By Leah Temper.
On the international day of action against Chevron we would like to highlight a call for Signatures from the Anti Chevron campaign and a global map of conflicts caused by Chevron activities. The company operates in more than 180 countries around the world, so this tour is just a sample of the gravest corporate abuses and environmental injustices the multinational has been implicated in around the world. Click on each case to get the full details from the Atlas.
Perhaps the most well known of these cases is the Chevron-Texaco case in Ecuador, whereby Chevron is doing everything in its power to get away with ecocide and to avoid paying a $9.5 billion fine it has incurred for trashing the Amazon. Instead, Chevron, one of the richest corporations (#11) in the world, decided to fight ecological restoration and counter-sue the poor Amazonian communities they contaminated. The communities continue to fight for justice and are actively pursuing Chevron assets in Argentina, Brazil and Canada (where Chevron is part of what has been dubbed the most destructive project on earth: http://ejatlas.herokuapp.com/conflict/alberta-tar-sands-canada
Hear one of the lawyers speak on the case and Chevron’s nefarious tactics in this video: http://www.ejolt.org/2014/03/access-to-justice-and-extractive-industries/
In Nigeria, Chevron, the country’s third-largest oil producer, is responsible for massive spills, explosions, gas flaring and depriving communities of access to clean water in the Niger Delta, as can be seen from the 5 cases we have documented there. Chevron was also linked to the shooting of two activists who had occupied one of their oil platforms in 1998. The company flew in Nigerian military and police, who were well known for committing abuses. They were brought to trial in the US, however, the company was acquitted as it claimed the military intervention was necessary… simply the cost of business.
Another project Chevron is involved in, together with French Total, the Yadana Gas Field in Myanmar, has a history of serious and widespread human rights abuses committed by pipeline security forces on behalf of the companies, including forced labor, land confiscation, forced relocation, rape, torture, murder. Many of these abuses continue today.
To be fair, Chevron has no qualms in polluting in its own backyard just as it does in the South. A Chevron refinery in Richmond California has had hundreds of accidents occur since the plant started operating. The latest was a large explosion and fire that occurred on August 6, 2012 and caused more than 15,000 residents to seek treatment at area hospitals. After the 2012 accident and mass protests (210 protesters were arrested in the one year anniversary of the accident), the city of Richmond filed a lawsuit against Chevron over the fire. In response to this lawsuit, Chevron pleaded no context to six criminal charges and agreed to implement extra oversight of its operation and pay $2 million in fines and restitution.
Angolan communities received considerably less when an oil spill occurred near the Malonga oil base dealing a severe blow to the struggling local fishing industry. Oil giant Chevron-Texaco gave about $2000 to 10 percent of the affected fishermen.
Chevron is now getting into the dirty business of Fracking, causing new conflicts ranging from Argentina, where a peaceful protest of up to 10,000 workers, students and Mapuches against a Chevron Shale gas project in August 2013 was repressed with firepower, to struggles we have highlighted in this blog from Romania, Bulgaria and Poland. We plan to further track the company’s efforts to frack communities in the coming year.
Residents impacted by fracking by Chevron can rest assured however…. after a Chevron hydraulic fracturing well exploded in rural Dunkard Township, Pennsylvania in February, and burned for four days straight, the energy company tried to make it up to local residents… with free pizza.
Below is the call for signatures:
We invite you to unite in a joint statement rejecting the poor operational and corporate practices of Chevron, and to participate in a global day of action scheduled for May 21st that is called the “International Anti-Chevron Day”. The call for action comes from several communities that have suffered the negative impacts of Chevron’s oil operations in five different nations: Ecuador, Argentina, Nigeria, Romania and the United States.
The statement signed by the affected communities, which can be found on the antichevron website, outlines a partial list of Chevron’s human rights and environmental violations and puts out a call for international solidarity for those seeking redress for Chevron’s environmental harm. Some of the demands include:
– Chevron should pay for the pollution and destruction of nature, including terrestrial and marine ecosystems;
– Chevron should respect the affected peoples’ right to self-determination in rejecting the use of fracking and other high-risk operational practices in their territories;
– Chevron should comply with the legal obligations imposed on it by judicial systems in the countries in which it operates, including the judgment ($9.5 billion in indemnities) in Ecuador that the company refuses to pay after more than two decades of legal battles.
The statement asserts that until Chevron complies with its legal obligations, the affected communities will be calling on all citizens and governments around the world not to purchase any products with the Chevron brand or brands owned by Chevron subsidiaries, including Texaco. This statement is an important milestone for all communities in the world who suffer from the impunity of international companies.
To fight against Chevron is to fight for a better environment in your country.
These organisations have already expressed support for the anti-Chevron action in the Amazon:
All organisations wishing to contribute to the global action on May 21st can express their support and active participation in social networks and the public events that will take place on May 21st.
– Anti Chevron Homepage: www.antichevron.com
– Video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Swo1WTfDtQ
– Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/antichevron/