UPDATE (10:57AM PST 05/24/11): All of the activists were released from jail early this morning. Everyone was charged with misdemeanors.
UPDATE (7:34PM PST): The seven activists who pulled off today’s action at Chevron’s Richmond refinery are in Contra Costa County Jail being processed. They’re all in good spirits and proud of what they accomplished today.
Show your support by sharing this totally awesome video featuring the activists who pulled off today’s action and many of the Ecuadoreans whose call for Americans to stand in solidarity they were responding to:
[youtube e5b6L8qliKs 550]
You can stand with the Ecuadoreans too. Sign the petition at www.RAN.org/StandUp.
Original post follows:
Climbers are hanging from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge right now, calling on Chevron to take responsibility for its oil pollution in the Ecuadorean Amazon.
Last week, the 30,000 Ecuadoreans affected by Chevron’s toxic legacy in the Amazon issued a moving “Open Letter to the United States” calling on Americans to stand with them in demanding justice. Today, a group of RAN activists heeded their call by unfurling a banner reading “Chevron Guilty, Clean Up Ecuador” from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in the shadow of Chevron’s Richmond refinery:
Climber Matt Leonard reports while hanging from the Richmond Bridge:
[youtube dmJggIwQbpc 550]
My report from near the Richmond Bridge:
[youtube jZ2-WxYEidQ 550]
Stay tuned, more video is coming soon.
Wednesday is Chevron’s annual shareholder meeting, and I’ll be joining a delegation of Ecuadoreans who will be in attendance in order to take their calls for justice directly to the company’s management, shareholders, and board members. (If you’re in the Bay Area, you can join the protest outside of Chevron’s shareholder meeting.)
In February, Chevron was found guilty by an Ecuadorean court of one of the largest environmental disasters of our time and ordered to pay $18 billion in compensatory and punitive damages. This is a historic judgment that is comparable in size only to BP’s promised $20 billion fund to compensate victims of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
But Chevron has vowed that it will never pay to clean up its mess in Ecuador. That’s why it’s so important that we all stand in solidarity with the Ecuadoreans.
We’re trying to get 30,000 Americans to sign a solidarity petition, one for each of the Ecuadoreans affected by Chevron’s reckless pursuit of profits. The petition will be delivered to Chevron by me and the Ecuadorean delegation. It can be found at www.RAN.org/StandUp.
Our friends at Amazon Watch made a multimedia presentation out of the open letter. Check it out:
[youtube Au5ZNf_Kmqs 550]
You too can heed the Ecuadoreans’ call for Americans to stand in solidarity with them by signing the petition now. But hurry! There are only 48 hours left for you to sign.