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'Don't let Shell rebrand Rembrandt!', 16.10.14


From the BP or not BP? facebook page -

'Tonight, 50 of us sang, chanted, spoke and performed outside Shell's swanky private party at the National Gallery. As senior Shell executives, Gallery management and their guests (including Greg Barker MP) shuffled into the building, we read out, together, in a unison they could not ignore, the words of frontline activists fighting against Shell around the world. 

"The arts sponsorship that Shell is giving out is blood money, because people in Nigeria are suffering and even dying as a result of Shell’s operations." - the words of Celestine AkpoBari Nkabari, from Social Action in the Niger Delta, echoed round the party guests as they trooped slowly into the gallery, heads down. "Shell’s tar sands projects violate the terms of our treaty, destroy our land and contaminate waters critical to our survival" - the words of Eriel Deranger of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation filled the courtyard as the queue crept into what should be a public gallery but which tonight was hosting an oil company.

We demanded the gallery halt its plans to privatise up to 2/3 of its staff. "Thanks to Shell the seas are rising, stop the Gallery privatising!" we chanted, in solidarity with PCS Union workers who were striking this week. We sang songs, we spoke about why we were there, we handed out hundreds of flyers, we repeated our Faustus performance from Tuesday and we were still there when the guests started trickling out again.

Huge thanks and respect to everyone who came out and joined us tonight! We turned Shell's "gala evening" into an exercise in embarrassment and showed the Gallery what it means to dally with oil companies and privatisation plans.

No more oil sponsorship! No Privatisation at The National Gallery!

See you at the next one'

See also ‘Rembrandt’s spirit is too strong for Shell!’: