Of Turmeric and Truth – 'Fuel for Thought' and the struggle in Ogoni

Of Turmeric and Truth – ‘Fuel for Thought’ and the struggle in Ogoni

This blog is co-authored by Andy Rowell (Oil Change International) and James Marriott (Platform) Lazarus Tamana, Europe Coordinator of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), holds up a small round plastic container, an inch deep, two inches across. It is filled with a rich yellow-ochre coloured powder.   “This was grown...
Iraq, BP and the British Museum – look upon these works and hang our heads in shame

Iraq, BP and the British Museum – look upon these works and hang our heads in shame

I had read in advance the briefing that Culture Unstained had put out to accompany the planned action. The protest at the British Museum was to be against BP’s sponsorship of the exhibition ‘I am Ashurbanipal: king of the world, king of Assyria’, a display of treasures from the land of Iraq. I read lines...
Of Climate and Memory – Extinction Rebellion and Doreen Massey

Of Climate and Memory – Extinction Rebellion and Doreen Massey

We drive slowly down the winding lane that leads across the flat landscape on the northern flank of the Solway Firth in the county of Dumfries & Galloway. As we move onto the farmland of Preston Merse, we are distracted by the red stone ruin of Wreaths Tower. All that remains of the craggy weathered...
‘The Knowledge Quarter’ – resistance to capture and divestment from capital

‘The Knowledge Quarter’ – resistance to capture and divestment from capital

In the Autumn I attended an utterly inspiring Shake! & Stuart Hall Foundation event – the launch of the Black Cultural Activism Map. It was held at the Platform theatre space in the Central Saint Martin’s art school – CSM – part of University of the Arts London. This new premises is a vast warehouse of...
A Love of the Surface of the Earth – beyond the petroleum world

A Love of the Surface of the Earth – beyond the petroleum world

  Quite suddenly the light has gone. We are left to complete our voyage in the growing dark. The sea charts cease to become legible, the OS map strains the eyes. The words of that fount of all Thames Estuary sailing advice, Charlie Stock, are ringing in our ears ‘When night sailing, do not use...
Victory at Leith Hill! Divest Fracking!  Resisting sites of speculation

Victory at Leith Hill! Divest Fracking! Resisting sites of speculation

This piece was written before the news of the draconian jail sentences passed on those opposing fracking in Preston, Lancashire … but that bitter ruling does not destroy the reality that shortly before that decision we celebrated a Victory! The News of an Amazing Victory! We wrote of it as follows … The permission to...
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...
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...
The slow dismantling the house of oil - The Gulbenkian Foundation divests

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...
La Zad puts down roots – sensing the future

La Zad puts down roots – sensing the future

We’re in the middle of the crowd. Standing some way back from the stage, watching transfixed and elated at the performance of Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp. Two trombones, two drummers, two marimbas, two electric guitars, two cellos and five other musicians blast out such a blissful riot of sound that our souls sail above...
Bribes, bulldozers and BP: what makes a gas mega pipeline?

Bribes, bulldozers and BP: what makes a gas mega pipeline?

Earlier this week, the Guardian’s Azerbaijani Laundromat investigation uncovered thousands of covert payments totaling £2.2bn from Azerbaijan’s ruling elite to prominent Europeans through a network of opaque British companies. Today, Platform and other organisations had a letter published in the Guardian, filling in the blanks in the story.  Azerbaijan is particularly keen to present a...
Today's oil drilling round could bust us through UK’s climate limits

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...