We return, with a protest at BP-sponsored Tate Britain!

We hath returned!

Last night, our merry band of mischievous conspirators didst leap into action once more, and headed to the steps of Tate Britain, a great house of culture much tarred by the oily stench of BP patronage.

Chanting “Art Not Oil” outside Tate Britain as two Tate members resign at the AGM inside, in protest at BP sponsorship

At that place, this very Friday eve, ’twas the Annual General Meeting of Tate Members; and several members of that illustrious group had chosen to resign in protest at the Tate’s continuing acceptance of BP’s coin. At the very moment of their declaration, our voices rose in a great and tuneful clamour from the steps outside, singing and proclaiming our desire to see the arts free from the taint of oil. Our hearty cries of “Art Not Oil!” – set to the tune of the sweet ballad “Hey Baby (Uh Ah)” from that most talented minstrel DJ Otzi – carried full into the meeting-room and were heard by all gathered there, including Sir Nicholas Serota, the great thane of the Tate himself. And not just our voices, for we were joined in our chanting by many of the people queuing for that night’s “Late at Tate” event. It seems that a goodly number of Tate’s visitors share our displeasure at the oily stench of BP’s patronage…

So the brave resigning members, uplifted by our words, did stride boldly from that room into our welcoming arms, and our rejoicings were noted even by the Deputy Editor of the Daily Telegraph, who didst tweet to his 36,000 followers:

“On way home past Tate Britain, its steps are rammed with protestors waving banners against #BP tar sands exploitation. Fri night dedication.”

Indeed, similar twitterings were sent out by others including Greenpeace UK, and thus did our protest at BP’s devilry reach the social media feeds of over 100,000 people.

Having thus warmed our voices once more, we now retire to plot further Shakespearean anti-oil mischief. There is much yet to do; while the Royal Shakespeare Company hath greatly reduced its BP funding following our interventions last year, it still receives that company’s oily cash for its youth ticket discount scheme. Meanwhile, a number of institutions including the Tate, the Royal Opera House, the National Portrait Gallery, the British Museum, the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Southbank Centre all receive funding from BP or Shell, and thus all are most deserving of some surprise theatrical visitation. But fear not: we already have several plans up our voluminous ruffled sleeves to unleash upon future dates, and we would love you to join us if you may! Contact us at info@bp-or-not-bp.org.uk for more information, or to share any ideas of your own…

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