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Decades of neglect, years of waiting: it’s time to clean up Ogoniland’s oil pollution

Two years ago, the Nigerian Government officially launched a clean-up programme of Shell’s oil pollution in Ogoniland. But today communities are still waiting for emergency measures on drinking water and health protection and the clean-up to begin. Here’s what Godwin Uyi Ojo, Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria had to say about it:...

Update: The Bus, its seizure and our story

Here is the latest on the campaign to pressurise Nigeria Customs release the Living Memorial to Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni 9 known as the Bus. Customs seized the Bus in 2015 and has refused to release it despite the huge efforts and directives described below. The guest blog is written by Celestine AkpoBari, National Coordinator for Ogoni Solidarity...

Spring in the Thames Valley – The extraordinary resistance of the more than human

  Even in the dark the Blackbird sings. The bubbling song fills the night outside our bedroom window. You sleep silently, the bedclothes rising and falling, as the notes of the bird flow over you. Hours later, the grey light of dawn has come and with it the calls of Song Thrush and House Sparrow....

The slow dismantling the house of oil – The Gulbenkian Foundation divests

Quite unexpected comes remarkable news! Lucy Neal, a long-term part of the Platform family, e-mails out of the blue, forwarding an article from the Algarve Daily News, published on 1st February in southern Portugal. The headline reads: ‘Gulbenkian Foundation gets out of the oil business’ That truly is unexpected. Lucy had not foreseen this coming...

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...

Today, remembering the Ogoni Bill of Rights

10th November 2017 marks the 22nd anniversary since the executions of nine Ogoni men from the Niger Delta who had been protesting against the exploitation of oil in their homelands. These Nigerian activists – outspoken author and playwright Ken Saro-Wiwa, Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levera, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel, and John...

We are still feeling the aftershocks of Ken Saro-Wiwa’s murder 21 years later

November 10th marked the 21st anniversary of Ken Saro-Wiwa’s murder by Nigeria’s military dictatorship for challenging Shell’s devastation of his home – Ogoniland. His only remaining son died a few weeks before this terrible anniversary. His funeral was this week. Last year, at the request of allies in the Niger Delta still resisting Shell’s oil...

Today’s oil drilling round could bust us through UK’s climate limits

The UK government is pushing a massive new offshore drilling programme, that will take the UK beyond its climate limits. Oil companies had until 2pm today to bid for 1200 blocks covering large swathes of the sea off North-west and North-east Scotland and England. This is the the 29th Offshore Licensing Round, and it aims to identify hundreds of millions in...

Subsidising spills – British public pays BP $300 million to drill and spill

BP came under criticism this week when it caused a 95 tonne oil leak from its Clair Field into the North Sea. The company decided not to clear up the spill, and wait for the oil to wash further out to sea. The new spill comes as BP no longer pays net taxes to the...

For Lucy Fairley, founder of Helix Arts and Crossings

My friend and Platform ally Lucy Fairley has died, aged 70. We’ve known her and her work for nearly 25 years and worked especially closely with her in the late 1990s. She founded Artists Agency in Sunderland in 1983, and in 1987 appointed Esther Salamon to join her initially as Placement Officer, then as in...

Power Station Giant Down… and commemorate!

Last Wednesday, at 11am, another giant landmark in the history of UK fossil-fuel power crashed to the ground. Never mind a landmark, this was also a giant seamark that aided navigation at the start of the Thames and Medway estuaries for hundreds of vessels every day. Its end came with two huge bangs that juddered...

Everything in Motion – of Swallows and resistance to the Lower Thames Crossing

Looking up through the skylight I catch only a glimpse of it soon after dawn. Less than a second. The effortless power of a confident killer. The shape of the dark sickle wings against the depth of the blue. A Hobby passing over the house, flying south down the Hoo Peninsula. It is only at...