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Brazen posturing

It's not often that the people who run transnational corporations face their critics in person. But every now and then, dissent invades their carefully created corporate comfort zone, and the results are always very interesting, less Worth reports from BP's recent AGM.

The stage was set for a dramatic showdown. As shareholders arrived at the Excel centre - a soulless warehouselike building in London's Docklands -they were met by a small but noisy band of protesters and invited to look at a large display of photos of all of the antiBP protests that had taken place in the previous fortnight.

Tension surfaced early. Colombian activist Bruno Federico got up and presented a petition signed by 3,400 locals from the community of Casanare, which has been locked in a dispute with the company, resulting in mass strikes and blockades. The petition demands that BP recognize the right for trade unions to organize, and stop polluting the water supply and local environment. …

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