Eye on the Amazon

Alec Baldwin, Roger Waters, and 29 Nobel Laureates Call on You to Demand Justice for Ecuadorians

New effort launched to demand that Chevron clean up its deliberate pollution of the Amazon and call for an end to the house arrest of human rights lawyer Steven Donziger

Corporations like Chevron use their power and money to avoid accountability at every turn. From 1964 to 1992, Chevron deliberately dumped 16 billion gallons of toxic oil waste into the Ecuadorian rainforest as a cost-saving measure, causing a massive public health catastrophe and humanitarian crisis. Close to 1,000 toxic waste pits also remain in the Amazon, poisoning the local drinking water to this day.

After a historic trial where the affected indigenous peoples and campesinos presented overwhelming evidence, Chevron was found liable and ordered to clean up its mess. Instead of addressing the humanitarian and environmental crisis it caused, the company fled Ecuador and launched a new legal battle aimed to bury the case in litigation.

Steven Donziger was a lead lawyer in the historic $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron for polluting the Ecuadorian Amazon. He has become a target in one of Chevron's main retaliation efforts: a campaign to "demonize Donziger." Chevron relies on the complicity of a U.S. federal trial judge to intimidate Donziger, ultimately preventing Ecuadorians from seeing justice.

Donziger has now been under house arrest for over 250 days for refusing to turn over his computer, cell phone, and confidential case files to Chevron. He is the only lawyer in U.S. history who has ever been detained pretrial on a contempt charge. Donziger says, "I believe my historically unprecedented pretrial detention for a lawyer, now on its 255th day, is intimately connected to my effective and successful advocacy for these communities."

This abuse must end. Chevron must be held accountable.

Donziger might be alone in his home detention, but he is not alone in this fight. Chevron would like us to think this isn't about the pollution and suffering it caused in Ecuador. It has focused on Donziger as a distraction, his persecution is merely a strategy to avoid the historic judgement. But this is about so much more than one person. This is a case of Chevron against all of those who seek justice against big oil, be it in the U.S. or Ecuador. If Chevron can continue to avoid this judgement, it sets a devastating precedent for all of us in the climate movement.

"Now they're going to twist and turn this in every way possible because they want it to be about a fight between Steven Donziger and Kaplan or lawyers here and avoid the reality of the fact that people are still suffering in Ecuador from this contamination," said Paul Paz y Miño, Amazon Watch Associate Director.

We must stand together to call for justice for Ecuadorians, because if we do, corporations like Chevron will never win. We know Chevron's ultimate goal is to divide and conquer, but this growing upswell of support from celebrities, Nobel laureates, and international activists affirms that Ecuadorians are not alone in their pursuit for justice. Our movement will not be divided and Chevron's time is up – the power corporations like Chevron hold over our U.S. judicial system will not go unchallenged.

This week, the Nobel laureates are announcing their support in a full-page ad in the Financial Times and a new video narrated by Alec Baldwin has been released explaining the case. Today, long-time rainforest advocate Sting posted the call to his website, too. The movement continues to grow. Together, they are demanding that Chevron face justice for its deliberate pollution of the Amazon and calling for an end to the house arrest of human rights lawyer Steven Donziger.

The Nobel laureates ad states, "Environmental activism in many countries results in murder. Chevron's strategy is death by a thousand cuts through the manipulation of a legal system it has managed to stack in its favor. Its goal is to intimidate and disempower the victims of its pollution and a lawyer who has worked for decades on their behalf."

We will not be intimidated or disempowered.

You must join this call to fight for justice by spreading the word and taking action at MakeChevronCleanUp.com. Only together can we stand up to big oil and secure justice for Ecuadorians.

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