video and music technology. There will also...
Remember Oluwale - launch tonight, Leeds

Remember Oluwale – launch tonight, Leeds

Platform hails allies in Leeds who are tonight launching a key campaign and creative project ‘Remember Oluwale’. This marks the appalling treatment and early death in suspicious circumstances of Nigerian-born, Leeds-based man David Oluwale. It looks at the contemporary legacies, and how we can change the future. Platform makes common cause with David’s life and...
The new year in direct action on big oil

The new year in direct action on big oil

Some say the third Monday in January is the most depressing day of the year – dubbed Blue Monday. Well there’s nothing to lift your spirits like moving tales of people power in action. Last Friday I was asked to present on direct action as a strategy for campaigning on the oil industry. I realised...
Fundraising gets edgy - report back from the Edge Fund launch

Fundraising gets edgy – report back from the Edge Fund launch

Two days before the launch of the Edge Fund last December, there was a panic to find a bigger venue at Tonybee Hall because so many people wanted to go. The organizers seemed surprised and happy as no doubt their experience of launch parties is to book a small room to make it looked packed....