openDemocracyUK

Out, out damned logo!: Why I protested the Edinburgh International Festival

Actors and activists protested yesterday against BP's sponsorship of the Edinburgh International Festival.

Kirsty Haigh
17 August 2015
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photo: bp or not bp

Gross negligence caused the spill by BP,

Gross deception, it’s time to set the festival free.

I love the arts and I love the festival. What I do not love is giant corporate criminals being allowed to use the Edinburgh International Festival to greenwash. I do not love spectacular performances being used to promote companies responsible for disastrous climate change.

Yesterday BP or Not BP? joined us from London to help us spread this message loud and clear. Along with Friends of the Earth Scotland, and others from Edinburgh University People & Planet we took over the entranceway to the Hub, one of the Edinburgh International Festival venues and box offices.

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photo: bp or not bp

People in the Gulf Coast are dying,

and BP keep on lying

but we will not be silent.

We said no, no, no, no;

they’ve got to go, go, go

We performed a theatrical stunt highlighting just some of the devastation that BP are causing- the 2010 oil rig explosion and spill which killed workers, decimated the environment and destroyed the livelihood of many locals and that their constant quest for more oil is sucking dry any hope we have of slowing down climate change.

It’s through stunts like these, where we takeover a space and force the Edinburgh International Festival to think about the consequences of these companies actions and inform the public of the issue that we can win change.

Our protest stunt outside the Usher Hall was also well received and we were fortunate enough to be joined by Green MSP Alison Johnstone & actor Simon McBurney & Daniel Bry who all have expressed their disappointment with the sponsorship.

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bp or not bp

By taking sponsorship from BP the festival is condoning their practices and allowing these companies to pretend they are caring and responsible companies. We must not let our festivals and public institutions bury the destruction of our planet.

The Edinburgh International Festival, and everyone, need to break their ties with fossil fuel companies.
The BP logo has no place in the Edinburgh International Festival guide and so we ripped it out. 

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photo: BP or not BP

Is it time to pay reparations?

The Black Lives Matter movement has renewed demands from activists in the US and around the world seeking compensation for the legacies of slavery and colonialism. But what would a reparative economic agenda practically entail and what models exist around the world?

Join us for this free live discussion at 5pm UK time (12pm EDT), Thursday 17 June.

Hear from:

  • Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: Author of Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership
  • Esther Stanford-Xosei: Jurisconsult, Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE).
  • Ronnie Galvin: Managing Director for Community Investment, Greater Washington Community Foundation and Senior Fellow, The Democracy Collaborative.
  • Chair, Aaron White: North American economics editor, openDemocracy
Who is bankrolling Britain's democracy? Which groups shape the stories we see in the press; which voices are silenced, and why? Sign up here to find out.

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