Activists angry about BP spill target Arco stations

Activists protested at the Arco on Fell Street on Friday, and they'll target another Arco in Oakland tomorrow.
Steven T. Jones

People have felt powerless to counter BP's devastating and unstoppable oil leak, but Bay Area activists have finally settled on a target for their outrage: BP-owned Arco gas stations, which sell some of the cheapest gas around. On Friday, protesting activists blocked an entrance to the Arco on Fell Street, and tomorrow (6/16), the Sierra Club will hold an 11 a.m. protest outside the Arco at 3400 San Pablo Avenue in Oakland.

“There's a reason why it's so cheap, because they skimp on safety,” Josh Hart, one of the main organizers of Friday's event, told the Guardian. That event targeted an Arco station that had already earned the ire of the bicycling community because motorists there regularly block the bike lane as they wait in line to fill their tanks.

Yet Hart said the protest is about more than just BP, but about Americans' unquenchable reliance on cheap fossil fuels and an automobile-dependent lifestyle. “It's not about boycotting BP,” Hart said. “It's about boycotting oil.”

Tomorrow's event in Oakland will feature a “mock oil spill” comprised of a black tarp surround by caution tape, a protest designed to send the message, “President Obama move us Beyond Oil.” Meanwhile, at 5 p.m. today, Obama plans to address the country about his adminstration's so-far-futile efforts to address the spill.