Audubon Earth Fest, Brought to You by BP

Are you headed to Earth Fest at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans this weekend? Well, you won’t find Gulf Restoration Network there.After years of successful outreach at the event, we had to pull out this year. Last week, when we realized that BP was the main sponsor of the event (who made that decision?), it was clear that we needed to draw attention to the other event BP brought to the Gulf recently – the nation’s biggest oil catastrophe. Sadly, it wasn’t long after we set up our booth that one of the event organizers approached demanding that we remove the “Gulf Oil Disaster Brought to You by BP” sign along with other displays that expressed the truth about BP and the Gulf.When GRN followed up a bit later asking to speak with a supervisor about the inappropriate censorship, folks pointed to a BP representative as the person in charge. Reminds me of the way the Coast Guard worked in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. Eventually, we found an Audubon Zoo staffer who explained that they required a “neutral zone” that didn’t attack any of the organizations present (apparently it didn’t matter that BP is the main sponsor). They remained adamant that we couldn’t display our signs that called out BP.Since GRN was prohibited from telling the truth about BP’s oil disaster in the Gulf and the disastrous impacts the company has had on the region, we left.

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