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San Francisco | Environment & Forest Defense

Major Protest to Shut Down Fell St. ARCO (BP) in SF on Friday
by Joshua Hart
Thursday Jun 10th, 2010 3:29 PM
Bay Area residents horrified by the worsening oil spill in the Gulf are planning to take their protest to the streets on Friday, and attempt to peacefully shut down one of the busiest gas stations in San Francisco- the Arco station at the corner of Fell and Divisadero Streets- which sells BP fuel.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Janel Sterbentz cell: (415) 867-1015 sugar.drop [at] gmail.com

MAJOR PROTEST TO SHUT DOWN FELL ST. ARCO (BP) IN SF ON FRIDAY
Connection made between bicycling conditions on Fell St. and catastrophe in the Gulf

Bay Area residents horrified by the worsening oil spill in the Gulf are planning to take their protest to the streets on Friday, and attempt to peacefully shut down one of the busiest gas stations in San Francisco- the Arco station at the corner of Fell and Divisadero Streets- which sells BP fuel.

Organizers claim that the station is not only directing major profits to a company who is criminally negligent in destroying human and wild life in the Gulf- it is also endangering people who are choosing a socially beneficial way of getting around. At this location- one of the busiest gas stations in the City- long queues of cars frequently obstruct the Fell St. bicycle lane, the only level cross town bicycle route between downtown and the western part of the City, forcing cyclists into speeding traffic.

“We are not calling for a boycott of BP/ Arco in particular, as this will do nothing to prevent the next spill or prevent climate catastrophe, says Joshua Hart, a Menlo Park resident with a Masters degree in Transportation Planning. “However, boycotting all oil by cutting our flying and driving will reduce the need to drill in ecologically sensitive areas and reduce the immense power that oil companies seem to have over our government.“

Jason Henderson, a Geography professor at SF State who grew up in New Orleans, is saddened and distraught at the images coming out of the Gulf. “The oiled and dying wildlife in the wetlands I used to visit as a child, five years after the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina to my home city are both linked to our dependence on oil. It is just senseless when people want safe and viable alternatives to the automobile. Why isn’t our government acting with more urgency to provide these choices?”

Protest organizers suggest that a complete network of safe bicycle lanes can offer people alternatives to driving alone. Here in San Francisco the demand for a comprehensive urban bicycle system is widespread. According to a 2007 Binder poll, 75% of voters in San Francisco support new bike lanes and infrastructure.

Robin Levitt, longtime San Francisco resident, Detroit native and protester says “BP/ARCO cares as much for the suffering of the birds in the Gulf as they do about the person on a bike who risks injury or death having to swerve around cars blocking the bike lane just to get cheap gas at their station. On Friday we will stand with the pelicans, turtles, and dolphins suffering from the spill, knowing that if we fail to end our oil addiction, we will not be far behind them.”

Where and when: The protest is scheduled for Friday, June 11th 5:30pm at the Arco station on the corner of Fell and Divisadero streets in San Francisco.

Photo opportunities: protesters holding signs, constructing a pocket park in the entrance to the Arco station, speeches, music and possible arrests.
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by Joshua Hart Thursday Jun 10th, 2010 3:29 PM
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Comments  (Hide Comments)

by get a load
Friday Jun 11th, 2010 6:35 AM
(How much are they paying off the business press???? CNN, Democracy now! and ABC were showing gulf workers reduced to peasant status, being paid $11/h to wipe up oil with towels and not even allowed to speak to reporters because they must submit all power to BP)
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""Miriam Sullivan may lose about $10,000 a year of her retirement income if BP suspends its dividend because of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

"It's a nice amount of money to have coming in," said Sullivan, the 74-year-old wife of a retired schoolteacher in Haddonfield, N.J., and one of the 39 percent of BP shareholders who live in the United States. "They're penalizing people that are innocent by cutting the dividend at this point, when they don't even need to. It seems very political."

President Obama said last week he won't let BP "nickel and dime" gulf residents while the biggest U.S. oil producer pays investors, and a group of lawmakers Wednesday called on BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward to stop dividends until the bills for the cleanup and liabilities are paid. The dispute highlights the pressure on Hayward to satisfy the competing demands of shareholders, who got $10 billion in payouts last year, and the local victims of the spill.

"It's a horrible thing that happened, but how do you decide a fisherman has priority over a grandmother who needs a pension to sustain herself?" said Christine Tiscareno, an analyst at Standard & Poor's in London. "The company's not running away from any of its obligations, and if it were up to Tony, they would pay the dividend."
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Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/06/11/BUAA1DT8GR.DTL#ixzz0qYEW0wZt