Pages tagged "indigenous"

James Cameron Goes To Tar Sands As Tar Sands Come To US

[caption id="attachment_8548" align="alignleft" width="381" caption="Avatar vs. tar sands. See the resemblence? "][/caption] James Cameron, "the most powerful man in Hollywood," is in Alberta. Canadian TV cut into regular broadcasts this morning to show footage of him climbing into a helicopter for an areal tour of the tar sands. He's touring with industry reps this morning, then will visit with Indigenous leaders later this afternoon in Ft. Chipewyan. He's expected to do a formal press briefing on Wednesday. Cameron is visiting on the invitation of George Poitras on behalf of the Indigenous Environmental Network issued last year at the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Rights at the UN. Kevin Libin at the (conservative) National Post is providing live coverage during the industry tour. CTV is also getting good footage, including Cameron's comparison of the tar sands to destruction of the Amazon and his movie Avatar. Meanwhile, tar sands development is beginning to encroach on US soil. Utah's Division of Oil, Gas & Mining just approved the first ever commercial lease for tar sands development adjacent to Canyonlands National Park. Transcanada is also pushing for approval of a $12 billion pipeline to bring 1 million barrels per day of tar sands crude oil to the Gulf Coast. Both projects show an industry pushing our economy deeper into oil addiction--scraping bottom to extract the last, dirtiest drops of a fundamentally a non renewable resource. Take action to demand a stop to tar sands production in the US and watch this space for updates on Cameron's "Avatarsands" visit.

General Mills Moves Away from Rainforest Destruction

[caption id="attachment_8458" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="General Mills Moves Away from Rainforest Destruction!"] [/caption] It is with much gratitude, excitement and hope for our world's remaining forests that I announce the end to Rainforest Action Network's General Mills palm oil campaign. Our Rainforest Agribusiness Campaign has come a long way in 2010 with your help. Check out some campaign "best moments." Eight months ago, 42 activists braved the freezing cold weather of January to unfurl a massive banner reading "Warning: General Mills Destroys Rainforests!" on top of the frozen lake in front of General Mills' Minneapolis Headquarters. At the time, not a single U.S. food company had a comprehensive palm oil policy. [caption id="attachment_8476" align="alignleft" width="211" caption="Kids Thank General Mills: "We Can Eat Cheerios Again!""][/caption] Today, America’s favorite food company took a crucial step to protect rainforests.  General Mills (GIS) released a new palm oil policy that limits the company’s exposure to an increasingly controversial commodity. The company’s new policy, along with previous actions to eliminate problematic suppliers like Sinar Mas Group, puts them in the front of efforts by the U.S. food sector to address deforestation resulting from palm oil. Kraft and Burger King have also announced initial steps to ensure that they are not sourcing ingredients that damage the rainforest. The new palm oil procurement policy includes specific commitments on critical issues including respect for the rights of Indigenous communities, prevention of further destruction of endangered rainforests and protection of peatlands, a major source of climate change causing emissions from palm oil production. In addition, General Mills has set a goal of “sourcing 100 percent responsible and sustainable palm oil” by 2015, setting a new bar for the American food industry. See General Mills’ new palm oil policy in it's entirety. We hope that General Mills’ actions will serve as a wake-up call for others in the food industry, especially Cargill. America’s largest importer of palm oil, Cargill, has yet to take sufficient action to meet this demand or to clean up its own palm oil supply chain. Although the agribusiness giant has taken initial steps to do so in Europe, it has failed to bring RSPO certified segregated palm oil to the United States, and it continues to source palm oil from some of the worst suppliers in the business. [caption id="attachment_8460" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Today General Mills Sets Forward on the Right Path, Away from Rainforest Destruction; Now It's Cargill's Turn. Photo: David Gilbert"][/caption] As a company with some of the most beloved brands in the nation, including Cheerios, Betty Crocker and Hamburger Helper, General Mills’ decision to address deforestation in its supply chain is a major industry signal that unsustainable palm oil expansion practices are a problem that can and should be addressed. RAN will continue working with General Mills on the ongoing implementation of the new policy. Read General Mills' press statement here.

Experts Say 10,000 Ecuadoreans May Die Due To Chevron’s Pollution

Shockwaves rippled through the world’s largest environmental lawsuit today. A new damages assessment has been submitted in the lawsuit pitting 30,000 Indigenous peoples and local farmers against the global oil giant Chevron. The damages assessment finds that because of factors still persisting in the Ecuadorean rainforest from Chevron’s pollution, nearly 10,000 Ecuadoreans are at significant risk of dying from cancer by the year 2080, even if Chevron cleans up the toxic contamination in the next ten years. "The information in this submission is highly significant because it reflects clearly that there is a terrible oil-related disaster in Ecuador in the area where Chevron operated," said Pablo Fajardo, lead lawyer for the Amazon communities. "What these analyses make chillingly clear is that thousands of Ecuadorean citizens may well contract and die of cancer in the coming decades because of Chevron's contamination," he added. This new round of assessments comes after complaints by Chevron about the original independent assessment, submitted in 2008 - which contained over 105 expert reports and more than 64,000 samples, many of which came from Chevron’s own team. Since the original assessment Chevron has invested in public relations campaigns, spy schemes, and fake media reports in an attempt to discredit the assessment, smear highly respected scientists, and derail the lawsuit. Then recently, in a move seemly to appease Chevron, the presiding judge opened a 45-day window for both parties to submit their own damage assessments to the court. Had Chevron the basis to prove there is no contamination in Ecuador’s rainforest, the company would have pounced on the opportunity.  But it didn’t.  Instead, Chevron immediately rejected the court’s offer to compile and submit a damages assessment. Many in the legal and human rights communities found this move irreconcilable. However, those close to the lawsuit see this latest development as yet another indicator that Chevron is solely interested in delaying the trial, rather than letting the court rule on the facts of the case. "We predict that Chevron’s bad faith will be on full display yet again. Chevron complained that it did not have an opportunity to produce its own damages assessment. But when given the opportunity, company lawyers accuse the judge of bias against Chevron and launch attacks on the justice system." Said Fajardo Six renowned technical and medical experts compiled the new damages assessment. Based on their findings, the damages reached $40 to 90 billion, nearly double the $27.3 billion originally determined. (The numbers are broken down in the court filing that can be found HERE.) The new numbers come after a new and more thorough examination of Chevron’s "unjust enrichment" – money saved by using sub-standard drilling practices. While operating in the region the oil company intentionally used drilling practices deficient in safety and pollution safeguards. Simply, Chevron is accused of intentionally poisoning communities to save a buck. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Marta Isabel Arrobo, 49, recalls numerous health problems she and her family have suffered living in close proximity to several toxic oil pits abandoned by Texaco (now Chevron) in the Ecuadorean Amazon rainforest. Photo by Caroline Bennett / Rainforest Action Network"][/caption] It’s obvious that Chevron never had any intention of submitting a new report, its intention was to be obstructionist – resigned to the fact that anything found in any assessment will only point to the company’s liability. Chevron’s game-plan is clear: delay the trial at any cost, all the while communities continue to suffer from the pollution. As a recent DowJones article points out, Chevron won’t be able to do this forever. The end of this precedent setting trial is nearing. The entire oil industry is watching this lawsuit with guarded eye, as it will potentially set the stage for similar suits – demanding restitution for harm and negligence. It is because of this that Chevron will pull no punches as the company tries to claw its way from liability. Expect more fireworks and distraction from Chevron, as the truth continues to pin the company in a corner of accountability.

Double Trouble: Chevron's Ecuador Gameplan Slowly Unravels

Crossposted from Daily Kos In the last two days Chevron has been hit with two developments that will surely produce lasting doubts to the legality and authenticity of Chevron’s actions in what is being called the world’s largest environmental lawsuit. Chevron has been involved in the $27.3 billion for the last 17 years. The breathtaking figure represents the expensive pollution counting for over 18 billion gallons of toxic oil waste and 15 million gallons of crude oil left in the Amazon rainforest. Chevron has vehemently denied responsibility, claiming high cancer rates and polluted drinking water is due to "poor sanitation." However Chevron cannot, and as of yesterday now refuses to, backup any such claim. Yesterday Chevron was provided with the opportunity to submit to the court its own damages assessment. (Presumably to argue any discrepancies they found in the original damages assessment compiled by the court appointed expert.) Chevron in turn rejected the opportunity. A peculiar move considering Chevron has spent the last two years attacking the submission of independent damages assessment. The original assessment contained over 105 expert reports and more than 64,000 samples, many of which came from Chevron’s own team. This latest maneuver by Chevron has many in the legal and human rights world scratching their heads. However for those close to the lawsuit this latest development is seen as another indicator that Chevron is solely interested delaying the trial rather than letting the courts rule on the extent of their liability.
"We predict that Chevron’s bad faith will be on full display yet again," said Pablo Fajardo, the lead lawyer for the Amazonian communities. "Chevron complained that it did not have an opportunity to produce its own damages assessment. But when given the opportunity, company lawyers accuse the judge of bias against Chevron and launch attacks on the justice system." Fajardo said the Amazonian communities would submit their own damages assessment prepared by a team of scientific and medical experts to the court today."
The new damages report submission, comes a day after another major dilemma for Chevron’s defense in Ecuador. On Wednesday a Federal Judge ordered Diego Borja, a spy video operative and former Chevron employee, to appear for a deposition in San Francisco next week. The deposition is in regards to Borja’s involvement with Chevron in a potentially illegal entrapment scheme. Borja became a lightning rod of controversy in the lawsuit after partnering with a former drug runner and secretly videotaping themselves having conversations with the judge presiding over the trial. The videotape as been a key piece of evidence for the defendants and human rights activists claiming the Chevron continues to attempt to undermine the rule of law in Ecuador with "dirty tricks".
U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward Chen says "that Mr. Borja was not an innocent third party who just happened to learn of the alleged bribery scheme but rather was a long-time associate of Chevron whom Chevron would pay for any favorable testimony."
Chevron has denied any association with Borja, however an investigation uncovered that Chevron had arranged for his relocation from Ecuador to a $6000 a month Northern California townhouse, and is currently providing him legal counsel. Diego Borja’s deposition is scheduled for October 1st, pending any objections from Chevron.

Blockade at BP San Francisco Offices on 5th anniversary of Katrina; 15 Arrested

Great action today in San Francisco. The Mobilization for Climate Justice West (MCJ-West) turned out 150 people on a Monday afternoon and marched to the SF financial district offices of Chevron, the Environmental Protection Agency and BP calling for Big Oil to stop harming our environment and communities and pay up for the damage they've caused. A coalition of national, regional and local groups, activists with MCJ-West) blockaded the doors of the SF BP offices and the intersection in front of the building. With a set of demands, MCJ-West organized one of the largest direct actions at BP to date with 15 arrested. MCJ-West's demands include: * Moratorium on New Offshore Drilling. No Use of Dispersants. Full Access to Media and Civil Society. * Big Oil corporations pay their debt to all impacted communities – Gulf Coast to Richmond, CA and around the world. * Big Oil pay for community livelihood and ecosystem restoration, clean energy, public transportation, and healthcare for impacted communities. * Big Oil Out of Politics! Activists also delivered a letter from it's coalition to BP. Here's the letter: To: CEO’s of British Petroleum, Chevron, Shell, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Tesoro, and Valero August 30, 2010 In the wake of the recent BP disaster, we are writing to express our concern over the oil industry’s continued disregard for the health of communities and ecosystems around the world. Mobilization for Climate Justice West is a coalition of organizations, some of which represent communities directly impacted by the oil industry’s extraction and refining operations; we are dedicated to promoting effective and just solutions to the climate crisis. We call on the oil industry to accept responsibility for the damages your operations have caused worldwide and specifically to: 1. End the use of dispersants in cleaning up oil spills. Dispersants, such as the Corexit used in the BP disaster, are toxic chemicals whose long-term impact on ocean life is unknown. Using dispersants allows for better public relations for the oil industry since they make the oil less visible, while possibly making the long-term impact of spills even worse. 2. Grant full access to media and civil society in covering oil spills. During the BP disaster, there have been many complaints from journalists that BP restricted their access and ability to gain information. In July, the Society of Professional Journalists issued an open letter expressing their concerns over restrictions of press access to beaches and other sites in the Gulf. 3. Pay your debt to the communities that have been impacted by your operations. In the Gulf Coast, the oil spill has destroyed the livelihoods of many fishing and oystering communities. Communities are also impacted by oil extraction and refining in places like Nigeria, where an Exxon Valdez-sized spill has occurred every year since 1960; in Alberta, Canada where First Nations indigenous communities are experiencing abnormally high rates of cancer and a destruction of their traditional ways of life due to extreme water pollution from upstream tar sands operations; and in refining communities like Richmond, California where more than 25,000 people live within 3 miles of the refinery and the community suffers from high levels of asthma and other respiratory diseases. The oil industry must pay for the the restoration of ecosystems and community livelihoods, for the development of clean energy and public transportation solutions, and for healthcare to treat those whose health has been impacted by your pollution. 4. Stop funding fake “astro-turf” rallies. Last year the American Petroleum Institute, of which British Petroleum, Chevron, Shell, ConocoPhillips, and ExxonMobil are members, launched a fake grassroots campaign called “Energy Citizen” and bussed employees to lobbyist-organized rallies to oppose climate legislation that might limit climate pollution. Shell, publicly stated last year that it would not participate in “Energy Citizen” rallies. Now API is up to it again with a series of fake rallies to oppose removing billions in oil company tax breaks and opposing limits on offshore drilling. Will you join Shell’s pledge not to participate in what have been called “glorified company picnics”? 5. Stop lobbying against solutions to climate change and against regulations to protect our communities. Instead of using its profits to re-pay the debt to communities impacted by its operations, the oil industry funnels billions into lobbying to ensure that it will not be held responsible for its pollution. During the BP disaster, from April-June, 2010, the American Petroleum Institute spent $2.3 million on lobbying. According to the Washington Post, three fourths of all oil and gas lobbyists used to work for the federal government; the poor regulatory oversight of deepwater drilling is one result of this revolving door. The oil industry also lobbies against solutions to climate change; members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee who voted against the Waxman-Markey climate bill in 2009 received almost 3 times more in contributions from carbon-intensive industries than members who voted in favor of the legislation. In California, Tesoro and Valero are funding Proposition 23 on this November’s ballot to derail the implementation of California’s climate change legislation. Sincerely, Mobilization for Climate Justice West, Richmond Progressive Alliance, Communities for a Better Environment, Global Exchange, Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network, West County Toxics Coalition, Gulf Restoration Network

Taking Steps to Heal the Tar Sands

This past weekend was a big step for the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta.  On Saturday August 14th, 2010 I joined local Indigenous community members along with supporters from across the country in the Tar Sands Healing Walk. We walked through the tar sands development zones calling for the healing of land and water.  This event was called by the Keepers of the Athabasca, who worked in partnership with many local ENGO’s.  This event was the first of it’s kind and never before has there been a community led event in Fort McMurray that opposes tar sands development. It was powerful and is just the beginning. The walk was long and powerful.  The day started with a ceremony at dawn in Lions Park in the heart of McMurray.  From there we shuttled the walkers to a point on Highway 63 near Suncor’s Crane Lake rehabilitation area where over 150 of us gathered to start the walk with prayer and stories.  As we circled together a large black bear appeared and stood on a ridge just above us and soon after a large bald eagle circled overhead.  Both were signs of the power and importance of the day.   From there we began our 13 kilometre trek through the heartland of destruction in the tar sands right past Syncrude and Suncor tailings ponds and past the Syncrude complex itself, the walk ended back at the Crane Lake parking lot. The 13-kilometer trek was filled with much needed prayer and song as we walked through blowing sands from the dried tailing sites and the air was thick with pollution coming out of the large smoke stacks. We stopped in the four directions along the walk and laid down offering of thanks and prayer and allowed us time to catch our breath and share important stories of the land.  The walkers crossed through generations with elders who had watched the land change over the last 80 years and children still clad in diapers and in their mothers arms.  Tantoo Cardinal, a well known actress (Dances with Wolves, Legends of the Fall), who grew up in Anzac, AB just south of Fort McMurray joined us for the day and offered her prayers and words to the day. The event was well organized with packed lunches, St. John’s Ambulance on site and a strong police presence along the road to help slow traffic along the route.  We carried two large banners that read “STOP the Destruction - START the HEALING” and one small banner with an old Cree proverb “Only when the last tree has been cut. Only when the last river has been polluted. Only when the last fish has been caught. Only then will they realize that we cannot eat money.” Many people that drove past honked their horns in support. Media came out and at some point many of us made jokes about how there were more cameras then people.  It truly was a testament to how momentous this event really was.  One of my favorite pieces that came out was the front page of Fort McMurray Today and features a large photo of my cousin Siouan Star Deranger.  My favorite quote from this piece comes from a collegue and comrade George Poitras "We have lived here for thousands of years. We rely on the land — our lives are intrinsically linked to the land. We are one and the same. It is very frustrating to see the unprecedented pace of development with little to no consideration of the land, as we call it, our mother earth — it gives us life," All in All the event was a huge success and a series of fantastic photos can be seen here on flickr. I followed up this great event with a trip to Fort Chipewyan where I had a chance to meet with the Elders, the IRC and Chief.  I also found some time to visit with family and take in a community that is so beautiful and reminder of what I am fighting for.

I Spy A Chevron Lie: Chevron Talking About Everything but the Truth in Ecuador

Chevron keeps on rolling out the “Doh!” moments as they continue to attempt (and spectacularly fail) to deflect attention from their responsibility in Ecuador with their sideline shenanigans. We’ve seen an illustrious chain of embarrassing Chevron snafus. There was the well-documented collusion with a known felon and former employee conspiring to bait an Ecuadorean judge. Then there was the instance in which Chevron did not like the media they were receiving on a national level. Following a scathing 60 Minutes piece exposing Chevron’s double speak and ill-crafted lies, Chevron conjured up the idea to produce their own “news reporting” for their YouTube audience. In this news report Chevron hired a retired CNN reporter to “report” their side of the story and pass it off as “journalism.” An event that nearly had the New York Times at the edge of their seat with laughter. Now Chevron has gone from YouTube news to flat out bribes.  That Chevron tried to manipulate the media is not news. I can’t blame them really. If I were Chevron I’d also be fearful the media will continue to non-objectively cover my responsibility to clean up my pollution in the Ecuadorean Amazon. Facts are a pesky thing when the media continues to report them.

Now Chevron, having used up any credibility as a genuine actor (outside of a few bloggers) in the $27 billion lawsuit, must now outsource their deceptions. They’ve enlisted the private investigation firm Kroll to do their dirty work. What was Kroll’s latest task for Chevron? Buying up a journalist to act as spy in Ecuador.

See part 2 of the new story here, with reaction to Chevron's attempts to buy journalists HERE In a well-publicized case, Kroll has been outed for offering to pay a journalist $20,000 to go to Ecuador undercover to “report” on Chevron’s behalf. To the reporter Mary Cuddehe’s credit she did not accept Chevron/Kroll’s offer, and instead reported on the shady dealings of Chevron in Ecuador. Chevron’s strategies read like juvenile pranks, yet unfortunately there is much more at stake than which table you get to sit at in the cafeteria. Chevron continues to trivialize, with games and delay tactics, the health and well being of over 30,000 Ecuadoreans. Chevron may very well continue to dig deeper into their bag of tricks as they reach for any way to distract the world from their responsibility in Ecuador.  Yet it’s clear at this point Chevron will only be building up their reputation as a disingenuous company with cynical motives, because the world is squarely focused on the facts of the lawsuit, the suffering Chevron is causing, and not the desperate efforts to distract from the truth.

Climate Camps Sprouting Up Around the World

What’s that rumbling I hear? It’s a movement thundering as they say “Ya Basta!” to climate change and fossil fuel extraction, and “Yes” to climate justice. Throughout the industrial North in Europe, North America, Australia and Aotearoa, Climate Camps are sprouting up next to their nation’s biggest polluters to take direct action. No more waiting on Obama, the United Nations, Duke Energy, Environmental Defense or whatever other all powerful entity to charge in and save the day. Like Neil Young once said “We’re finally on our own.Climate Camp UK is setting up their camp next to the Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) HQ outside of Edinburgh, Scotland. RBS is a major funder of the highly destructive Canadian Tar Sands. In Montreal, the Camp is focusing on the Enbridge Trailbreaker project this year, a transcontinental pipeline that would bring dirty tar sands bitumen to Montreal and beyond to Maine, eventually ending up on tankers heading to refineries in the Gulf Coast. In Australia, the camp is taking place at the Bayswater coal fired power station in the Hunter Valley. Other camps have, or are, happening in Sweden, New Zealand, Ireland and Wales. [youtube -md598WLIL4&] In the U.S., there are no climate camps or convergences scheduled this year but much is still going on. Earth First! has had a revival and camps and rendezvous are happening from Colorado to upstate New York to Maine. Many of them focusing on corporate polluters. Much momentum is buiding around oil and gas lease auction monkey-wrencher Tim DeChristopher’s trial in Salt Lake City. Appalachians are joining activists from all over to country to rise up in Washington D.C. at a mass mobilization called “Appalachia Rising” on Sep 25-27. Climate Justice Action, the organizing body around the direct action that took place in Copenhagen last December, is calling for a Global Day of Action for Climate Justice on October 12. Since last year, we’ve had space open up for a global people’s climate justice movement. Mostly due to the inability of the ruling class to begin to resolve climate change. Here’s what the “powers that be” have done so far to open up our political space: * failed to give us an agreement in Copenhagen. * failed to pass legislation in the U.S. that would have regulated carbon emissions. (The bill that they did have was full of industry giveaways, so I’m not crying too hard about the loss of that one.) * And in contrast to the climate camps and people’s movements in the Global South, the Big Green NGO’s make climate and environmental movements look weak, craven and sold out. As long as we allow them to represent our movements, we are. Even Billl McKibben is beginning to sound like Peter Finch in Network. This past April at the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia, people’s movement from all over the world came together to once again converge indigenous movements and anti-corporate globalization movements (the last such convergence began in Chiapas when the Zapatistas rose up against NAFTA and carried our movements into Seattle, Prague and Genoa.) Climate Camps are fertile ground for our movements that need to look less like K Street and more like Chiapas.

Chevron Gets Sloppy: Longtime Strategy of Using Courts as PR Platform Exposed

Chevron has a playbook, a playbook they use to silence critics, dodge legal liability, create illusions of pollution clean-up, buy favorable media (or attempt to), and disempower communities, to name just a few. One of Chevron’s most tired tactics is that of masquerading public relations stunts as court claims. Chevron to their credit is very savvy when it comes to these kinds of games. Chevron lines up their bloggers and leans on their media contacts as they role out a meticulously manufactured story. So it should come as no surprise that last week Chevron filled, yet a again, to have their $27 billion court case in Ecuador to be dismissed. Chevron has done this a few times, always for PR never because of substance. Why, because Chevron is grasping for straws. This most recent charade struck me as desperately elaborate, even for Chevron. Chevron went to great lengths to manufacture their latest claim, and I was struck by the sloppy nature of how they executed the ploy. Last month Chevron won a court motion allowing them access to hundreds of hours of film footage from the documentary CRUDE. This request was met with fierce opposition from thousands of film-makers, journalist and 13 media giants like the Washington Post and Dow Jones who filed a "friend of the court brief" on behalf of  CRUDE filmmaker Joe Berlinger. The court, ignoring journalist privilege under the first amendment, decided to allow Chevron access to film footage under the strict stipulation that Chevron would only use the footage they acquired in judicial proceedings. In fact the Second Circuit court’s decision reads, “material produced under this order shall be used by the petitioners solely for litigation, arbitration, or submission to official bodies, either local or international.” So had Chevron’s intentions been genuine they would surely have honored the courts decision. Why risk the repercussions of violating a court order for a public relations stunt?...Unless all it is, is a public relations stunt. Fact is that is all it was, a new round of public relations trickery. First, Chevron has turned around and submitted blatantly edited video which was done so poorly that Joe Berlinger, the films director, explicitly called out Chevron’s tricks.
“The footage citations are being taken out of context and not being presented to the court in its entirety, creating numerous false impressions, precisely what we feared when we were first issued the original subpoena."
Secondly, Chevron has gone against the court’s order prohibiting Chevron from using the footage or PR. Instead of first filing a claim based on Chevron’s edited video Chevron actually went on a media blitz before they filed any such claim. Upon editing the video Chevron immediately distributed the material on Twitter and provided it to bloggers hours before it was even served to opposing lawyers.
According to Berlinger’s legal filing, Chevron’s violations of the court order include:
  • On August 3 at 7:47 p.m. -- more than two hours before Chevron served its motion on Berlinger’s lawyers -- a detailed article on the film outtakes was posted on the blog of the National Association of Manufacturers.
  • Nineteen minutes later and also well before the papers were served, Chevron posted “Crude' Footage Reveals Lies Behind Trial Lawyers' Suit Against Chevron" to its page, and linked to the above-referenced article.
  • On August 5 the San Francisco Chronicle posted an article entitled "Chevron: Outtakes prove collusion with expert," in which the author states that he was given the outtakes by Chevron.
As laid out in a recent press release, the simple above timeline shows Chevron’s intentions are only to divert attention from their responsibility, and the decades forth of pollution in the Amazon while dragging film directors, lawyers, and courts through another merry-go-round of deflection and delay. Deflection and delay that becomes more elaborate and desperate as Chevron realizes they have run out of options to obstruct justice any further.

Tar Sands, Enbridge and Indigenous Resistance

[caption id="attachment_7879" align="alignnone" width="433" caption="One of the great banners we made at the Action camp."][/caption] In mid-July I attended the 1st Annual ‘Unist’ot’en Environmental Action Camp in Unist’ot’en territory in Northern BC as a facilitator and participant. Members of the Wetsuweten nation, joined by First Nations activists and allies from across Canada and US - including Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), Rainforest Action Network (RAN), and Ruckus Society - organized to offer participants training in non-violent direct action (NVDA) theory and planning, media messaging, as well as tactical sessions introducing blockades, climbing, and developing creative visuals.  The camp also included speakers that discussed carbon offsetting and the tar sands mega project. As part of the camp we took some of the theory of NVDA and put it into action.  The ‘Unist’ot’en of the Wet’suwet’en Nation led a rally on July 16th alongside their grassroots allies and supporters in Smithers, BC (the closest town to the action camp) designed to assert their title and rights on their ancient lands. The rally had a strong focus on opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, the current consultation process, and the bodies that support and fund it. This of course includes the Royal Bank of Canada. Enbridge plans to build a pipeline that extends 1,172 kilometres from Bruderheim, just north of Edmonton, to Kitimat on the B.C. coast  running through traditional first nation lands, salmon runs and fragile eco-systems and it will carry an average of 525,000 barrels of tar sands per day. [caption id="attachment_7880" align="alignnone" width="433" caption="this is a great photo from a banner hang we did on main street in Smithers, BC"][/caption] The following list of demands was delivered to the Ministry offices who issue permits and licences for industry and private interests. 1. The Unist’ot’en are a legitimate governing body who have never ceded our surrendered our ancient lands to any party. A regulatory regime will be resurrected to ensure that all interests on ‘Unist’ot’en lands are solely and primarily directed to the rightful owners; 2. The ‘Unist’ot’en law (‘Inuk nu’ot’en) for any outside parties who want to do business on ‘Unist’ot’en Yintah (traditional territories) requires meaningful “Free, Prior, and Informed Consent” with legitimate Clan/House Group membership prior to any development on unceded traditional territories. This is a measure that will be enforced to prevent the infringement of their section 35(1) rights and title and infringement on ‘Unist’ot’en ‘Inik nu’ot’en; Just a little over a week following the camp we saw just how warranted pipeline opposition is and just how dangerous a spill from a pipeline can be.  On July 28, 2010 the Enbridge Lakehead pipeline system burst in Michigan unleashing more than three million litres of oil into a tributary of the Kalamazoo River further fueling the debate of dangers of the Northern Gateway pipeline. The Northern Gateway pipeline is supposed to cross 1,000 streams and rivers, including the Skeena and Fraser Rivers, which are valuable wild-salmon habitats and important to cultures and economies in B.C. Read more: This was followed by a Greenpeace occupation of the Enbridge office in Vancouver demanding they halt plans to build the Northern Gateway pipeline. This is all very interesting considering RBC’s offer tabled to RAN at the beginning of July where their new policy acknowledges “free, prior and informed consent” (FPIC) as an international standard established by the UN, but requires it from clients only where FPIC is national law.” RBC also plans to develop a stronger Environmental policy that would help weed out bad apples that contribute to environmental devastation. It would seem to me that if the Royal Bank of Canada, or any bank for that matter, has any environmental and Indigenous rights policies in place they will steer clear of financing the Northern Gateway project.  I guess we’ll be keeping a close eye on how things progress with Enbridge and RBC in the coming year… “It is time for the Governments of Canada and B.C. to start honoring our traditional governance system of the ‘Unist’ot’en Chiefs. We have never ceded or surrendered our territory. Destruction of forest, waters, and wildlife will no longer be tolerated. True meaningful consultation must start taking place regarding all our territory” ~ Freda Huson of Wetsuweten Nation

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