Eye on the Amazon

Hey Chevron, You Can't Fool the People!

Panelists Eric Holt-Giménez of Food First, Paul Paz y Miño of Amazon Watch, Maria Roeper of IAM, and Carleen Pickard of Global ExchangeDespite years of fighting to escape justice in Ecuador, Chevron has never quite learned Abraham Lincoln's old adage: "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

After having the largest environmental judgment in history – $19 billion – handed down against them and held up under appeal, Chevron is fooling fewer and fewer people hardly any of the time these days.

One of the many groups that see past Chevron's lies is the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). The IAM is an AFL-CIO/CLC trade union representing some 646,933 workers from more than 200 industries. I was recently invited to speak at their annual convention in Toronto on a panel entitled "Most Wanted: Global Corporate Criminals." Chevron was at the top of the pack.

Although the panel was organized almost a year ago, it was quite a coincidence that the conference took place in Canada, where just four months ago Ecuadorian plaintiffs filed suit to seize Chevron's assets. The union workers of the IAM recognize that the movement for corporate accountability will not progress unless criminals such as Chevron are forced to account for their actions. Lawsuits brought to Canada and Brazil are just the beginning of the next step in the ongoing campaign to force Chevron to clean up the Ecuadorian Amazon and provide health relief for the thousands of individuals suffering daily from their contamination.

Amazon Watch's new action campaign to chase Chevron "The Fugitive" and rally the global community to bring them to justice kicked off last week. Launching with an action directed at the government of Canada it will continue to bird dog Chevron wherever they operate and will include a growing list of allies just like the members of the IAM. Stay tuned for how you can get involved in the pursuit...

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