Update with new video of arrests and inside report-back below:
Today in his first shareholder meeting as Chevron CEO, John Watson opened the annual shareholder meeting touting Chevron as a “good neighbor”. However, at that very same moment Watson was having communities from Houston, Alaska, Canada, Burma, Nigeria, and Colombia locked out of the shareholder meeting. Having legitimate and legal proxies, community leaders who had traveled for days to bring their community’s stories directly to Chevron’s CEO, Board of Directors, and shareholders, were silenced and disenfranchised.
Of 27 delegates from the True Cost of Chevron Network, all with valid legal proxy statements, only 7 were allowed to enter the meeting. This action directly contradicts Chevron’s own policies and potentially violates their own corporate governance laws.
“This is the way we have been treated at home and meeting them here was no different,” explained Emem Okom, founder of the Kebetkuche Women Development and Resource Center of Nigeria.
In an immediate response to Chevron’s lock-out, impacted community members and campaigners staged a blockade sit-in at the entrance of Chevron’s meeting (pictures). As a crowd of over 40 people raised their voices chanting “Let Them In” the sit-in participants committed to not leave until all voices were heard.
The 4 were arrested on trespassing charges and hauled into waiting police vans (pictures). The four arrested at the entrance were Juan Parras a long time environmental justice activist in Houston and founder of TEJAS, an EJ group fighting refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast; Rev. Jerome Davis a livelong civil rights hero who marched in Selma and has long fought for environmental justice in Richmond, CA; and Mitch Anderson and Han Shan from Amazon Watch, an organization working in solidarity with Indigenous communities fighting Chevron in Ecuador.
Before his arrest, Reverend Davis stated, “I represent an area where there is no beautyshop, groceries, or cleaners. Our industry is Chevron. My people breathe their contamination every day and are constantly sick. Our health is not for sale.” He embodied that today.
Continue reading ‘Chevron Bars 20 Community Members From Houston Shareholder Meeting, Leads to 6 Arrests’