Voluntary Sector: Taking Action ... Greenpeace vs BP

Protesters: Greenpeace
Target: BP
Location: BP UK headquarters, London
Date: 20 May

The lowdown

Greenpeace volunteers arrived at BP's HQ in Westminster at 5.30am. They proceeded to scale the walls and hoist a large oil-soaked version of the company's bright green logo, bearing the words 'British Polluters'. Greenpeace director of comms Ben Stewart was among the protesters. Other Greenpeace activists greeted executives at a side entrance.

- Why the protests?

Greenpeace understood that BP chief executive Tony Hayward was expected to arrive that morning to chair a board meeting focusing on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Stewart said: 'The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico can be traced back to decisions made in this building. Under Hayward's leadership, BP has taken huge risks to pump oil from ever more remote places, while slashing investment in clean energy projects.'

- How did BP respond?

BP responded by claiming that the meeting took place on the previous day and had not been called specifically to talk about the oil spill. BP spokesman Robert Wine called it a 'very calm and genteel protest'.

- How did the media cover it?

Greenpeace issued a press release to the media as the protest was taking place, which led to coverage on Sky News' website, complete with Greenpeace-filmed footage, as well as BBC News and by the Press Association.

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