Veolia, a French multinational, is the official corporate sponsor of the prestigious ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year’ exhibition that runs until 11 March 2012 at London’s Natural History Museum.
However, most visitors to the exhibition are unaware of Veolia’s activities in the occupied Palestinian territories. By providing waste disposal and transportation services to illegal settlements, Veolia contributes to and directly profits from Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and Jerusalem – and thus helps to sustain a vicious state-sponsored apartheid regime.
On Saturday October 22nd, human rights campaigners were outside London’s Natural History Museum to publicise Veolia’s involvement in supporting Israel’s grave breaches of humanitarian and international law.
For two hours, campaigners engaged with visitors queuing for the exhibition and over one-thousand postcards and other literature summarising the case against Veolia were distributed with hundreds of people reading the materials as they waited in the queue to enter the exhibition. Two high-profile and colourful banners that advertised Veolia’s unethical activities also attracted attention.
A number of visitors expressed their disgust and said they would complain to the Natural History Museum for choosing Veolia as the exhibition sponsor.
Veolia is a key target of the global Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The company has been failing to win contracts worth many hundreds of millions of pounds because of the determined campaigns and efforts of BDS activists in the UK and throughout the world.
As a result, Veolia is now in serious financial difficulties and has recently announced that it will be greatly scaling back its business operations.
Human rights campaigners will be outside the Natural History Museum every fortnight until March to inform the public about Veolia’s unethical activities and to encourage all people of conscience to support the campaign to exclude Veolia from waste, refuse, water and transportation contracts throughout the UK.
The outlook for Veolia is looking very bleak indeed.
BIN VEOLIA! Join us on Saturday, 5 November between 12-2pm outside the Natural History Museum, near the Exhibition Road entrance. All welcome.
JOIN THE ‘BIN VEOLIA’ NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM FACEBOOK CAMPAIGN
During the past week, a growing number of people have been posting messages on the Natural History Museum’s Facebook page, telling the NHM what they think of Veolia’s sponsorship of their Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition.