Community leaders from countries around the world, including Ecuador, Argentina, Nigeria, Romania, the United States and Canada have declared #May21 as International #AntiChevron Day! This is an exceptional act of solidarity, in the tradition of internationalism, to hold Chevron accountable for its human rights abuses around the world. In Canada, Harper's regime is demanded to stop profiting from the tar sands industry, which exploits stolen indigenous land.
Chevron is one of the major players in the Athabascan tar sands, working closely with Harper in their bullying tactics. In 2006, as Stephen Harper addressed the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce, he said, “an ocean of oil-soaked sand lies under the muskeg of northern Alberta – my home province.” Harper continued to boast of the potential growth of the tar sands, as his ultra-conservative agenda has followed step by step the growth of this sector. Harper and Chevron must be stopped.
When: May 21st, 2015 at 3PM
Where: RBC 315 Front Street, Toronto
Dear friends and allies,
We are inviting you to join us at a historic community event on May 21st at the RBC Head Office, located in downtown Toronto (Front St & Bay St). May 21st, which marks International Anti-Chevron Day, will see tens of thousands of people around the world take to the streets to denounce the human and environmental atrocities committed by oil conglomerate Chevron worldwide. We will be joined by a variety of indigenous groups, migrant workers and activists, union leaders, scholars and community members.
The Chevron Corporation has committed terrible crimes as it infringed on the human rights of Ecuadorean Indigenous peoples in the Amazon rainforest, as well as on the rights on many communities across the globe, including Romania, Angola, Brazil, but also In Canada, BC, where indigenous peoples at Unistoten Camp have successfully resisted and prevented Chevron from entering their lands.
The Ecuadorian people have been trying to bring Chevron to justice in a legal battle that lasted over 20 years. Now we are at a critical time:
- On December 11th 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada held a hearing related to the Ontario's provincial jurisdiction in investigating the Ecuadorian Indigenous plaintiffs versus the Chevron Corporation. A final ruling is expected in the fall of 2015.
- To avoid compensating the affected ones in Ecuador, Chevron launched a lawsuit against the Republic of Ecuador before The International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Created by the World Bank, this "Tribunal" pretends to arbitrate issues between nation-states and private investors. Chevron argues that the Ecuadorian state should pay the one to pay the $9.5 billion judgment issued against the corporation by that country's Supreme Court in 2011.
We demand that Chevron stops attacking Ecuador, that Chevron cleans up its mess, and that Chevron pays what it owes. Additionally, we want to expose the corruptive nature of the ICSID Tribunal, which pretends to objectively arbitrate issues between states and private investors yet its bias is always favourable to the private sector.
We are asking for your endorsement and support of our campaign. You can do so by:
- Endorsing personally or through your organization.
- Signing up for our newsletter and promoting the campaign through your own networks (Facebook, Twitter, Email, etc.)
- Posting with the following hashtags: #AntiChevron #WeDeserveJustice
To endorse this activity contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Many groups have already endorsed and participated in our activities including: UFCW Canada, CUPE Ontario, OSSTF, the People's Social Forum, Canadian Federation of Students, Law Union of Ontario and the Two Row Society.
The Committee in Solidarity with the Affected Communities by Chevron in Ecuador
FB: Chevron's Dirty Hand
*** Legal timeline and recent events
Background: Ecuadorian Indigenous suing Chevron
Between 1964 and 1990, US oil giant Texaco (now Chevron) deliberately contaminated Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest by dumping some 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater, among other contaminants, leaving in its wake pollution levels 30 times higher than the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska. What has been called the Amazon’s ‘Chernobyl’ has led to a proliferation of miscarriages, birth defects, and cancer rates that are thirty times higher than elsewhere in the country. It’s the region’s Indigenous inhabitants who are bearing the brunt of the genocidal effects of the Amazon’s destruction.
After over 20 years of legal battle, the Ecuadorian Indigenous plaintiffs have successfully won a lawsuit against Chevron for $9.5 billion in 2011. Unfortunately, Chevron has pulled all of its assets away from Ecuador and has used all available “legal” resources at its disposal to avoid compensating those affected in Ecuador. In 2013 alone, Chevron spent $400 million on “legal services” that have been deemed unethical. In addition to the ‘legal’ means to defeat the case, Chevron has also employed a whole series of other dirty tricks to undermine the lawsuit, including harassing the plaintiffs’ legal team, issuing bribes, and the setting of undercover traps aimed at entrapping the judge overseeing the case in Ecuador.
On December 17, 2013, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that Ecuador’s Indigenous communities indeed have the right to pursue Chevron’s assets in Canada to enforce the $9.5 billion Ecuador judgment, since Chevron no longer has assets remaining in Ecuador. Chevron’s assets in Canada are currently valued at $15 billion.
Thus, the entirety of the Ecuador judgment can be collected in Canada if the communities prevail in their enforcement action. On December 11th, 2014 the Supreme Court of Canada's (SCC) held a hearing relating to jurisdictional debates in the case 35682, Chevron Corporation, et al. v. Daniel Carlos Lusitande Yaiguaje, et al. A final ruling is expecting this fall 2015.
Background: Chevron suing Ecuadorian Government
Ecuador persuaded an arbitration tribunal at the Hague on March 12, 2015 that its settlement with Chevron did not preclude rainforest residents from suing over the pollution that the decades of oil drilling produced in the rainforest city of Lago Agrio.
Chevron argued that the settlement agreement that Ecuador signed with Texaco in 1995 made the new case redundant but a provincial court found that the settlement resolved only claims by the Ecuadorean government.Therefore, the court allowed Ecuador's citizens to prosecute their case separately in 2003.
Shortly before the Lago Agrio court handed down its Feb. 14, 2011, $9.5 billon verdict against Chevron, the oil giant returned to New York accusing the lawyers defending the Ecuadoreans of perpetrating a "shake down" against the company.
Chevron sued the Ecuadorean government separately for alleged violations of a bilateral investment treaty at Hague. The first track of Chevron's claims attacked the origins of the lawsuit under the settlement agreement. In this regard Chevron is trying to apply the agreement retroactively, as Chevron left Ecuador in 1991, and the agreement was signed in 1995. And the second contended that a "denial of justice" took place in Ecuador.
The arbitration tribunal's decision rejects key claims within the first track of Chevron's action.