Today was my first day promoting a Boycott of BP in Ann Arbor. I positioned myself with sign in hand at the Ann Arbor maine street BP. I made sure to be on the side walk, and not on BP property, and I provided enough room for walkers to pass by. This way I was not doing anything illegal. Free speech rocks!!!
In general the boycott protest went well. I was there for a little over an hour and recieived 103 either, honks, thumbs up, waves, cheers, woo hoos, or Damn Rights!.
Three people who had pulled into the BP station to get gas, saw my sign and drove off without getting gas (instant boycott). One guy yelled, “Your right. I should boycott their ass.”
I figure some others might go some where else the next time they get gas. For every thumbs up, I figure there must have been 5 to 10 times as many people who saw the sign. And this was at a slow traffic time.
I also had four people take a picture of me and my sign to I assume to show friends.
It was not all honks, and cheers I am afraid. One guy walking by said, “If you don’t support BP they won’t be able to pay for the spill clean up.”
He walk away before I could ask him if he was serious, but I could tell he was . I thought about it for a second, and realized the crazy logic.
I mean if that was the case then why stop at simply getting your gas at BP to show your financial support?
Why not send BP a charitable donation directly like one would say to the Sierra Club? Or why not ask your representatives to create a special BP tax to mandate our support right?
We are talking about one of the richest, most profitable, most powerful company and industries in the world. They got that way by hiring an army of lobbyists, and having a “cozy’ relationship with the gov’t so they would look the other way with regulations and safety for decades.
So, now that they screwed up, “we” the gas buying public, according to this guy, need to bail them out because they could not afford to clean up the spill without it? That is his argument, and it sound like the greatest public relation spin for BP of all time. BP has the money believe me. They had a record profit year before this happened, and have been doing great for years. Anyone remember the illogical gas price hikes during the last eight years?
Another one yelled, “They [BP stations] are independently owned.” In other words, it is not Joe BP station owners’ fault. They just happened to be in bed with an evil parent company. For one, independent or not, they still benefited from Parent BP’s practices of cheap, unsafe oil extraction. So they also take the PR hit when the company screws up.
I figure by boycotting BP stations, we affects BP’s and the independent station owner’s bottom line. This will get the independent BP station owners who have some pull, and probably are not too happy about the spill to go after their evil parent. The station owners who lose money from the boycott can also sue parent BP just like the share holders are doing for gross mismanagement which lead to a loss of stock share value, or customer at the pump.
In fact, a boycott at the pump can nudge independent station owners to flex some muscle, and if these station owners are truly independent and against there evil parent company, they can always switch brands of gas they sell. Maybe they can hang their shingle with a company that is not responsible for the worse US environmental disaster in my life time. Maybe, just maybe BP’s action may lose them the right to do business in the US, then all of the independent station owners will need to shop around for a new supplier, more responsible supplier.