Manhattan Residents Protest Against BP in Union Square
By Ben Fractenberg
UNION SQUARE—About 70 people rallied in Union Square Thursday afternoon to protest BP’s handling of the oil spill and promote alternative energies.
The protest, organized by MoveOn.org and NYH20, an anti-gas drilling group, called for BP to pick up the entire tab for the gulf clean-up, and also spoke against the influence of the oil lobby on Washington.
“It’s no secret that corporate influence in our government causes disasters — everyone knows that all industry has increasingly been too close to our government for years now and has been quietly deciding our policies, but this time it’s the last straw,” said David Braun, MoveON Manhattan Coordinator.
MoveOn supporter Miriam Stanley, 46, held a sign that read “BP = Bad Policy.”
“BP has done criminal actions before,” said Stanley. “Enough is enough.”
Kyle Gerry, 23, was walking past Union Square when he stopped to listen to the speakers.
“I’m always skeptical any kind of protest can be all that powerful considering what it’s up against.”
Gerry went on to say he thinks the best way to prevent a future oil spill is to curb the U.S.’s dependence on oil.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer was scheduled to speak at the event but did not show up. Stringer supports a ban on all watershed drilling in New York State.
Protester Paul Mcfarlane, 20, said he wants to ask BP whey they didn’t have more of a fail-safe system in place.
“Why did you let this happen?” said Mcfarlane.