Shell head office occupied


Shell head office occupied

LONDON — On January 4, environmental and human rights protesters began occupying Shell-Mex House in the Strand. The activists barricaded themselves into the offices in solidarity with indigenous resistance to oil giant Royal Dutch Shell in Nigeria.

January 4 was Ogoni Day, celebrated since 1993, when Shell was forced from Ogoni in the oil-rich Niger delta by non-violent mass mobilisation.

Throughout 1997-98, occupations of oil facilities by the Ijaw people of southern Nigeria have increased, cutting Nigeria's oil output by up to one-third.

The Ijaws told Shell and other oil companies to quit their land by January 11 or face eviction by the people. Killings by troops have already claimed the lives of at least 20 Ijaws since the first deadline expired on December 30.

A spokesperson for the London protesters said: "The violent militarisation of the oil producing areas in Nigeria is indicative of the global militarisation of commerce. Moreover, oil industry-derived climate change is causing more global disruption, and restructuring and oil mergers are causing massive job losses ... We call for no more oil."

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