No More Impunity! Communities Worldwide Protest 'Gangster Corporation' Chevron

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Common Dreams

No More Impunity! Communities Worldwide Protest 'Gangster Corporation' Chevron

Demonstrations planned in five continents in solidarity with those poisoned by oil giant's operations

Decrying what they say are Chevron's crimes against humanity, communities across five continents are rising up on Wednesday in an international day of action against the oil giant.

Organizers with Amazon Watch have called Anti-Chevron Day to unite all of the communities worldwide that have been burdened by the devastating operations of a company they say has wrought "ecocide" and has been perpetuated with "impunity."

"Chevron is acting as a classic American gangster corporation, using a scorched earth policy against anyone who would challenge their authority in communities that are affected by their operations," Andrés Soto, an organizer with Communities for a Better Environment, told Common Dreams.

Demonstrations are being held in countries including Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, Nigeria, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Romania, Bulgaria and the Philippines, among others.

The worldwide actions are being documented on both Twitter and Facebook.

In Richmond, California, protesters are rallying outside the gates of the refinery which was the site of an August 2012 explosion and fire.

"We understand that we are in the same struggle with people who are affected by Chevron all around the world," said Soto, who is speaking at the Richmond rally. "We here to say 'basta,' enough."

At the Anti-Chevron protest in the Philippines, protesters said the company erected barbed wire to keep protesters out.

"This ecological crime against humanity or ecocide must be accounted for by the company and the CEOs."
—Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo, Environmental Rights Action and Friends of the Earth Nigeria

Marking the global day of action in Nigeria, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo, executive director of the Environmental Rights Action and Friends of the Earth Nigeria, gave a speech highlighting numerous examples of the "ecological devastation" perpetuated by Chevron and its "unrepentant behavior in persistently dodging responsibility for the mess it has created."

"We join forces with the global day of action against Chevron towards ending its impunity not just in Nigeria but in other climes in which it conducts its operations," Uyi Ojo said. "Ending Chevron’s impunity means that the company takes responsibility and liability for the environmental destruction from consistent harmful decisions that have resulted in the loss of lives and livelihoods."

"This ecological crime against humanity or ecocide must be accounted for by the company and the CEOs," he continued.

Uyi Ojo concluded by calling for "a legally binding treaty through the United Nations Human Rights Commission is necessitated to hold [transnational corporations] accountable for its crimes against humanity and disrespect for human rights."

The now annual day of protest comes ahead of Chevron's yearly shareholders meeting, which was moved from San Ramon, California to Odessa, Texas after facing scores of protesters last year.