Environmental activists expose Chevron’s crimes
Published Jun 7, 2010 9:23 PM
WW photo: Gloria Rubac
Emem Okon traveled halfway around the world from Nigeria to Houston to attend
the annual stockholders meeting of Chevron Oil Company on May 27. But she and
13 others were denied entry despite having legal proxy credentials.
Okon wanted to represent the voices and tell the stories of the women in the
Niger Delta — women who have called, written letters and protested in
Nigeria to no avail. They have organized to demand that Chevron clean up the
environment, end gas flaring, and “respect their own human rights
policies which call for two-way communication between Chevron and the Niger
Delta communities.” (Justice in Nigeria Now press release)
Not only were the delegates banned, but police arrested five of them who did
civil disobedience after being refused entry. Among the five arrested was
Antonia Juhasz, author of “The True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative
Annual Report.” Juhasz was dragged from the meeting as shareholders and
their proxies chanted, “Chevron lies, people die.” CEO John Watson
abruptly ended the meeting.
Others arrested included Rev. Ken Davis of Community for a Better Environment
from Richmond, Calif.; Juan Parras of Houston-based Texas Environmental Justice
Advocacy Services; and Mitchell Anderson and Han Shan of Amazon Watch.
Before his arrest, Rev. Davis stated, “I represent an area where there is
no beauty shop, groceries, or cleaners. Our industry is Chevron. My people
breathe their contamination every day and are constantly sick. Our health is
not for sale.” (JNN press release)
Chevron’s actions in Houston have contradicted its own so-called human
rights policy by silencing the voices of people from Nigeria, Australia,
Ecuador, Burma, Colombia, Canada and Richmond, Calif. Nigerian Omoyele Sowore
explained, “Chevron continues its criminal behavior by denying its
shareholders a voice, as it has denied impacted communities a voice about
pollution and climate change and they continue their connivance and collusion
with military dictators around the world to suppress the voices in the
communities where it operates.” (www.TrueCostofChevron.com)
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