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Corporate Criminals – Chevron June 5, 2010

Posted by rogerhollander in Ecuador, Environment, Latin America.
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BP is not the worst criminal conspiracy dressed as an oil company. Royal Dutch Shell (more later) and Chevron are much worse.

The Crimes of Chevron
Slavery, Vandalism, Murder by Proxy

One of Chevron’s Amazon oil pits.
(Here’s Daryl Hannah at another.)

Chevron is partnered with the Myanmar (Burma) military junta in building a gas pipeline project. Finding workers for this huge project was no problem – the Myanmar military simply impressed the indigenous people into slave labor gangs.

The recruiting system is simple. The junta burns their villages to the ground, herds the population at gunpoint into relocation (concentration) camps, doesn’t allow them to grown their own food and tells them the only way to eat is to work. They work clearing the forest, as porters (slaves are cheaper than trucks), and sex slaves for the project engineers. It should be noted that Chevron does not directly impress the workers. The Burma junta does the “hiring,” Chevron just profits from the arrangement. Chevron nobly claim they are providing “jobs” for the people in the region. Chevron neglects to note they are non-paying jobs with benefits that include torture and rape. Some reports say the workers are being paid a token for their forced labor. Burmese citizens who protest the pipeline project are murdered by the government. (See also Burma Digest about oppression in Karen State, End Human Trafficking on Chevron’s link to forced labor, the Free Burma Rangers, and Rebecca Tarbottom on the True Cost of Chevron in Burma)

In Ecuador, Chevron’s attack on indigenous people involves the destruction of their land and the poisoning of their rivers. When shareholders met last week in Houston, Chevron used the Houston police department to forcibly exclude shareholders who disagreed with management on its conduct in Ecuador from attending the annual meeting.

Chevron is an American corporation with headquarters in California. In California slavery is punished by at least three years in prison per count. What Chevron dumps in the Amazon River violates the Clean Water Act (if it were done in the US), it violates Ecuador law too.

Chevron has revenues of $167 billion last year and is the third largest business in the United States. Their CEO made nearly $9 million last year, 85% of it from non-salary bonuses and options.

Shell Must Clean up Its Act in Nigeria December 4, 2009

Posted by rogerhollander in Africa, Environment, Nigeria.
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Published on Friday, December 4, 2009 by The Guardian/UK

As Nigerian villagers take Shell to court over huge oil spills, it’s time for the group to take responsibility for polluting practices

by Chima Williams

A court in The Hague is considering whether Shell can be held liable for alleged pollution in Nigeria, and a ruling is expected on 30 December. This case could set a precedent for corporations based in Europe that exploit lax environmental regulations and violate the rights of communities in the developing world.In the village of Ikot Ada Udot, south-eastern Nigeria, a rusty complex of tubes pokes five feet out of the ground. A familiar sight to locals, it is known as the “Christmas tree”. But unlike its innocuous namesake, this “tree” is an abandoned oil wellhead owned by oil multinational Shell. According to environmentalists, the wellhead spewed toxic oil and gas into the land and fish ponds of local villagers for months in August 2006, and again in 2007. As of May 2008, the area around the Christmas tree was still heavily polluted and villagers remain destitute.

This is one of three oil spills in the case against Shell that will begin its first hearing at The Hague civil court this week. Four Nigerian villagers, in conjunction with Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands), are charging Royal Dutch Shell with causing massive oil spills that have resulted in loss of livelihoods. The case provides a snapshot of the environmental and social devastation caused by Shell in the Niger Delta.

The bigger, more disturbing picture is that oil spills have contaminated the once fertile Delta with approximately 1.5m tonnes of crude oil, equivalent to one Exxon Valdez disaster every year for the last 50 years. As Amnesty International pointed out in a report this July, Shell “has failed to respect the human rights of the people of the Niger Delta … through failure to prevent and mitigate pollution”.

The parent company, Royal Dutch Shell, denies responsibility for the pollution of its subsidiary, Shell Nigeria, and is challenging the jurisdiction of the Dutch court over its actions abroad. It also blames oil spills on sabotage to its equipment. It seems that if Shell had its way, no court would have jurisdiction over any violations of human rights and environmental law. In 2005, the federal high court of Nigeria declared Shell’s gas flaring to be a violation of human rights and ordered the company to stop the illegal practice. Shell has still not complied with this court order. With little or no legal remedy in Nigeria, villagers from the Niger Delta have decided to bring their case to The Hague to hold the company headquarters to account.

Should the case go forward, the court would hear about Shell’s systematic pollution across the region. In Goi, a massive oil spill from Shell’s Trans-Niger pipeline caught fire in 2005, incinerating farmland, property and polluting fisheries. It took 33 months before Shell cleaned up the mess. Chief Barizaa, an Ogoni elder, and one of the four plaintiffs in the case said: “I lost everything … the oil flowed into my fishponds and killed all my fish. The five canoes I had in the creeks were consumed by the inferno. I have nothing left to feed my family.”

Another oil spill flowed from a high-pressure pipeline in Oruma, Bayelsa state, in 2005, polluting the land and drinking water of several neighbouring communities. Shell waited 12 days before containing the spill, and four months later it began its clean-up operation by dumping the polluted soil into pits and setting them on fire, causing further damage to the environment.

The oil-rich Niger Delta is prized by multinational corporations; chief among them is Shell, which derives approximately 10% of its global profits from the region. The oil companies have made enormous profits and enriched a succession of Nigerian regimes, but pollution is driving local people into poverty. Until Shell takes responsibility for its impact on the environment and human rights, it can expect legal actions like this one to expose ugly truths about their polluting practices. Shell must bear the cost of its environmental devastation. The alternative is daily injustice on a massive scale.

© Guardian News and Media Limited 2009
Chima Williams is a lawyer by profession. He is an activist with Environmental Rights, Action/ Friends of the Earth in Nigeria. He advocates for changes in policy and environmental regulation in Nigeria and West Africa

Justice for Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni People March 27, 2009

Posted by rogerhollander in Africa.
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justice-nigeria

ken-saro-wila-nigeria

Ken Saro Wiwa – Environmental and human rights activist, executed in 1995 

 

Justice for Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni People

On April 27, 2009 the Ogoni people of Nigeria will finally have their chance at justice when the families of famed activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and his colleagues, who were sentenced to death in a sham trial in Nigeria and hanged in 1995, will show that Royal Dutch Shell was at the very least complicit in their deaths and likely colluded with the Nigerian military to quell peaceful protests through murder, torture and destruction of villages. The plaintiffs’ attorneys will use a U.S. law on the books since 1789 called the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) that allows violations of international law to be tried in U.S. courts. Violations include extrajudicial execution; torture; crimes against humanity; cruel inhuman and degrading treatment; arbitrary arrest and detention; and violations of the rights to life, liberty, security of person, and freedom of expression and association.

 

Learn more about the events and background of Ogoni Struggle

 

Visit WiwavShell.org for more information about the legal charges and proceedings and tell a friend about the case!

 

JINN Needs Volunteers!

JINN is looking for volunteers for various tasks including:

  • Help with web 2.0 tools
  • Write and edit documents
  • Update JINN website (expereince with wordpress a plus!)
  • Edit audio and video clips
  • Flyer at events
  • Event publicity
  • Administrative tasks 

Contact Sarah at the JINN office for more information . JINN is located in San Francisco.  We can use your help in our office and remotely.

 

Upcoming Events

Featured Event:

 

Justice In Nigeria Now presents:

 

Delta Force, a Documentary by Glen Ellis about Ken Saro- Wiwa and the Struggle for the Ogoni People

 

Followed by a Panel Discussion about the upcoming case against Shell

 

April 15, 2009 

 

6pm – Wine and Beer Receptionshell04.jpg

7pm – Film Screening

8pm – Panel Discussion 

 

Artist Television Access

992 Valencia Street (at 21st)

San Francisco, CA 94110

(415)824-3890

ata@atasite.org

 

This is a benefit screening for Justice In Nigeria Now:  www.justiceinnigerianow.org

 

$10-$30 suggested donation (no one turned away for lack of funds)

   

 

 

On November 10, 1995, Nigerian environmental activist and internationally acclaimed non-violent resistance leader Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 of his Ogoni colleagues were executed by Nigeria’s brutal military dictatorship. This one hour documentary, tells the story of the rise of Saro-Wiwa and the Movement for Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) and its violent suppression by the Nigerian military with the complicity of Shell Oil.

 

On April 27, 2009 relatives of Ken Saro-Wiwa and other MOSOP members will bring Shell to trial in New York for the company’s complicity in the death of the Ogoni 9. Join us at this benefit for Justice in Nigeria Now (JINN) to support JINN while socializing and learning about the Ogoni and the upcoming trial.

STOP AFRICOMafricomLogo.jpg

Wednesday, April 8

6:00 – 8:00 pm

La Pena Cultural Center
3105 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley – Map
 
Light snacks and refreshments available.
This is a free event, open to the public.
 
Association of Concerned, Africa Scholars (ACAS) & Priority Africa Network Present:

The new U.S. Military Command for Africa threatens to escalate the militarization of all aspects of U.S. policy towards Africa. Come learn what the Africa Command is all about, what’s at stake, and how we can stop it.
 
Watch Resist Africom’s 8 min  video

Multimedia presentations and speakers: Daniel Volman, Director African Security Research Project Dr. Amina Mama, Nigerian Distinguished Professor of Ethnic Studies, Mills College
 
Sponsoring organizations: Africa Action, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), Global Exchange, Justice In Nigeria Now (JINN), KPFA Radio’s Africa Today, War Times, Women of Color Resource Center (WCRC), United for Peace & Justice (UFPJ) Bay Area, Vukani Mawethu Choir
 
For tabling opportunities, contact Priority Africa Network at Tel: (510) 238 8080 ext. 309 or email us at PriorityAfrica@yahoo.com