Jakarta —- Greenpeace activists have scaled an Indonesian palm oil refinery with a popular rock band who played some of their pro-environment songs from the top of the structure, it said Tuesday, protesting a commodity found in everything from soap to biscuits.
The green group said 30 activists — including several foreigners — and Indonesian metal group Boomerang were “occupying” the site in Sulawesi island to draw attention to widespread environmental destruction caused by planting the widely used edible oil.
They painted “Dirty” in large letters and dropped a banner that read “Drop Dirty Palm Oil Now” on storage tanks owned by Singapore-listed Wilmar International, the world’s biggest palm oil trader which supplies major brands including Colgate, Nestlé and Unilever, it said.
One group of activists also climbed the anchor chain of a tanker ship transporting palm oil and are preventing it from moving, according to the group. Meanwhile, Boomerang — which got its start in the mid-nineties and whose new music focuses on conservation — performed at the top of the refinery tanks.
Greenpeace has accused Singapore-listed Wilmar of still being linked to deforestation in Indonesia — the world’s biggest palm oil exporter — despite committing five years ago to stop logging the Southeast Asian archipelago’s vast tracts of jungle.
“This refinery is loaded with Wilmar’s dirty palm oil and if we weren’t here it would be on its way to factories and supermarkets all over the world,” Greenpeace said. Wilmar did not immediately comment on the protest. Last week, Indonesia’s president signed a three-year moratorium on all new palm oil plantation development in the country.