Protesting BP's Olympic greenwash

bp greenwashCrossposted from Facing South. Number of people arrested last week following a protest at the Olympic Clock in London's Trafalgar Square, where activists posing as representatives of BP and other notorious polluters that are so-called "sustainability partners" for this year's Olympic games had green custard poured over their heads: 6

Number of police officers who made the arrests, for "criminal damage" caused by the custard falling on the square's stone surface, which the protesters promptly mopped up: 25

Number of gallons of toxic crude oil spilled in BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico: over 200 million

Number of BP officials who have been arrested so far in connection with Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico: 1

Number of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes BP is sponsoring at this year's games: 9

Number of official Olympic vehicles that BP is fueling as the games' "official oil and gas partner": 5,000

Estimated tons of carbon dioxide emissions from Olympic spectators' travel to the games that BP plans to offset: 400,000

Number of metric tons of greenhouse gases BP emitted to the atmosphere in 2011 alone: 61.8 million

Date on which BP closed its solar division, the business on which most of its "Beyond Petroleum" tagline of the early 2000s was premised: 12/21/2011

Number of U.S. Gulf Coast chefs BP sent to the London Olympics to encourage people to visit the region and eat its seafood: 8

Percentage by which the shrimp harvest in Louisiana's Barataria Bay, an area hit particularly hard by the BP oil spill, was down last year compared to the typical catch: over 38

Date on which dozens of BP logos across London were splattered with oil and its advertising billboard tagline "Fuelling the Future" was "subvertised" with the URL "": 7/5/2012

Date on which a group of artists and environmental activists protesting BP's sponsorship of London's Tate galleries and the company's involvement in tar sands oil exploitation installed a 54-foot, 1.5 ton wind turbine in the gallery after carrying it from Wales: 7/7/2012

Date on which a group of protesters disrupted a BP-sponsored Shakespeare performance at the British Museum in London with a guerrilla performance based on Macbeth, in which three BP "executive witches" lure a museum director to his doom, with one of the protesters saying to laughter and applause, "No more o' this, BP, no more/You mar all with your logo/Here's the smell of oil still/All these shiny exhibits will not sweeten this soiled hand. Oh, oh, oh!/Out, damned sponsor! Out, BP!": 7/22/2012

(Click on figure to go to source. Illustration from

Sue Sturgis is an investigative reporter and editorial director of Facing South, the online magazine of the Institute for Southern Studies.