An oil site is locked down by AFIMAC as a client leverages security for political activism.

Should Energy Sectors Be
Concerned About Activism?

Security For Political Activism: Where to Begin

Security for political activism addresses both uncertainty and risk in the face of protests, trespassing, and picketing. Corporate activism against the energy industry continues to challenge the senior leaders orchestrating the building of pipelines across North America. The complex infrastructure required to support the delivery of gas remains highly vulnerable to activist vandalism, leaving corporate entities on their own to protect their business operations. If left unaddressed, activism sabotage can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages and place your workforce in harm’s way. Risk mitigation in energy and fuel remains a complex beast to address, often calling for a full 360-degree response that includes everything from physical security presences, threat monitoring, and social listening tools that can work to protect both people and property.

Lean on a qualified security company that can offer far more than security for energy companies; instead, actively work to deter, monitor, and address threats before they arise.

Corporate Activism Targeting Energy and Food Production

Energy companies are no strangers to activists targeting their businesses. For years, the workforces that install and maintain pipelines throughout North America have been subject to harassment and sabotage from activists. Even after a pipeline has been successfully installed, some activists may visit a job site or pipeline to cause damage to key equipment, vehicles, or pipeline infrastructure itself. 

More recently, one energy company in Canada has been subject to anonymous threats that have claimed ongoing sabotage against pipelines throughout British Columbia. Activists have suggested that their efforts have included drilling small holes in key pipelines, causing significant damage and creating dangerous situations for the environment and maintenance workers.

These issues can be incredibly difficult to spot and address, leaving corporations to spend hundreds of hours ensuring the quality of their work and then performing required repairs. Especially motivated activists have also claimed that their sabotage includes efforts to delay the impacts of their work, using techniques that make their efforts hard to detect and later calling for significant repairs. As activists become more skilled in their actions, energy corporations must enlist more robust security that protects every element of their business.

Security For Political Activism: Demonstrations and Picketing

Aside from workplace sabotage, risks against the natural gas and energy industries continue to head in a troubling direction. Demonstrations at pipeline job sites create many security risks against workforces, leaving the corporation to address these issues before they become more complex. Picket lines and protests tend to become heated quickly, creating the potential for violence. In other cases, community activists may clash with the general public, blocking off major roadways and intersections to draw attention to their cause.

During these times, the liability issues can be extensive, with corporations being held accountable for the results of a difficult protest or demonstration. Personal injuries and violent altercations at the job site paint corporations in a negative light, delay work, and tarnish corporate brands for years to come. The efforts of many activists have slowly grown to be more violent, creating issues for corporate entities that have a moral and legal obligation to provide a safe workplace for all staff.

Security for political activism is called upon to a trade show event in New York City.

Corporate Activism, Threats, and Executive Protection

Executives in the energy sector should not underestimate the great lengths activists will take to disrupt their business operations. Activists have become increasingly bold in their efforts and may even target executive leaders themselves. Senior leaders should expect that motivated activists are not just a threat to their job sites and businesses but their safety as well.

Personal threats against safety, travel arrangements, and even home residences are a real possibility for leaders in the energy sector. Threats should be taken seriously and preemptively addressed with a third-party security company that can dispatch resources to job sites, offices, and homes.

Security For Political Activism: Solutions from AFIMAC Global

AFIMAC remains well aware of the many risks facing corporations that work within the energy sectors. Capable of implementing risk mitigation strategies for entire businesses, AFIMAC can actively listen to activists’ conversations being held online and help companies plan accordingly. Further, AFIMAC can also dispatch security resources to address issues of sabotage and demonstrations across North America, even on short notice.

Address risk in its many forms and explore solutions that fulfill your organization’s duty of care obligations with social listening, protective drivers, and executive protection agents and services that actively address safety concerns against activists. Fill out the form below to learn more about your options. 

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Updated February 1st, 2024: Demonstrators have become increasingly brazen in their tactics to draw attention to their cause and disrupt the business dealings of executives in multiple industries. Any business playing in the natural resource space has likely encountered negative attention from political activists. Actively monitor and respond to security risks alongside the industry leaders in private security. Tap into a blend of intelligence gathering, protection services, and risk mitigation tactics inspired by the US millitary.

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