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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

  • Help end world hunger
  • Saturday, July 11, 2009

    Boycott Chevron-Texaco

    I want to continue covering the Chevron boycott. Chevron is one of the main American companies supporting the Burmese dictatorship. Why should our dollars go to supporting a regime that slaughters monks and brutally squashes democracy?

    But Chevron's horrible record goes beyond Burma. This comes from back in 2002:

    OilWatch and the member organizations of Ecuador and Nigeria are calling a boycott against Chevron-Texaco Company, to punish this company for the environmental damages and the human rights abuses commited during its operations in Nigeria and Ecuador.

    Chevron-Texaco will face trials for its impacts in Nigeria and Ecuador.

    These countries' organizations use boycott as an instrument of pressure against the company, to make it remember that whatever is polluted MUST be cleaned up.

    At times when transnational companies frame up regimes of impunity for themselves, we must join efforts to punish companies with our protest, and our vow of censorship by not consumming these companies' products.

    This campaign will provide a precedent to avoid other oil companies' impunity, that in the same ways cause destruction and death.

    For further information, please contact:

    Asume Osouka

    Esperanza Martnez

    Leila Salazar

    OilWatch y las organizaciones miembros de Ecuador y Nigeria convocan a un BOYCOT a la empresa Chevron Texaco, para castigar a esta empresa por los daos ambientales e irrrespeto a los derechos humanos provocados durante sus operaciones en Nigeria y Ecuador.

    Chevron Texaco deber enfrentar juicios por sus impactos en Nigeria y Ecuador.

    Las organizaciones de esos pases utilizan el boycot como una herramienta de presin a la compaa, para que esta compaa recuerda que lo que se ensucia se limpia.

    En momentos en que las empresas transnacionales quieren para si mismas un rgimen de impunidad, debemos aunar fuerzas para castigar a las empresas con nuestra protesta y nuestro voto de censura al no consumir productos de la empresa.

    Esta campaa ser un precedente para evitar la impunidad de otras empresas petroleras que provocan igualmente destruccin y muerte.

    Mayor informacin

    Asume Osouka

    Esperanza Martnez

    Leila Salazar

    SECRETARIA DE OILWATCH Casilla 17-15-246-C Quito - Ecuador
    Tel-Fax: (593 2) 547516 / 527583 Tel: 593 9 82 56 37
    E-mail: oilwatch@uio.satnet.net
    Pagina Web: www.oilwatch.org.ec

    For more info on the Ecuador case, see this article in the Christian Science Monitor.

    Last year, inspired by Chevron's horrible record in Burma, but also by their long-standing horrible environmental record, the city of Berkeley, California voted to join the boycott of Chevron. From their press release:

    The authority adopted a resolution on January 29, mandating that it "cease all purchases from Chevron" as a result of the corporation's record of ecological destruction and involvement in human rights abuses in Angola, Burma, Ecuador and Nigeria, as well as the San Francisco Bay Area, where Chevron operates a refinery widely suspected of causing cancers and other health problems among local residents.

    Supported by Amazon Watch and 14 other environmental and human rights groups, the Berkeley resolution is the first in a series of similar proposals to be considered by municipal authorities across the U.S. in the coming months as Chevron management's failure to deal decisively with a range of legacy and current corporate responsibility issues causes growing public and investor concern.

    "In locations across the globe including Ecuador, Nigeria, Burma, and Iraq, and as close to Berkeley as its Richmond refinery, Chevron has been implicated in major human rights violations and environmental destruction," said Berkeley Peace and Justice Commissioner Diana Bohn, who filed the resolution. "The City of Berkeley stood up today and sent a clear message to Chevron: your corporate recklessness will not be tolerated."

    From 1964 to 1992 Texaco (now Chevron) built and operated oil exploration and production facilities in the northern Ecuadorian Amazon, dumping 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater directly into a vast, inhabited area of rainforest. Today Chevron is a defendant in a class-action lawsuit in the region where thousands of rainforest dwellers, suffering a public health crisis, are seeking at least $10 billion in clean-up damages.

    Chevron is also facing a trial in a U.S federal court in San Francisco on charges it paid Nigerian military and police to fire at villagers staging a protest at a Chevron oil platform in 1998, killing two people. Nigerian citizens also allege that the company was complicit in an attack on two villages that left four dead.

    In Burma, the company's ties to the military junta, which has carried out a brutal crackdown against peaceful democracy protests, has brought a wave of international condemnation. As a result of its recent take-over of Unocal, Chevron now owns the Yadana gas project in Burma. Yadana is allowed to operate by a loophole in existing U.S. sanctions against the country, and has provided significant revenues to Burma's military regime.

    Locally, in Richmond, in the East Bay, Chevron operates a huge oil refinery blamed for causing serious environmental health hazards, including fires, spills, leaks, explosions, toxic gas releases, flaring, and air contamination. The refinery is suspected of causing cancers and other public health problems in the local community.

    You have a choice when you buy your gasoline. Chevron-Texaco and Exxon/Mobil are among the worst companies out there. BP (with a moderately better environmental record) and Citgo (which funds free heating oil for poor families in America) seem better than the average gas company. I think Arco is also not too bad. I recommend buying from BP or Citgo and avoiding Chevron, Texaco, Exxon and Mobil. Actually, my favorite gas company is Conserv Fuels, which we use in California when we need to. My focus on Chevron-Texaco and Exxon/Mobil is echoed by others, like Third World Traveler. This is from their statement from 2006: (their whole statement is worth reading, but this is just the last paragraph)

    It is our opinion that Exxon/Mobil and Texaco/Chevron be boycotted until they demonstrate responsible practices that do not harm the future of society and our planet. The strength of a boycott is determined by wide ranging support. We hope our readers will join us in publicizing this option for expressing our values and demand that oil companies be held accountable for the consequences of their business practices.

    I would add that there is more you can do to help the democracy movement in Burma. From Amnesty International: Please write General Than Shwe and urge him to release Aung San Suu Kyi and then forward this email to your friends and networks.
    Help free Daw Aung San Suu Kyi


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