A mock awards ceremony at the Olympic Clock in Trafalgar Square descended into farce today after police arrested six people taking part.
Three people pretending to be corporate representatives from BP, Dow and Rio Tinto were awarded gold medals for being the worst corporate sponsors of the Olympics, before having small quantities of green custard poured over their heads. The good-natured performance took about 15 minutes and was clearly amusing a number of passers by.
After the ceremony was over and the performers were packing up, about 25 police officers arrived and arrested six people, including the three corporate representatives and people who were mopping up the small amounts of custard on the ground with paper towels.
When confronted, the police officers alleged that ‘criminal damage’ had been done by custard falling on to the stone surface of Trafalgar Square. Before the arrested were even driven away, the controversial custard had been completely cleaned up leaving no trace whatsoever.
Olympic sponsors ‘slimed’ in Trafalgar Square
Greenwash Gold winners have green slime poured over them in awards ceremony
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The winners of the Greenwash Gold 2012 awards were announced today in Trafalgar Square, with representatives of BP, Dow Chemical and Rio Tinto having ‘green slime’ poured over them at the climax of the ceremony.
People in suits, bearing the logos of the three companies, stood on a podium and accepted the medals from a man wearing an outsize papier mache head of Sebastian Coe. A bottle of green slime was poured over the head of each company representative, to symbolize the ‘greenwashing’ that was taking place with Olympic sponsorship. The ceremony was compered by Meredith Alexander, the ex ‘Olympics ethics csar’ who resigned over controversies surrounding Olympic sponsors.
Over the course of three months, thousands have watched online animations and voted for who they thought was the worst corporate sponsor to be associated with the Olympics. Although Rio Tinto received the most votes, with BP and Dow Chemical coming second and third respectively, gold medals were awarded to all three of the companies to reflect the fact that it was impossible to judge between the enormity of environmental and social impacts that they were responsible for.
Richard Solly of London Mining Network said: “It’s disgraceful that the Olympic medals are provided by Rio Tinto when they are responsible for such a string of international environmental and human rights controversies. These cannot be the most sustainable games ever when something as important as the medals have been sourced so irresponsibly.”
Emily Coats of UK Tar Sands Network said: “BP is one of the least sustainable companies on the planet and has no right to pander to the public with its ironic title of London 2012 ‘Sustainability Partner’. Behind this distracting veneer the company has destroyed the Gulf of Mexico, is plunging into the highly-destructive Alberta tar sands, and is hurtling us towards catastrophic climate change. We’re glad to see BP’s crass greenwash effort recognised and appropriately rewarded.”
Colin Toogood of the Bhopal Medical Appeal said: “Dow Chemical still refuse to present their subsidiary Union Carbide to the Indian courts where they face CRIMINAL charges for the culpable homicide of thousands of Indian people and, for that, they richly deserve their GreenwashGold medal.”
For more info/comment, contact: Kevin Smith, London Mining Network firstname.lastname@example.org, 07847 830164 Colin Toogood, Bhopal Medical Appeal, ColinToogood@bhopal.org, 07798 845074 Emily Coats, UK Tar Sands Network email@example.com, 07807095669