****SATURDAY 16TH FEBRUARY 2019, 2PM, BRITISH MUSEUM****
A blockbuster exhibition with stolen ancient Iraqi objects on display – sponsored by the oil giant BP?
We won’t let the British Museum clean up the image of this war-profiteering, climate-crashing company, while glossing over its own problematic past!
16 years after massive protests took place around the world against the invasion of Iraq, we’ll join with others to bring our resistance to arms, oil and injustice into a mass creative takeover of the British Museum! JOIN US!
*****************UPDATE: HOW TO TAKE PART********************
To help us create a powerful, unified performance together, here’s a quick summary of how to take part:
– Wear black
– Arrive at the museum early (e.g. 1pm) as there may be long queues
– Bring as little as possible (please don’t bring banners/placards/signs as we have some particular visuals we’re trying to create, and will be providing special performance props for people to hold/carry)
Thanks so much! For more detailed information (on everything from song lyrics to cloakrooms to accessibility), drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you a more detailed message.
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
Check out the new briefing by Culture Unstained for more details on BP’s shameful history in Iraq
The British Museum’s current blockbuster exhibition “I am Ashurbanipal: king of the world, king of Assyria” – featuring many ancient artefacts from what is now Iraq – is sponsored by BP. We are coming together to challenge this because:
– By promoting BP, The British Museum is helping a major fossil fuel company and corporate criminal to cleanse its image, make new oil deals and hide its true activities. As the climate crisis unfolds around us and communities affected by fossil fuel extraction demand justice, it is no longer acceptable for museums and galleries to promote this toxic industry.
– The BP-sponsored Assyria exhibition includes many looted items from ancient Iraq. These represent just one sample of a range of vital cultural objects stolen from communities around the world that are now held by the British Museum, and the museum is coming under increasing pressure to return such objects to their rightful owners.
– BP is deeply complicit in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The oil company actively lobbied the UK government, saying it was ‘desperate’ to get into Iraq and that ‘political deals should not deny it the opportunity’. After the invasion, BP was able to sign highly beneficial contracts for Iraq’s oil fields. Our mass performance action is taking place the day after the 16th anniversary of the huge international protests against the invasion in 2003.
– Iraqis are protesting on the ground as they are seeing the detrimental effects of oil extraction on water pollution and health, but most are not benefiting from the profits of the industry. Despite a doubling of the country’s oil exports since 2003, many Iraqi people lack access to basic services such as electricity and clean water.
– BP is one of the companies most responsible for the climate crisis, and continues to make things worse by lobbying against climate laws, blocking clean energy and pushing for ever-dirtier sources of fuel. Climate change caused by BP’s operations is already affecting the Middle East, fueling conflict, damaging livelihoods and forcing people to leave their homes.
It’s time for the British Museum to stop propping up BP’s destructive activities, and to face up to its own colonial practices. We have not forgotten the illegal, immoral, and hugely destructive 2003 invasion, and we believe that those responsible (including BP) have not yet been held to account.
So on Saturday February 16th, people who care about climate justice, peace, social justice and international solidarity will be coming together to say to the British Museum: Drop BP! Justice for Iraq! No more oil logos on stolen artefacts!
WHAT WILL HAPPEN ON THE DAY?
We’ll be joining with other groups to stage a mass creative takeover of the British Museum. We’ll be transforming the space with song, movement, storytelling and other surprises to be revealed on the day.
We believe this will be the largest protest that has ever taken place inside the museum in its 260-year history.
We will be many. We will be colourful. We will be bold. Join us!
To find out more, email email@example.com to sign up and we’ll send you updates as the plan develops.
This will be a family-friendly event and we aim to make it as accessible as possible for all – please let us know if you have any particular needs or questions, on firstname.lastname@example.org or by sending us a Facebook message.