Five protesters were arrested in Houston on Wednesday at the annual shareholders meeting of the oil giant Chevron. The True Cost of Chevron Network says it organized the protest to call attention to Chevron's human rights and environmental record. One of the five arrested, author Antonia Juhasz, was detained after questioning Chevron CEO John Watson during an open comment period for proxy holders. Outside the meeting, Maria Lya Ramos of the Rainforest Action Network's Change Chevron Campaign stood with Ecuadorian activist Maria Jimenez, who was able to briefly address the shareholders inside.
Maria Lya Ramos: "You cannot lie to her. She has seen it. She's a grandmother of seventy-one. She has had two miscarriages. Her children have become ill. She has lost her sister. Her sister has died because of being in contact with contaminated water. You cannot lie to her, because she is living witness to the contamination of this company. Shame on Chevron!"
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In a possible violation of SEC rules, the activists say Chevron allowed entry to just seven of the twenty-seven members of their group who hold legal shareholder proxies. Most of those denied entry were activists who had traveled from Ecuador, Nigeria, Burma and several other countries to speak out against Chevron's operations in their countries.