This should get interesting/insane: A group of protesters organized via FaceBook are planning on “occupying” the BP gas station on Lafayette and Houston — right in the heart of SoHo — to protest the energy giant’s involvement in the worst oil
spill disaster in the history of the world.
The Facebook event — astutely titled “Occupation of BP station…” — appears to have been organized by an evangelically-named NYU alum, Joseph God Jordan, who writes of his protest:
ITS TIME FOR BP TO STOP BUSINESS AS USUAL AND CLEAN UP THE GULF.
WE CORDIALLY INVITE YOU TO HELP REDIRECT THE COMPANY.
At 6 pm on the Friday before Memorial Day, as the good citizens of New York gather to gas up for a three day weekend, we will direct their business AWAY from BP.
Please join us. Dress up as your favorite sea creature or mermaid (or carry signs, stuffed animals, etc). Bring your righteous anger and your friends. (Ideas: BP Spills, BP Kills, British Polluter, Cap Oil Wells Not Liability, etc)
Jordan writes of ways to avoid police interaction for those looking to avoid getting arrested (“please stay on the public sidewalk edging the gas station”) and also solicits help from those more willing to get in a little trouble (“by helping block the gas pumps more or less aggressively”) as well as the more artistically-inclined among us (“or can help with props”). Anybody even remotely familiar with the area knows how heavily trafficked that gas station already is, and this happens to be a holiday weekend where a lot of taxi-taking tourists will be in town, which goes without mentioning all the people looking to get out of town, who’ll need gas to do so. One blogger already noted that many if not most BP stations are independently owned (so the owner of this small business, who uses BP as a supplier, will be the one most affected by any business losses), which is something a Minnesota news station has also already empathized with.
No matter! It’s Friday night, people are gonna be dressed up as sea turtles, and protests are great singles hangouts. At the very least, those at a loss for passionate environmentalism can still attend if they carry the requisite amount of summer-blockbuster-inspired rage!
More from the scene as we get it. Stay tuned!
[Full disclosure: I am a member of the blog collective known as Young Manhattanite, the photos of which are linked above, and have been since 2008. It’s a non-profit blog, mostly written by hirsute Jewish bloggers at least ten years older than me, who mostly write about Israel, punk rock, and other bloggers. In other words, the kind of guys who would absolutely go to a protest on a Friday night dressed up as a sea turtle to “get some strange.”]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 28, 2010