[Photo: Hugh Warwick]
Visitors to the British Museum yesterday may have been a little surprised to come face to face with a huge crowd of live Vikings. The Reclaim Shakespeare Company’s theatrical protest group ‘BP or not BP?’ gathered hundreds of Viking troops to stage a protest in the Great Court at 3.15pm yesterday, June 15. Using costumes, interactive theatre and a massive 15-metre longship, the horde of protestors gave oil company BP a Viking funeral (minus the burning flames).
Some of the actors involved must have been as fierce as the real thing because they weren’t even allowed to enter the building. One guy known as ‘Thor’ had his cardboard shield confiscated and was then ‘unlawfully arrested’. A witness defended Thor saying that he acted calmly and asked the police officer for his name but he refused to give it. The group has held plenty of protests in the past and nobody has ever been arrested so this is pretty big news.
But what was the meaning of all this uproar? Well, the aim was to target the BP-sponsored exhibition ‘Vikings: Life and Legend‘ and encourage The British Museum to end its partnership with BP.
BP or not BP? aims to highlight how it says BP uses museum and culture to distract people from its activities, which include the Deepwater Horizon Spill that claimed eight lives, damaged marine and wildlife habitats and was the cause of record numbers of marine life death.
Find out more at bp-or-not-bp.org.
Want to know about other London protests? Take a look at the naked commuter.