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From: The Socialist issue 345, 1 May 2004: Iraq: End The Bloodshed

Search site for keywords: Shell - Oil - ISR - Human rights

Shell - Profiting From Misery

BRITISH-BASED multinationals Shell and BP were amongst the many oil companies queuing up to profit out of the death and destruction of last year's war in Iraq.

Clare James

The socialist youth group International Socialist Resistance (ISR) held a series of pickets then at BP petrol stations around the country. This year we are highlighting the appalling record of Shell on environmental and human rights abuses in Nigeria and elsewhere.

Many people have been killed and imprisoned in Nigeria for protesting against those issues. Shell worked closely with the military dictatorship which ruled Nigeria until 1999 and encouraged the suppression of human rights.

Recent blunders by Shell bosses resulted in falling share prices. These blunders are being paid for by 1,000 Nigerian workers being sacked. Ordinary Nigerians see none of the wealth reaped from their country by the oil industry.


We will be protesting outside Shell HQ in London as well as having lively pickets of Shell stations around the country.

Our leaflets, banners and placards will explain to passers-by and motorists why we're protesting and appealing to motorists not to use Shell on May Day as a show of support for the protests. We will also have letters to explain to staff at the stations why we're protesting.

The oil multinationals want to rule the world to defend their profits. As ISR member Alex said: "It is important to make the link between the oil companies and the occupation of Iraq. That is another reason why we have decided to protest."

We are also building for and supporting trade union events and protests around the country to help ensure that as many young people as possible know about May Day and the protests being organised around it.

We will also be campaigning for a living minimum wage for all and continuing to get petitions filled in calling for this to help build the campaign.

Protest outside Shell HQ

Meet from 10am, Saturday 1 May at Shell Max House, The Strand, London, WC2 (nearest tube Charing Cross).

If you're not sure how to get to this and would like to meet us at Charing Cross first, please call 020 8558 7947 and ask for Sarah.

Join us on the TUC (Trades Union Congress) demo afterwards. Clerkenwell Green (marching to Trafalgar Sq), 12 noon, at the ISR stall (nearest tube Farringdon Tube).

Ring 020 8558 7947 for more info on these and other local protests.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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