At midnight on Monday 18 August 1997 I turned on the radio to hear the news. To my horror I heard that BP were to take punitive legal action against Greenpeace. It is not unusual for a large corporation to take legal action against an environmental group in an attempt to silence them, but this was different. BP were seeking 1.4 million pounds damages from Greenpeace. This was clearly an attempt to put Greenpeace out of action for good.
We all owe a debt to Greenpeace. Without Greenpeace the world would be a sadder place. Now is the time to pay our debt to Greenpeace.
Maybe you don't care. But, if BP are successful, who will be next? Even if not successful, every environmental group, every campaigner, every activist, will think twice before taking any action, making protest, for fear of the legal redress. BP can not be permitted to succeed.
BP would argue that they are only seeking recompense for past action by Greenpeace. If money is all that matters to them, then let us hit BP where it will hurt. I am calling for nothing less than a worldwide boycott of BP. I am calling on every single activist, every single environmental and campaign group to mobilise not only their supporters, but also the general public into a total boycott of BP.
BP will no doubt eventually silence this critic. Therefore I'm granting worldwide rights for this message to be reproduced. Pass the word by whatever means is necessary.
News Flash! BP backs down. On Thursday 21 August 1997 it was announced that BP were to suspend their punitive action for damages against Greenpeace. Within just two days BP had been forced to back down under sustained public pressure. But please note that BP has withdrawn, not suspended their action. I suggest that the boycott of BP is suspended until further notice. Monitor the situation closely, if BP reinstate their action against Greenpeace then immediately re-introduce a boycott.