Indigenous rights attorney Steven Donziger was convicted of criminal contempt this week. He’s now facing a prison sentence of up to six months. It’s the latest development in the Chevron vs. Donziger legal saga, which began in 1993 when Donziger prosecuted Chevron for poisoning indigenous people with toxic waste in Ecuador.
(Donziger and his legal team won, by the way. Chevron was ordered to pay $9.5 billion dollars in restitution to the indigenous people of the Ecuadorian Amazon River basin. So far, the wealthy, powerful, crafty Chevron corporation has avoided making that payment.)
Many suspect Chevron of using Steven Donziger for legal target practice, in order to make an example out of him — and to project a threat to anyone else who would dare to prosecute them for environmental crimes. After the criminal contempt decision was made, pro-Donziger rallies erupted across the United States and Canada.
In the following rally video, journalist Greg Palast and Dr. Nan Marie Greer speak at the LA #FreeDonziger Rally at the Chevron station on the corner of Laurel Canyon & Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles on Friday, Aug 6, 2021.
Palast was on assignment in Ecuador for the BBC, and saw horrific pollution in the Amazon River basin with his own eyes. (At the time, Chevron tried to get him fired.) To humanize the original legal battle, which was a large class-action lawsuit, Palast begins the rally by framing the story as an indigenous chief who took Chevron to court for the death of his two sons, with the help of attorney Steven Donziger.
Indigenous human rights specialist Dr. Nan Marie Greer added, “For the last year, I surveyed Chevron damages in over 32 countries. I found 70 cases, and a lot of them were very similar to the cases in Ecuador.”
For chronological details of the Chevron Amazon pollution legal case, go over to Wikipedia where it’s all laid out: Background on Donziger and the Chevron legal battle.
How Can You Help?
How can you help to turn the tables, and make Chevron the example? What can you do to tell them, and other fossil fuel corporations, that they canNOT commit environmental crimes without punitive judicial consequences?
You can keep fighting for a WIN against Big Oil.
- Boycott Chevron.
- Sign the Amazon Watch petition: Demand that U.S. Attorney General Garland review Steven Donziger’s case and take control back into the hands of the federal prosecutors.
- Sign the Change.org petion: Make Chevron pay $9.5bn in damages for “Amazon Chernobyl.”
- The mainstream media underreports this incredible, long-term legal battle. When they do report on it, it’s usually from the perspective of Chevron! So, share the FULL Chevron vs. Donziger story with all the people you know.
If Chevron is not brought to justice, it opens the door for giant corporate polluters to continue destroying our planet with complete impunity. Most importantly, the results of these environmental crimes, if not addressed, present a grave threat to democracy, the survival of the world’s ecosystems, and the lives of all future generations.– Amazon Watch
For more political activism and petitions to sign, visit A Summer for Political & Social Action.