Protesters Take Aim at ChevronTexaco Activists Plan to Shut Down Headquarters in San Ramon on April 14

San Ramon - Anti-war protesters will target key corporate, military and governmental sites in the East Bay today.

ChevronTexaco is not on the organizers' list for the national day of civil disobedience. Based in San Ramon full time since January, the second largest oil firm in the nation is getting a day all to itself.

On April 14, protesters plan to shut down ChevronTexaco because they say the company will benefit from the war in Iraq.

"We believe ChevronTexaco is going to profit directly from this war when there's a new government in Iraq that's favorable to U.S. business," said Leila Salazar, an organizer for Direct Action to Stop the War. "They will rush to the bidding table."

Stan Luckoski, a spokesman for ChevronTexaco, said the company "respects the rights of individuals to express their opinion freely. However, we believe any suggestion that our company is profiting from the war is simply not true."

Salazar of Direct Action said there will be two events April 14 in San Ramon – one a permitted rally involving a grab bag of environmental organizations, and the other a nonpermitted protest. The nonpermitted actions will strive to shut down the company for the day. This may involve blocking streets and entrances, she said.

Organizers do not know how many people will show up for the shutdown, but they are calling the day one of "mass, nonviolent civil disobedience."

"Because this is one of the biggest corporations in California, I think a lot of people will come," Salazar said.

The police department said no one has requested a permit for a rally. Officers are preparing, however, for the April 14 demonstration and any stragglers from today's events.

"We speculate they will create havoc. It's in their interest to have maximum disruption," Sgt. Bryan Reynolds said. "We hope they exercise their First Amendment rights and keep it at that."

Extra officers and equipment, plus mutual aid from other agencies, will be available to handle arrests, added Sgt. Joe Gorton.

"A contingency plan is in place," he said.

As for ChevronTexaco, the company said it takes all security issues seriously and is aware of the possible demonstration.

In a statement, the company said, "We encourage those people to exercise their rights safely, lawfully and responsibly without infringing upon the rights of others who live and work in our community."

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