Protest and Non-Violent Civil Disobedience at Chevron Headquarters; 31 Arrested

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CBS News (San Ramon, California)

Protest and Non-Violent Civil Disobedience at Chevron Headquarters; 31 Arrested

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Demonstrators block the entrance of Chevron Corp. in San Ramon, Calif., Monday, Dec. 7, 2009 to protest the climate talks in Copenhagen. The largest and most important U.N. climate change conference opened Monday in Copenhagen, with organizers warning diplomats from 192 nations that this could be the best, last chance for a deal to protect the world from calamitous global warming. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

SAN RAMON, California - Police arrested 29 people Monday morning during a protest in front of Chevron's headquarters in San Ramon.

The group Mobilization for Climate Justice West, a network of organizations and activists who promote solutions to climate change, gathered on Bollinger Canyon Road between Sunset Drive and the Iron Horse Trail around 7 a.m., police said.

Demonstrators were protesting what they say are efforts by Chevron to undermine the fight against global warming.

Protesters were demanding that the oil giant "end its practices of community destruction, climate pollution and interfering with climate policy solutions," according to Mobilization for Climate Justice West.

The group pointed out a recent report from the California Air Resources Board that found that Chevron's refinery in Richmond was the No. 1 greenhouse gas emitter in the state.

The protest came on the first day of the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Konrad Fisher, with Mobilization for Climate Justice West, said that about 100 protesters attended the rally.

According to police, eight of the 29 people arrested were booked into county jail. The remaining 21 people were cited and released. They were all arrested for allegedly blocking and obstructing streets, trespassing and remaining present at the place of an unlawful assembly after receiving orders to disperse, police said.

Nobody was hurt during the demonstration, police said.

Chevron spokesman Sean Comey said the company continues to work hard to protect the environment and increase efficiency, which ultimately reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

"We welcome constructive criticism, but a lot of what we're hearing today from the demonstrators is inaccurate and misleading," Comey said.

He said the protest did not disrupt operations at Chevron's headquarters.

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