New Arctic report, events in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh & bad ACE news…

Dear All,

This newsletter is hot on the heels of the previous March issue – because there’s a lot going on this Spring! We’ve four events coming up in April that PLATFORM is co-organising, plus our report on BP and the Arctic has just been released, as well as some bad news from us about the arts cuts that were recently announced. In this newsletter you’ll also find new climate justice performance poetry on youtube, and some analysis of the oil industry response to the Budget.

Arctic Anxiety – BP, British foreign policy and the rush for polar oil

BP have been courting controversy over an ill-fated deal with Russian oil company Rosneft to drill in the Arctic Sea. This new report from PLATFORM warns that the oil plans pose enormous risks to the environment and local communities and echo current concerns around governmental support for oil companies in repressive states such as Libya.

You can download the report here, and also check out a 2 minute youtube clip about the report, and also an online presentation about its findings. Here’s a sample tweet if anyone wants to use it: “Arctic Anxiety – new report on #BP’s attempts to drill for Arctic oil with help of FCO from @platformlondon”

You can also read James Marriott blogging here about the Freedom of Information requests that we released showing the extent of the Foreign Office’s involvement in the botched deal.

Events in London, Glasgow & Edinburgh

PLATFORM is co-organizing and/or taking part in four different events over the course of April. It would be great to see any of you at some of them!

Calling BP to Account – Tar Sands, Deepwater Horizon and beyond. London, Tuesday 12th April, 7pm. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethanl Green Road.

Join First Nations from Canada, fishermen and women from the Gulf of Mexico, shareholders, NGOs, lawyers and activists for an evening of information sharing and strategising, on the eve of BP’s Annual General Meeting. More info on this, and the rest of the tar sands speaker tour in the UK here.

RBS: Back to Black? Vote NO to tar sands at the People’s AGM. Edinburgh, Monday 18th April, 7pm. University of Edinburgh Chaplaincy, Bristo Square.

On the eve of the RBS AGM, come and hear first hand from indigenous activists from Canada about the impact that tar sands extraction is having on their communities and how RBS is involved in bankrolling the companies that are doing it. More info here.

The Black Gold Injustice: a permanent condition? Various locations, Scotland,16th April – 3rd May

As the delayed Nigerian elections loom this April Platform’s remember saro-wiwa project will be discussing oil politics, human rights and corporate accountability at events in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen organised in conjunction with So We Stand . More information here.

Violence on Trial. London, Thursday 28th April, 7pm. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road

As part of an exciting new event organized by Mutiny collective called Violence on Trial, PLATFORM will be presenting on oil, insurgency and corporate violence. Expect a carnivalesque evening of live entertainment, political discussion, and interactive sessions on a host of engaging themes. More on Facebook.

The other offshore tax regime

The lobby machine kicked into action following the announcement by George Osbourne of plans to raise £10 billion over the next 5 years from the oil industry. Ex-PLATFORM person Greg Muttitt and author of the forthcoming book Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq, explains in this guest blog why the outraged claims of the oil industry in response to this move should not be taken at face value. Fuel on the Fire will be published on 21st of April. Friends of PLATFORM can get 30% off the cover price of advance orders if they quote ‘PLATFORM’ when buying it from this site.

More performance-poetry on video from No Condition is Permanent

Today we launch another two powerful poems written and performed by Dorothea Smartt and Simon Murray (aka Sai Murai) of African Writers Abroad. Dorothea and Simon were commissioned to create new work on the theme of climate justice and social change for our major project C Words:Carbon, Climate, Capital, Culture (2009). The films were made by You and I Films. Their poems The C Word (Simon) and Belting is Urban (Dorothea) are launched today, and the final three will be premiered with next month’s newsletter. You can read their and 17 other poets’ work in the anthology No Condition is Permanent available from PLATFORM now: price £4. Paypal account – [email protected]

BP: In Deep Water

At the end of March, investigative journalist Greg Palast presented a documentary on Channel 4 on BP, ongoing pollution from the Macondo spill, and its links with the UK government, MI6, and the repressive regime in Azerbaijan. PLATFORM had some feed in to this documentary, and people in the UK can watch it online here for the next three weeks.

Major ACE grant application turned down

After three years of valuable core funding from the Arts Council, PLATFORM is among the 206 organisations whose re-application for three year funding has been rejected. Our future arts plans include our pioneering Shake! programme with young people on arts, media, race and power with Stephen Lawrence Centre and Bernie Grant Arts Centre; also new books The Oil Road (Verso) and The Desk Killer (Granta); a series of short online artist-activist films reaching far wider audiences. This exciting work will not cease. PLATFORM abhors the severity of the cuts being meted out across the board by this government. We stand in absolute solidarity with all those who are reeling from the blows across the public sector, and support those resisting and protesting these cuts.


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