Activists rally at Chevron's Houston offices during shareholders' meeting

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An international group of activists alleging human rights abuses and environmental destruction on the part of Chevron Corp. was poised to rally in front of the energy company’s Houston offices on Wednesday.

San Ramon, Calif.-based Chevron (NYSE: CVX) is scheduled to be holding its annual shareholder meeting there at the time.

The activists, hailing from countries such as Ecuador, Angola, Kazakhstan and Canada, are conducting a series of events in Houston in an effort to challenge what they describe as “Chevron's destructive operations around the globe.” Among the group are also veterans of the Iraq war.

On May 25, the activists held a press conference during which the authors of a report called “The True Cost of Chevron” spoke in front of Chevron’s Houston office at 1400 Smith Street.

They reportedly carried giant ads depicting Chevron’s global operations.

Wednesday’s rally is scheduled to start at 7 a.m. The shareholder meeting is to begin at 8 a.m. The group plans to carry large banners and ads and some will be wearing turtle costumes.

A bus will depart immediately following the shareholder meeting to tour the Houston Ship Channel, including Chevron’s Pasadena plant.

Chevron has been under fire as of late as the Amazon Defense Coalition is suing Chevron in Ecuador for $27.8 billion. The coalition argues that the company knowingly dumped vast amounts of oil waste in Ecuador’s rainforest from 1964 to 1990.

Chevron officials could not be reached for comment.

Last week, the Houston Business Journal reported that Chevron would be laying off 570 people in the Houston area by March 31, 2011, as part of a reorganization and plant closure.

UPDATE: Three or four people were reportedly arrested Wednesday morning during the protest, which was described as overall "peaceful" by observers.

The Houston Business Journal
Wednesday, May 26, 2010

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