In retaliation for Gulf of Mexico oil spill, angry citizens strike at BP by vandalizing gas stations
(NY DAILY NEWS) This is what New York‘s rage against BP looks like.
All over town, BP gas station signs are being vandalized with brown paint – even atop 30-foot poles.
“It appears they put it inside water balloons and throw them at the sign,” a police source said.
A paint remover who was cleaning blotches of brown paint off a sign on E. 125th St. said he had been to five other BP stations since late May.
“People are getting mad at BP,” the worker said. “They are throwing paintballs. All of them are brown. The same paint. Maybe it is the same person.”
Cops say they don’t know if it’s the work of a lone vandal.
“There are a lot of people pissed out there,” the police source said. “We don’t know who is doing it. But we know why they are doing it.”
“What are they trying to prove? They’re just stupid!” said Mark Sapozhnikov, 60, manager of the BP station on Kent Ave., who said it took him $1,500 and three days to clean his sign.
“People need to realize that by vandalizing private businesses, they’re not helping the oil spill,” he said.
BP gas stations are usually owned by small businessmen who bought a franchise and a contract, not by the international oil giant.
“I use BP because it’s the best oil, and their service delivery is great. I’ve had that contract for 20 years, and I’m not going to end it because of the vandalism or the spill,” Sapozhnikov said.
At the Houston St. station yesterday, brown paint splotches continued to mar the BP sign.
“BP is a really scary company. It’s like a bad child, it needs to be punished. They’ve gotten away with murder,” said passerby Jane McCaffrey, 62,
People were still gassing up, though.
Natalie Ramsey, 29, stopped fueling when she realized where she was.
“Oh, shoot. I didn’t want to get gas here! Oh, well, they only got $7,” she said, driving off.
The attendant, an immigrant from the Ivory Coast named Mass, said he was having trouble.
“Some customers are upset. It makes you feel kind of bad, but what can you do?” he said.
On Facebook, hundreds of anti-BP groups have popped up with names like “No BP for Me,” “Take Over BP” and “I vote we plug the gulf oil leak with BP executives.”
There are 541 groups called “Boycott BP” alone.
Millions of gallons of crude have poured into the gulf from an undersea geyser since the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion.
Yesterday, a top BP executive told The Associated Press that the company should be able to decrease the flow to “a relative trickle” soon.
BP immediately clarified the comments of Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles, saying it was optimistic substantial progress can be made in the next week to reduce the flow, but it will take some time before it’s a trickle.
BP CEO Tony Hayward will be dragged in front of Congress next week for what is sure to be an epic tongue-lashing.