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Image via Twitter/Rainforest Action Network.

6 activists arrested at BP’s Houston headquarters, more protests on the horizon

Several activists have been arrested after occupying BP’s Houston headquarters to mark the upcoming fifth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.

At least 15 Gulf Coast residents took up post in the lobby of the Houston office, holding signs and reading questions to express their doubts regarding BP’s response in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon. The global oil giant has maintained since the spill began on April 20, 2010, that the situation was under control. Controversy has surrounded the actual state of the Gulf of Mexico compared with BP’s statements about the region’s recovery.

Cherri Foytlin, a resident-turned-activist who came from southern Louisiana to demand answers, said in a press release from the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), “BP has used false advertising to sell the public a lie.” Although the extent of the damage to the region is still undetermined by the scientific community, many believe the impact is and will continue to be much greater than BP will let on. “The truth is that the oil is still here, and so are we. And we will not let these foreign invaders destroy us. We are the Gulf Coast—ever grass, every turtle and dolphin, ever fisher folk, every beach, every single one.”

According to Fuelfix, BP representative Brett Clanton stated that the protesters were “politely asked to leave private property and not disrupt business. They refused and were escorted out by the Houston Police Department.” Six of the activists were were subsequently arrested.

The group has made it clear that this is just one of the many demonstrations set for the next five days leading up to the fifth anniversary, according to RAN. In RAN’s press release, the group announced that protesters will be organized outside BP’s annual shareholder meeting in London on Thursday.

These activists aren’t the only ones marking the upcoming anniversary of the Gulf disaster. The Obama administration aptly chose to announce new rules this week specifically designed to prevent any future disasters like the Deepwater Horizon. The regulations would place stricter requirements on blowout preventers, pieces of equipment meant to seal an offshore well in the event of an incident. The faulty blowout preventer on the Macondo well is often pegged as one of the primary contributors to the 87-day spill.

PBS is also airing a recent documentary about the spill called “The Great Invisible” on April 20th. The independent film approaches the catastrophe from the perspective of oil executives, survivors and residents in the aftermath of the explosion and spill that would devastate the Gulf Coast.

A short video of the protesters can be found here.

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