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Protest row at Shell Centre, London

Shell Centre

SELF-EXPLANATORY EMAIL CORRESPONDENCE WITH ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC CHIEF ETHICS & COMPLIANCE OFFICER, RICHARD WISEMAN

Initial Correspondence

Latest Correspondence

—–Original Message—–
From: John Donovan [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 05 October 2009 19:00
To: Wiseman, Richard RM SI-RDS-CCO
Subject: Leaflet Distribution Outside Shell Centre

Dear Mr Wiseman

Because of various circumstances outside of our control (e.g. rain) it has become obvious that it is impractical to advise you of the precise days and times when the leaflets will be distributed, or how many people will be involved on a particular day. I think the best we can say is that the leaflets will be handed to Shell employees most business days of the week.

We did not get off to a good start today with your security staff. It is perhaps a sign of the times that you now apparently need a small army of outside security guards to protect the building. I counted 10 on a recent visit. It would have been nice if they were willing to be civil to the persons handing out the leaflets (who had no prior antipathy towards anyone at Shell). Not only were they uncooperative, they also would not allow the leaflet team leader Steve to enter the building to seek information at your reception.

He had tried to establish with security staff the border line between Shell property and public property on the area in front of the main and secondary entrances to Shell Centre in York Road. He was given the impression by security staff that they could only stand on the road side of the bollards, as shown in the attached Google Earth picture. Basically this implies that Shell own and therefore control the property all the way from the building to the bollards. This would include the pathway on which the public are seen walking and street vendors offering or selling leaflets or newspapers. For this reason, I suspect that the pathway is in fact public property.

For the avoidance of any misunderstanding or acrimony, can you kindly indicate what is the boundary between Shell and public property in the relevant area?

As it is, the leaflets distributors were intimidated into moving to outside the entrance to the underground station and the overhead walkway. This is unsatisfactory bearing in mind that we wish to exercise our legal right to give leaflets to Shell employees on public property. We do not want to routinely give them to members of the public.

Regards
John Donovan

REPLY BY RICHARD WISEMAN

On 6 Oct 2009, at 11:05, [email protected] wrote:
Dear Mr Donovan

As you surmise, security has become tighter since the last time you were active and for good reasons we do not discuss security.  Our security staff have a difficult job to do and they seem to have done it properly.

Regards

Richard Wiseman

Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer
Royal Dutch Shell plc
Shell Centre, London SE1 7NA

Registered in England and Wales number 4366849
Registered Office:  Shell Centre, London, SE1
Headquarters: Carel van Bylandtlaan 30, 2596 HR
The Hague, The Netherlands

Email: [email protected]
Internet: http://www.shell.com

RESPONSE FROM JOHN DONOVAN

From: John Donovan <[email protected]>
Date: 6 October 2009 17:26:33 BST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Leaflet Distribution Outside Shell Centre

Dear Mr Wiseman

I said in my email that your security staff did not act in a civil manner, were uncooperative and intimidating. Instead of apologizing or denying these allegations, you have fully endorsed their behavior, thereby confirming the accuracy of our account of what transpired on Monday.

Independent observers might find your reaction to be shameful and extraordinary bearing in mind that you are the Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. However, it comes as no surprise to me given your long track record of supporting improper behaviour by Shell employees/agents/lawyers, including threats, deception, fabrication, entrapment, IP theft and all manner of dishonesty and dirty tricks.  All acts completely at odds with Shell General Business Principles, which you hypocritically promote . As I have said many times about Shell management and the SGBP: it is deeds not words, which count.

For the record, not all security staff were hostile, but some were, and one individual in particular was nasty and aggressive. There was no improvement today.

The refusal to indicate the boundary line of Shell property and public property in the area within the Google photograph has nothing to do with terrorism (our leaflet distributors pose no such threat) but everything to do with the deliberate suppression by Shell of the public right to mount peaceful protest on property which the public own or have lawful access.

If it is Shell property all the way to the curb on York Road, as your security staff seem to be claiming, then you would simply confirm that assertion as being true.  You have not done so because that is not the case. Instead you evade the issue and support the threats and subterfuge. Anything to stop leaflets being distributed to Shell employees anywhere near the main entrances to Shell Centre.

Of course you have a strong personal motive for obstructing our lawful activities. Being a key player in so many past sinister and disreputable events in our long history with Shell, I can understand why you want to do everything possible to avoid the public humiliation of your actions being brought directly to the attention of Shell employees, as they will be on a regular basis.

Do you think it was wise to up the stakes by engaging in such unseemly bullyboy tactics to prevent entirely lawful protest activity?

Anyone reading this correspondence will see that we have attempted to act in a responsible reasonable way right from the outset, even responding favorably to your request for advance sight of our leaflets.  Given the lack of co-operation, that arrangement is at an end.

Shell has the right to take action in the courts if anything published by us as being fact, is considered defamatory i.e. untrue.  It should speak volumes that neither you personally or your company have ever issued libel proceedings against us. It was of course the other way round.  Shell settled both libel actions brought by us and as usual, hid the truth about the settlements from Shell stakeholders and the public.

Regards
John Donovan

REPLY FROM MR WISEMAN

From: [email protected]
Date: 6 October 2009 18:18:05 BST
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Leaflet Distribution Outside Shell Centre

As ever, my silence should not be taken as accepting any of your assertions.
Regards

Richard Wiseman

Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer
Royal Dutch Shell plc
Shell Centre, London SE1 7NA

Registered in England and Wales number 4366849
Registered Office: Shell Centre, London, SE1
Headquarters: Carel van Bylandtlaan 30, 2596 HR
The Hague, The Netherlands

Email: [email protected]
Internet: http://www.shell.com

ANY FURTHER COMMENT ON THIS MATTER FROM MR WISEMAN WILL BE ADDED HERE…

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