Thursday, April 14, 2011

1 arrest as BP bars door to Gulf Coast protesters

Protester: 'Lives and livelihoods have been destroyed while the BP board continues to prosper'

LONDON — Police arrested one person who traveled from the Gulf Coast to attend a BP shareholder meeting in London and four others were refused entry Thursday, according to an msnbc.com editor at the scene.
The five were among a group from the U.S. who went to the meeting to tell the company's shareholders about the ongoing plight of people in the area following theDeepwater Horizon disaster last year.
They were acting as proxies for people who have BP stock, but nonetheless were prevented from entering the hall where the meeting was taking place at the vast ExCel center in London's Docklands district.
"They're scared of us, that's why they didn't let us in," one of those refused entry, Tracy Kuhns, told msnbc.com. Barataria Bay, La. resident Kuhns, 57, runs a family fishery business with her husband.
Protesters told msnbc.com that Diane Wilson, a shrimper from Sea Drift, Texas, was arrested after covering herself in black paint inside the building. A police officer later confirmed that one person was arrested.
Adding to BP's woes, two of the world's biggest pension funds have added their names to a growing list of investors planning to vote against the company's annual report, including executive bonuses, and the re-election of a key safety executive.
Also planning protests were indigenous communities angry at the company's involvement in tar sands extraction in Canada and scores of local workers embroiled in a dispute at a BP-owned biofuels plant in northern England.

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