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ethecon awardee Diane Wilson arrested at the BP AGM

04-21-2011 10:17 AM CET | Politics, Law & Society

Press release from: ethecon - Foundation Ethics & Economics

ethecon Foundation board member detained at the presentation of the International ethecon Black Planet Award 2010 to accountable BP executives

On Thursday April 14 2010, Diane Wilson/USA und Axel Köhler-Schnura were arrested/ detained in London. They had planned to castigate the executive managers and the major shareholders of the BP company by bestowing them with the International Black Planet Award and to read an Open Letter justifying the award. Diane Wilson, who is a fisherwoman from the Gulf of Mexico (Texas), was given the corresponding annual International ethecon Blue Planet Award in 2006 for her outstanding efforts to protect and preserve the Blue Planet. Axel Köhler-Schnura is a founder and unsalaried board member of the ethecon - Foundation Ethics & Economy.

Thousands of shareholders witnessed the scandalous incident, in which BP security guards refused the two activists entry to the shareholders annual meeting and then had them arrested/ detained by the police. And this despite the fact that both had entrance cards and are proper shareholders. .

The bestowal of the International ethecon Black Planet Award was accompanied by large public protest actions in London beginning on April 12. People impacted by BP came from all corners of the world: representatives of the indigenous people of Canada and Papua New Guinea, whose land is to be destroyed by BP's massive oil extraction from Tar Sands projects; American fishermen from the Gulf of Mexico; workers from several countries, who are exposed to bodily danger due to negligent safety procedures in BP plants. ethecon-board member Köhler-Schnura "The big kick off event on Tuesday evening was an overwhelming demonstration of international solidarity in the fight against corporal power and greed!"

In connection with the detainment of the two activists, members of the delegation from the USA were also denied entrance to the meeting although they held valid entrance cards. The same fate awaited the official CNN Team which accompanied the American fisherman. This in spite of correct accreditation and press cards.

Nevertheless the BP meeting did not run according to plan. Although planned to last two hours, it was still going on after five. The unending flood of questions and statements concerning environmental and other crimes of the company. A protest action of t-shirted young people was forcefully evicted from the hall. Representatives of native Canadians impressed the audience with their reports of the devastation of their homelands. A well-known author from the USA , Antonia Juhasz, explained in impressive detail the extent of the Gulf disaster.

And to the great astonishment of the censured mangers of BP, the International ethecon Black Planet Award 2010 was actually presented during the meeting. Although Diane Wilson was at the police station and the original trophy had been seized by the police as "an item of criminal Damage", ethecon trustee Lydia Will (born in 1986) und ethecon activist Anabel Schnura (born in 1990) stood at the microphone and read the statement accompanying the bestowal of the International ethecon Black Planet Award 2010 to C.H. Svanberg, Tony Hayward und Bob Dudley as well as other accountable BP managers and major shareholders. The Youngsters held out the Black Planet trophy and stated: "You have people arrested groundlessly in a democratic country such as Great Britain, but you still can not prohibit the presentation of the unwelcome award!"

In an extensive dossier ethecon shows that the bestowed are responsible for policies of BP which place profit above employee safety, the health of local residents and environmental protection. Through these policies BP contributes not only negligently, but also in interest of the company's profits and personal enrichment to the downfall of the earth as a Black Planet. With the many critical voices from throughout the world, and the votes of hundreds of small shareholders, BP and its accountable executives learned a lesson in democracy and at the same time experienced that world wide resistance is growing.

Since 2006 "ethecon - Foundation Ethics & Economics" confers two international awards annually. A positive prize, the "Blue Planet Award", honors outstanding efforts to maintain and save the "Blue Planet". Its negative counterpart, the "Black Planet Award", exposes and condemns actions responsible for the ruin and destruction of the "Blue Planet". With its positive prize ethecon honored in past years Diane Wilson/USA (2006), Vandana Shiva/India(2007), José Abreu und Hugo Chávez/Venezuela (2008), Uri Avnery/Israel (2009) as well as Elias Bierdel/Austria (2010). The censure award went to the owners, shareholders and executive management of the following companies: Monsanto/USA (2006), Nestlé/Switzerland(2007), Blackwater (Xe)/USA (2008), Formosa Plastics Group/Taiwan (2009) and BP/Great Britain (2010).

In contrast to many corporate, family, church, political and state foundations, ethecon is one of the few foundations empowered by ordinary citizens. There are currently 19 endowment contributors. Following the credo "for a world without exploitation and oppression", it see its mission in its responsibility toward coming generations. The young foundation is financed through endowment contributions, donations and sustaining memberships.

ethecon - Foundation Ethics & Economics
Wilhelmshavener Str. 60
D-10551 Berlin
Phone: +49 - (0)30 - 22 32 51 45

Press contact:
Bettina Schneider
Telephone: +49 - (0)211 - 22 95 09 21

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