|Urgent Action||17 July 2000|
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Lord Weir who was chairing the meeting looked mildly exasperated. It was an expression we were to see used to it's full range throughout the proceedings, especially when he was quizzed about why the board had allowed the company to be embroiled in a controversial project, mired in blood, like Ilisu. -- Mark Thomas commenting on the Balfour Beatty AGM
Balfour Beatty is the prime contractor for the Ilisu Dam. A project that has been condemned by human rights activists, environmentalists and two House of Commons Select Committees. A project that is likely to trigger the next Middle East War. Balfour Beatty are looking to the British taxpayer to underwrite their involvement to the tune of £200 million.
The last Balfour Beatty AGM held in May ended in chaos and finally had to be abandoned. The board were not used to answering critical questions from their shareholders. You too can be present at the reconvened AGM, expected to be held some time August onwards.
The Ilisu Dam Campaign are inviting people to buy shares in the company so they too can join in the fun at the reconvened AGM. They need one thousand people by mid-August, so rush your £2 (cheques etc, made payable to The Ilisu Dam Campaign) with your name and address and they will do the rest. If you can spare more, add the rest as a donation.
Ilisu Dam Campaign Box 210 266 Banbury Rd Oxford OX2 7DL
Expect Balfour Beatty's Rent-a-Thug Security to be present.
We will be featuring the Ilisu Dam and a Balfour Beatty company profile in the BVEJ August newsletter. Also see past urgent actions and a communique on the Select Committee report on the Ilisu Dam. Also see Corporate Watch Spring 2000 for an excellent article on Balfour Beatty by Kate Geary, the Ilisu Dam web site (includes a report by Mark Thomas on the May AGM) and Private Eye.
The following from SchNEWS 266 is a brief sampler of Balfour Beatty:
If someone came up to you and asked if you could lend them two hundred million quid you'd probably want to check them out a bit before handing over the cash. So what would you say to them if you found out they'd been recently raided by the FBI, are currently on trial in Lesotho on bribery charges (or would be if one of their key witnesses hadn't legged it); had been found guilty by the Health and Safety Executive on numerous occasions, causing the death and serious injury of workers and getting a record £1.2 million fine after part of the tunnel on the rail link to Heathrow airport collapsed; were involved in the Pergau Dam scandal of the early nineties, where aid was given to Malaysia on the understanding that Malaysia brought weapons from British companies. In the eighties they built a dam in Sri Lanka that turned out to have an irreparable leak. And just for good measure were last year named as one of the UK's top twenty polluting companies.
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