Dozens of environmental activists showed their outrage over the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico with a peaceful demonstration by a BP gas station in NoHo on Friday.
The demonstrators on East Houston Street poured blackened water over their heads, symbolizing the millions of gallons of oil that has threatened wetlands and wildlife along the Gulf Coast.
Chanting "BP, your heart is black, you can have your oil back," the environmentalists said the oil company should take financial responsibility for the cleanup efforts and face criminal charges.
"We've come to return [BP] its oil, because as citizens of New York we feel that BP has lost the privilege to ever drill again. And they need to be made an example of as a company, so that no other oil company in the future ever makes such a catastrophic error," said one protester. No arrests were made during the protest. While barriers set up during the demonstration prevented drivers from filling up at the BP station, the company as a whole also makes money from producing motor oil, asphalt, aluminum and other products.
"It's has nothing to do with the gas station, it's about the higher-ups and hopefully it will trickle down to this and hopefully this will make a difference," said a protester.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama surveyed the damage caused by the oil spill along the Louisiana coastline on Friday and promised the region's residents would not be forgotten.
After receiving a briefing on the status of the spill, Obama said he plans to triple the clean-up manpower in places where the oil has already reached shore."I ultimately take responsibility take responsibility for solving this crisis," said Obama. "I'm the president and the buck stops with me."
BP officials said Friday that the so-called "Top Kill" cleaning procedure is progressing, as mud was drilled into the runaway well 5,000 feet underwater to stem the flow.
Yet company officials said that some of the mud being pumped is escaping, and that they would not know until the weekend if it is working.
Obama promised top experts are ready to intervene if the "top kill" plan does not.
Last month's spill has been called the worst in U.S. history, with as much as 36 million gallons leaking into the gulf and with 11 workers dying in the oil rig explosion.