Chevron Shareholders and Executives Greeted by Protesters from Across the Globe

For Immediate Release

Justice in Nigeria Now
Contact: 

Sarah Dotlich: 415-575-5521
415-990-0792 (cell)
Laura Livoti: 415 846 5797

Chevron Shareholders and Executives Greeted by Protesters from Across the Globe

Nigerians and their Allies demand Respect for Human Rights, Increased Investment in Local Community Development

San Ramon, CA - Chevron’s
annual shareholder meeting today became a referendum on the company’s
global operating practices, with hundreds rallying outside the meeting
against the oil giant’s environmental and human rights record, and
representatives of Chevron affected communities inside the meeting
speaking directly to the company’s senior executives, board of
directors and key shareholders. Present were representatives or allies
from communities in Nigeria, Burma, Ecuador, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Canada,
the Philippines and Richmond, California.  

Inside
the meeting Tunde Okorodudu, a pro-democracy activist and former
Senatorial candidate for Delta South, in the Niger Delta of Nigeria
pronounced powerfully, “what is bad for my people is also bad for
business. Communities where Chevron extracts oil have made it known to
the company for many years that they were suffering as a result of
Chevron’s operations. When villagers ask for jobs, environmental
remediation for pollution the company caused, electricity, investment
in education and healthcare and environmental audits and mitigations,
Chevron responded with minimal investments in community projects that
have not dented the community needs.”
“Chevron
has known for years that an insurgency was building among frustrated
residents of the Niger Delta as a result of the lack of development and
environmental harms caused by oil development,” said Okorodudu.  “And
now, the company’s practices in the Niger Delta have contributed to
harm their bottom line, with the attack yesterday of a major oil
pipeline in Abiteyeye, which the Wall Street Journal reports reduced
Chevron’s output by 100,000 barrels per day.” The company’s 10k report
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in February 2009
states that its Nigeria oil production for 2008 was 154,000 barrels per
day. This means that the current instability has reduced the company’s
production by almost two thirds. 
Laura
Livoti, founder of Justice in Nigeria Now said “Chevron has a
responsibility to its shareholders. In order to ensure security and
stability for its operations the company must step up and promote
development and adequate living standards in the communities from which
they are making their profits.”
In
addition, Okorodudu addressed the current humanitarian crisis in the
Delta stemming from the Nigerian military’s attacks in Delta and Rivers
State which have uprooted and displaced villagers, with reports of
civilian deaths and starvation as a result. Okorodudu declared “the
company must end its relationship with the notoriously brutal Nigerian
military. As a 40% partner with the Nigerian government it must bear
some responsibility for the destructive actions by the military and its
brutal and notorious Joint Task Force (JTF)”.
Outside
the meeting protestors carried colorful placards parodying Chevron’s
Human Energy advertisements with beautiful photos of a Nigerian
villager that read “I will give my baby contaminated water: Chevron
refuses to clean up its mess in Nigeria” and  another  with a photo of
a Nigerian boy reading ”I will continue fishing even though the fish
are gone: Chevron pollutes fresh water in Nigeria.”
The
coalition of groups and Chevron affected communities yesterday released
an alternative annual report and a series of parody ads that address
the company’s worldwide issues. The entire report and advertisement
series can be found at www.TrueCostofChevron.com
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Justice In Nigeria Now! (JINN) is a San Francisco-based organization working in solidarity with communities in Nigeria and allies in the U.S. to hold multinational corporations accountable for their operations in Nigeria to act in a manner that respects human rights, protects the environment, and enhances community livelihood.

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