Jesse Jackson: Boycott BP Stations!



Rainbow Push and the Sierra Club joined forces Tuesday, picketing a North Side BP station, urging drivers to vote with their feet.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson says he wants consumers to boycott BP.

“Absolutely, because we should not subsidize their reckless behavior,” Jackson said. “We should not pay the bill for the spill.”

The movement had not yet taken hold at a BP station downtown, with cars lined up at its pumps; drivers aware of the environmental disaster but not yet motivated to act.

And now for the reality:

But the connection between these gas stations and global giant BP is not what many think.

If people stop buying BP-branded gasoline, wouldn’t somehow down the line, that hurt them?

“It’s not gonna hurt them,” said oil industry analyst Phil Flynn. “It’s gonna hurt the people that bought the BP franchises.”

People like Max Mahkri, who signed a 7-year deal back in December when BP finished unloading all its company-owned stations to private operators.

“It’s just individual owners like us, who has a family to support, who has people to work,” Mahkri said.

Mahkri employs 19 people to staff the 20-hour-a-day location, paying their salaries with an 8 to 12 cent a gallon mark-up.


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