17 May 2010

FACES on the Road to Houston, Face-Off with Chevron

From Manila to the SF Bay to Houston, FACES will connect Chevron’s toxic trail to the oil giant’s shareholders annual general meeting (AGM) on May 26, 2010. Historically hosted at their world headquarters in San Ramon CA, Chevron shifted its AGM location this year, trying to escape the protester stronghold of the San Francisco Bay Area. But the protest is going to follow them to Houston!

FACES Board Chair, Aileen Suzara, will join an international delegation of the True Cost of Chevron Network converging in Houston to face-off with Chevron inside the AGM (as proxies) and outside the gates with a colorful protest. Aileen will carry messages and visuals from the frontline communities of Manila to continue to demand that Chevron relocate their massive oil depots. FACES will combine our Filipino struggles with the many others around the globe — Nigeria, Ecuador, Burma and more — who are all campaigning to get Chevron to take responsibility for the harm it has inflicted on a multitude of communities and countries.

Even in struggle, FACES will find solidarity with the many representatives around the world organizing against Chevron. This year will mark the first of an international strategy session. We know that these fights will take years. But with each year marked by the AGM gathering, we will also have the chance to hear directly from allies about advances in each other’s campaigns.

FACES will tell our allies about our progress over the last year. We will them how we were able to step into Chevron’s world headquarters in September 2009 and register our depot relocation demand directly with US & Philippines-based managers of Chevron. We will them how we were able to prevent the US Secretary of State from handing Chevron Philippines the Award for Corporate Excellence. And how frontline community groups like Advocates for Environmental and Social Justice (AESJ) were able to mobilize thousands of Manila voters to oppose the oil depot with a strong People’s Initiative petition. There is much to tell.

And as oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico, as the burning of oil pollutes the air we breathe, and as people fall ill from oil operations around the world, we will make our way to Chevron’s meetings. We will go wherever Chevron holds its AGM because we have to counter the corporation’s glossy reports with our communities’ realities. There is a cost to Chevron’s profit, and the accounts of the devastation of our communities must be told — to shareholders and the public. So Houston, here we come!

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