Greenpeace activists block an Esso petrol station for business in Esch, Luxembourg.
We declared the nation of Luxembourg - known as the fuel pump of
Europe - an Esso-free zone today.
More than 600 volunteers, ordinary people from 31 countries came
to Luxembourg to take on the world's biggest oil corporation,
protesting Esso's continuing and blatant interference in
international climate politics. Every single one of Esso's 28
petrol stations in Luxembourg was targetted with peaceful protests,
and no Esso oil flowed from retail pumps in the country for the
The stations were blocked by caution tape, "Closed" signs, and
volunteers chained to pumps or across entrances. According to one
activist "90% of the people going by have supported us with waves
and thumbs up." There was a reported incident of a station manager
attempting to drive a car through a banner being held by
protesters, but the day was otherwise without violence.
There were no reports of arrests, though one activist at a
station in Larochette reported the following conversation with a
"[He] told us the manager filed a complaint, but he had no
instruction to remove us. He asked us 'If I make you leave, you
will just come back?' We told him yes, and he left us alone."
Late in the day, as the protest was drawing to a close, Esso
reportedly filed an injunction against Greenpeace to demand an end
to the protest.
Greenpeace International Executive Director Gerd Leipold
appeared at Wasserbillig, the world's largest petrol station,
dressed in a costume of the Exxon Tiger mascot. He stated that to
the people who witnessed the action "we were able to explain very
well that we had every reason to hit Esso."
When it comes to Climate Change, all oil companies are bad, but
Esso, also known as ExxonMobil or Mobil, is the worst of the worst.
Not only is it the biggest, but it uses its financial strength to
try to ensure that it can keep polluting the atmosphere with
greenhouse gases without any limitations. Esso has been a key
player in the USA's decision not to be part of the Kyoto Protocol
-the only international agreement aimed at controlling the
greenhouse emissions that are hurting our climate. Esso denies
climate change is a real problem and it doesn't invest a single
cent in renewable energy.
Luxembourg is famous for "petrol tourism". It offers cheap fuel
to motorists who visit from all over Europe to fill their tanks.
Petrol tourists who stop at Esso in Luxembourg today will be met by
volunteers locked onto pumps and greeted with banners reading
"Esso: Number 1 climate criminal".
Esso's core business fuels climate change and it is doing all in
its power to ensure the status quo doesn't change. It has tried to
hijack the climate debate through the use of front groups, flawed
science and large political contributions and refuses to spend any
of its billions on clean renewable energy. The demonstration in
Luxembourg is about showing the company the level of public anger
at its self-serving actions to frustrate climate protection
Participants in the protest have come from the following
countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic,
Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy,
Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Mexico,
Portugal, Russia, Slovakia Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The
Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the USA, Turkey and
Regular updates were filed from the scene on StopEsso.org