Standing Up To Chevron

posted by Rainforest Action Network

I’m an American and I’m standing up to Chevron to demand justice in Ecuador.

A delegation of Ecuadoreans will be coming up for the shareholder meeting so that they can take their calls for justice directly to Chevron’s shareholders, management, and board members. They’ve just issued a passionate appeal to Americans to stand in solidarity with them. Together with the folks at Amazon Watch, we’re trying to get 30,000 Americans to sign this petition, one for each of the Ecuadoreans affected by Chevron’s business operations — and we only have a week to do it!

Check out the “Open letter to America” video below, and sign the petition. The Ecuadorean delegation will be delivering this petition with all its signatures to Chevron’s management at the shareholder meeting.

Tell Chevron to Clean Up Ecuador Now!

Why am I standing up to Chevron? Because it’s the right thing to do. When BP, a UK-based company, came to the US and devastated the Gulf Coast, the company was forced to pay $20 billion to clean up and compensate the victims of its pollution. When Chevron or any other American company goes to a foreign country and does the same thing — and in this case, the pollution was DELIBERATELY dumped in the Ecuadorean Amazon — we should hold it to the same standard.

I’ll be attending the protest outside Chevron’s annual shareholder meeting next week, demanding accountability from the company in Ecuador; in Richmond, California; in Nigeria; in Australia; and in countless other communities around the world that have been impacted by Chevron’s reckless pursuit of profits.

We can only hold Chevron accountable if we all stand up together. Please sign the petition so the Ecuadorean delegation can deliver your call for justice directly to Chevron on May 25th. And if you’re in the Bay Area, come to the protest outside Chevron’s annual shareholder meeting.

Here’s the transcript of the open letter in English:

To the citizens of the United States,

We are the mothers of families.
We are fathers who work very hard every day.
We are grandparents who hold on to many memories.

We imagine that you are the same as us,
With hearts that beat,
With eyes that appreciate the beauty of the world around us,
With feet that walk on the same planet as ours.

We would like to share with you a story
that you all should know.

It occurred in a place called the Ecuadorean Amazon almost 50 years ago.

We had clean water, a healthy source of food, medicinal plants to cure our ailments.

In other words, we lived with dignity and in harmony with nature.

But in that moment an oil company arrived whose name we remember well: Texaco.

We were not familiar with oil.
They told us that oil was good, that it would bring progress for the future.

We remember the oil spills, almost daily.
The crude oil would come down the rivers like black sheets.
We remember the toxic waters they dumped in our rivers.
We remember the pain our children felt after bathing
in the rivers contaminated with oil.
We remember the illnesses, the deformations, the cancer.

We remember those who died.

We do not know you.
We only know the company Texaco, now called Chevron.

We are a people of great courage and humility who have been in a struggle for many years to demand justice, asking that the company take responsibility for all the harm they have caused.

Last February, Chevron was found guilty by an Ecuadorean court for the harm they caused to our people, and to our lands.
But the company has said it will never respect the court’s decision, that it will never take responsibility for the damages,
and that it will keep fighting until Hell freezes over.

We want to reach your hearts, so that you know the truth.
Chevron has poisoned us. It has also poisoned the image of the United States and of its citizens.

On behalf of the thousands of victims in Ecuador, we write this letter to you, so that you can do something, now, and demand that Chevron clean up the poison that they left in our Amazon, and clean up the image of you and your country.

Thank you.