Defeat of Transnational

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Tue Jun 20 23:06:22 MDT 1995


The surrender today by Shell, the British Dutch conglomerate, arguably
the largest transnational in the world, to campaigning against the
dumping of an old North Sea oil platform in the Atlantic, is a major
victory against capitalism.

All credit to Greenpeace campaigners and especially German environmental
campaigners for the depth and the range of their mobilisation of public
opinion.

In the Anti-Apartheid Movement we never succeeded in forcing Shell to
withdraw from South Africa, although Esso, Gulf and others did.
Nevertheless as a result in part of our campaigning they introduced a slot
for questions at their AGM on public concerns, including green issues.

My hunch is the defeat of Shell today, amidst the indignation of the British
Government at their surrender, is as significant as Chase Manhattan bank
pulling out of South Africa in the middle 80's.


Public opinion has insisted that the means of production are not only
social in character but must be managed in a socially responsible way.
Out of sight at the bottom of the Atlantic is not out of mind.


Chris Burford, London.



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