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News ::
Texco's Dirty Deeds II
27 Jul 2000
Call to organize protests, boycott, and possible civil disobedience action.
I recently wrote an article for Indy-Media called "Texaco's Dirty Deeds" (07-04-00, Wash. DC). The article discusses the extensive environmental contamination caused by Texaco's oil production activities in the Ecuadorian Amazon, the illnesses which people there now suffer as a result of this contamination, and indigenous resistance to Texaco in the form of a class-action lawsuit and other activities.
After a recent visit to the Amazon region, I was moved by the lament of many people there that they were tired of reporters, academics, and photographers coming to scribble notes and take pictures, and their request for more assistance, particularly in the form of the settlement of the lawsuit filed against Texaco seven years ago. While the Ecuadorian is not widely known for its brutality, local residents have been shot and killed in the past during protests against oil contamination.
This notice is merely an attempt to put out "feelers" regarding possible protests, a boycott, and eventual civil disobedience action at Texaco stations around the country. The purpose of this campaign would be to pressure Texaco Corp. to settle their debts with the indigenous peoples and colonists of the Ecuadorian Amazon region. I have in mind possible weekly protests beginning in September or October, culminating in a civil disobedience action by December.
I am posting this notice at several different sites in order to see what kind of response I get, and whether or not people would be willing to initiate weekly protests in their own communities. Although Texaco exploited oil in the Ecuadorian Amazon for over twenty years and the lawsuit has yet to go to trial (jurisdiction may be accepted within the coming weeks!) very few people know about this case. The silence has worked to Texaco's advantage.
I appreciate comments, suggestions, ideas. I am not a campaign organizer, however, and I am severly constrained by time and other responsibilites, like everyone. I/we would have to rely on the internet and grassrots support for what could be a simple and relatively straightforward - yet still effective - campaign.
If you would like more information concerning the Texaco debacle, please see my earlier Indy-Media article. I have also just printed a short pamphlet which I can send to anyone, if they would like, and I am working on an article which I hope to publish immediately. I also refer the reader to an article written by Eyal Press for the May 11, 1999 issue of The Nation.
Thank you, Suzanne L. Simon
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