TUESDAY, APRIL 05, 2011
THE BLOG OF THE RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK

Even Chevron CEO John Watson's Neighbors Think He's Wrong About Ecuador

We’ve barely heard anything from Chevron CEO John Watson since the historic judgment in Ecuador that found his company responsible for $18 billion worth of environmental and cultural damages in the Ecuadorean Amazon. Chevron has at last been found guilty for the 18.5 billion gallons of toxic oil waste it left behind in the Lago Agria region of Ecuador, yet Watson has been relatively silent on the matter. [caption id="attachment_12562" align="alignleft" width="157" caption="Click the image to sign up to do outreach to Watson's neighbors."]CVX volunteer canvasses John Watson's neighborhood[/caption] Luckily, though, Watson lives basically in RAN's backyard in Lafayette, CA. For the last few weeks, we’ve been heading out to Lafayette to remind Watson about the human rights and environmental abuses his company has committed. As we’ve reported here, Chevron is fighting the decision tooth and nail in Ecuador — our team figured it was important to bring the fight right to his door step. We’ve tried showing up at Watson's door step, and we’ve even brought the Raging Grannies to sing him some songs, so this time we’re trying a new tactic. We’re asking his neighbors and fellow community members to talk with him for us. We’ve been handing out flyers to residents of Lafayette, CA, which is a relatively small suburban community. Folks here are super nice and really receptive to our message. We’ve felt really welcomed in this tiny hamlet. In fact, just yesterday, we met many of Watson’s close personal friends, most of which responded very openly and warmly to us. One friend of his let us know that she plans on telling him exactly how she feels on the issue, and how wrong she really thinks he is by not taking responsibility for his company’s toxic mess. Once she saw the flyer, she responded by saying, "Yeah, what they’re doing is just wrong, they should take responsibility, and I plan on telling him more." Chevron CEO John Watson wanted posterWe’re pretty confident the message is getting back to Watson, and we’re hoping that he realizes even his personal friends, neighbors, and community members know what his company has done, and are ready for him to take responsibility for the devastation his company has caused in Ecuador. Want to help us out? We’ve talked to hundreds of folks in the last couple of weeks, and we’re ready to keep talking to anyone who’ll listen, but we need your help. If you live in the Bay Area, meet me in Lafayette to talk to more of Watson’s neighbors about how he needs to take action. Click here for dates and to sign up to join us this coming week.

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