I’m running for Emergildo

UPDATE! Runners for human rights arrested, Chevron “freaking out” More below.

Who knew that leg stretching and laps could challenge the CEO of one of the world’s largest and most powerful corporations?

I arrived in Houston, TX yesterday (yeehaw!) to run for human rights in Ecuador at this weekend’s huge Chevron-sponsored Houston marathon.

We have a rad team of people who are running the marathon for Emergildo Criollo, an Indigenous Ecuadorean man who has had to bury two children and nurse his wife through cancer because Chevron refuses to clean up their toxic legacy in Ecuador. Over 18 billion tons of toxic sludge was DELIBERATELY dumped into the Ecuadorean Amazon (on people’s home, in their water, etc) in one of the largest environmental disasters of all time. Emergildo’s family drank, fished, and bathed in the water that Chevron has refused to clean up.

Check out this great, short video made by our friends at Amazon Watch about the crisis in Ecuador.

While we’re in Houston, besides running, Rainforest Action Network advocates will drop “Change Chevron” banners along the race route, distribute “I’m Running for Human Rights” stickers to runners at the Marathon expo, and host a free screening of Crude – the critically acclaimed documentary about the crisis in Ecuador – for Chevron employees and the Houston community. Stay tuned for more marathon and changing Chevron fun.

Chevron wants the world to believe they are company that cares – and they sponsor community events like marathons and concerts- to hide their real, dangerous impacts on communities around the world. I feel it is important to bring the voice of people and communities that are literally dying because of Chevron’s deadly operations to these events.

That’s why at the Chevron Houston marathon on Sunday I’ll be running for Emergildo and the over 1,400 Ecuadoreans who have died because of Chevron’s negligence.

UPDATE. January 15th at 1:20 pm

The RAN team that is running for human rights in Ecuador at this Sunday’s Chevron Houston Marathon was just kicked out of the marathon’s Expo by Chevron Marathon Managing Director Steven Karpas!

The runners had paid for a table to distribute “I’m Running for Human Rights” stickers and information about Chevron’s refusal to clean up over 18 billion tons of toxic oil sludge they are responsible for in the Ecuadorean rainforest.

At approximately 10 a.m. this morning, Managing Director Steven Karpas told the Rainforest Action Network team, “higher ups at Chevron are freaking out” and threatened to arrest the peaceful runners. Police then ejected the runners from the city-owned and operated building for exercising their right to free speech.

“We are outraged that Chevron would deny marathon participants the right to run for what they believe, in our case, human rights in Ecuador,” said Rainforest Action Network runner Maria Ramos. “It is sad that the Chevron Houston Marathon – which raises awareness and money for many important causes – would deny the rights of participants to appease a corporate sponsor that is clearly ashamed of its human rights record.”

When asked for a reason for their ejection, Steven Karpas told the runners they were being removed for “protest activities.” The Rainforest Action Network team’s objective at the Expo was not to protest, disrupt the Expo or dampen other runners experience at this important race. The runners merely wanted to sit at their table and invite other runners to run with them for human rights.

Let’s “freak out” Chevron even more! Go to http://www.ChangeChevron.org and let Chevron know you’ll be a part of the global movement to mend the oil giant’s evil ways..

8 Responses to “I’m running for Emergildo”


  1. 1 Han Shan Jan 14th, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Right on, Brianna! Are you the only one donning the running shoes? Who else on the RAN team?

    By the way, for any of the readers who may be interested, Emergildo appears in the video you link to– first at about ~32 seconds, saying “I’ve lived here my whole life.” He stands before a pond filled with toxic waste and is wearing a bright blue tunic and traditional Cofan feather headdress.

    Good luck in Houston!

  2. 2 briannacc Jan 14th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    I’m running with a bunch of people who want Chevron’s CEO John Watson to do the right thing and clean up Chevron’s toxic legacy in Ecuador.

    If you’re in Houston but not currently registered (or don’t like to run) we’ve got a bunch of other cool stuff going on. Tomorrow night, Friday January 15 at 7 pm at the Houston Institute of Culture we’re having a screening of Crude for Chevron employees and the Houston community.

    We’ll also be painting banners, talking to marathon participants all day Friday and Saturday at the big Expo, and hope to have a big presence at the race on Sunday. So, if you’re interested, hit me up for more details.

  3. 3 Matt Dernoga Jan 14th, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    As a runner myself I love this.

  4. 4 JP Jan 14th, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    This is great. It’s creative, its local and it takes it right into the heart of the greenwash. Bank of America sponsoring any marathons? Peabody Coal having a neighborhood BBQ?

  5. 5 Nick Magel Jan 15th, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    It takes a great and creative action to take corporate accountability to the sports pages. http://bit.ly/8DJ5FP
    Well done!

  6. 6 Shannon Jan 17th, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    I live in Houston and have run the Houston Marathon for 5yrs (today being my 5th race) – and it looks like my streak will end at 5. I am outraged that RAN was expelled from the expo. This stunt by Cheveron has ruined the image of the race, damages our cities reputation. I hope Steve Krapas is forced to resign, and that Houston finds itself another marathon sponsor.

  1. 1 Chevron CEO John Watson: Is the New Boss Same as the Old Boss? « It’s Getting Hot In Here Trackback on Jan 15th, 2010 at 4:11 pm
  2. 2 Chevron “Freaking Out” about RAN in this Weekend’s Houston Marathon « It’s Getting Hot In Here Trackback on Jan 16th, 2010 at 7:37 pm
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About Brianna


Brianna spends her days (and many nights) using media and communications to amplify the voices and demands of people fighting for a more sustainable and equitable future. She's works with Energy Action Coalition, Rainforest Action Network, International youth climate movement, and many others. For the UN Climate Negotations (COP 15) Brianna is working with the Avaaz action factory. Woohoo!

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