Students bury Shell during promotion speech by CEO Shell Netherlands at the UvA Amsterdam on the 12th of September 2018.
Originally published by Indymedia NL.
Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.
Today, the promotion speech by the CEO of Shell Netherlands, Marjan van Loon, at an event at the University of Amsterdam was disrupted by a game of bullshit Bingo. Students distributed Bingo cards with collect all well-known green lies that climate criminal Shell uses to greenwash their industry for years. In recognizing well-known child marketing soundbites from the fossil industry, hands went up and Bingo was called into the audience.
When after some consternation the attention had just been regained back to the stage, several students with helmets and vests arrived with a huge pipeline into the hall. “Mind the pipeline” they shouted through the room.
With this action, the campaigners underlined the forgotten elephant in the room: that Shell is still investing a meager 2.5% in green branch of its business, while it continues on a killer-course of fossil-capital addiction, destroys habitats and homes with its extractivism, violates local communities and increases climate disruption with catastrophic consequences. Anyone who thought the show was finished was wrong. Halfway through the derailed sales pitch of Marjan van Loon, students dropped banners from the balustrade of the hall with the text “Tax Shell, not the public sector #dividend tax” and “Invest in education, not in fossil fuels “.
The message of the students is that there are many reasons to protest against Shell, but that in the context of the University of Amsterdam where the shell-marketing spectacle is facilitated, one should not forget that Dutch politicians who work more for multinationals than the people have led companies such as Shell to receive continuous taxbreak and subsidies gifts – of which the 2,000,000,000 euro dividend tax abolition is the last striking example. Meanwhile Dutch education has suffered greatly from being put on sale by the Dutch state for years. With the soon to be imposed two billion tax break, politics could make the public domain and education stronger. The students state: “If we would also look at the 7 billion tax avoidance that Shell has done in recent years and the 7.6 billion annual subsidy for fossil industry that still stops the Netherlands in disrupting an already disturbed market, we can take a REAL green and social transition “.
Finally it became clear that many students oppose the right of Shell to exist when the free marketing moment of Marjan van Loon was interrupted yet again. Women dressed in black entered with a coffin to bury Colonial Dutch Shell. On the coffin was a sign: “Celebrating the death of the fossil era, Commemorating the many victims of Shell”. From the audience several people dressed in black stood up to lay a flower at the grave. Why a funeral? “This is a ceremonial farewell to this company of mass destruction. From Groningen to Nigeria people live in uncertainty and in imposed vulnerability due to the ecological and social assaults of Shell and their counterparts. It is time for a final farewell to this injustice. It’s time for reparations and justice”, comment the students.
Hereby they particularly also wished to commemorate the murdered earth defenders from the Global South. National Geographics published earlier that 2017 was the deadliest year for earth defenders so far and that 4 environmentalists have been killed every week in the past year. Protesting an environmentally unfriendly multinational literally costs lives in other places around the world. The students used their privileges to fight this injustice.
These actions were made possible by New University, ASVA, ISSO, Fossil Free Education, Red UvA, Fossil Free Culture, Red Code, JMA, DWARS Amsterdam, RED Amsterdam.
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