Justice In Nigeria Now!

For Human Rights, Environmental Protection and Community Livelihoods

Media Roundup from Bowoto vs. Chevron, Rally & Jury Seated

Posted by sarahjinn on October 28, 2008

Though the SF Chronicle and Huffington Post stories from the weekend still provide the best background, the start of the trial and rally attracted a wide variety of media coverage:

ABC 7 Many protest outside Chevron gas station

A Conflict that began 10 years ago on a Nigerian oil platform continues in a San Francisco courtroom. It happened about nine miles off the Nigerian coast. Now Chevron is being sued in federal court over how it resolved a hostage situation between its workers and local Nigerians who boarded that platform.  Go to Video

CBS 5 Nigerian and U.S. Human Rights Groups Protest at Chevron Station

An alliance of grassroots human rights groups from Nigeria and the U.S. gathered at a Chevron gas station in San Francisco today to show support for the Nigerian plaintiffs in a federal human rights trial that began today.

Organizers from Global Exchange, Justice in Nigeria Now, and West County Toxics Coalition, based in Contra Costa County, gathered about 100 anti-Chevron protesters in front of the company’s gas station at 9th and Howard streets in San Francisco early this afternoon. Go to Video

KCBS Chevron Goes on Trial in San Francisco Federal Court

A federal trial began Monday to determine if San Ramon-based Chevron was responsible for a deadly clash between Nigerian forces and locals occupying an oil platform ten years ago.

The trial in San Francisco federal court concerns the death of one protestor and the injury of several others who shut down the Parabe platform for three days before armed forces flew in on a Chevron contractor’s helicopters to respond. Go to Audio

SF Chronicle Jury Seated in Chevron Trial

… In court today, Chevron won permission to offer evidence of an alleged hostage-taking incident that it says supports its overall version of events. As Nigerian forces were shooting at some of the protesters, the company says, other villagers swam to a Chevron Nigeria tugboat and forced seven employees to take the craft to a village, where they were held captive for three days.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that the incident, if it ocurred, was irrelevant to the questions of whether the shootings were justified and whether Chevron was responsible. But U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said the company could present the incident to try to show that the entire protest was a violent takeover. Go to Article

Reuters Chevron on trail for 1998 platform clash

… The dispute fits into a broader political discussion about the responsibilities of U.S. companies abroad. The head of a Senate subcommittee on human rights and the law argued last month at a hearing on corporate responsibility and natural resources that the issue was not “black and white.”

“There is no doubt that American oil, gas and mining companies operating in countries with poor human rights records face difficult challenges in protecting their employees and operations,” Sen. Richard Durbin said.

“However, when American companies choose to go into these countries, they assume a moral and legal obligation to ensure that security forces protecting their operations do not commit human rights abuses.” Go to Article

Law.com: Judge: Chevron Must Remove Paid Google Link Tied to Search of Plaintiff’s Name

A widely watched trial over Chevron’s Nigerian operations featured a new online frontier Monday in the battle to influence the hearts and minds of potential jurors.

While imposing a general gag order, Northern District of California Judge Susan Illston ordered Chevron to take down a paid Google link sponsored by the company. Plaintiffs objected to the link, which directed Internet surfers to a Chevron-created Web site that provided information about the incident at issue in trial. Go to Article

Oil & Gas Journal Chevron on trial in San Francisco for rights abuses

Chevron Corp. is at the center of a legal case before federal court in San Francisco that will ask jurors to decide whether the firm sanctioned human rights abuses that resulted in the deaths and injuries of protesters at its Nigerian facilities, or whether the company was simply protecting its employees from belligerent kidnappers.

The lawsuit—identified as Bowoto vs. Chevron, No. C99-2506SI (N.D. Calif.)—alleges that Chevron, in conjunction with the Nigerian military, engaged in torture, assaults, and the killing of two protesters over Chevron’s environmental record and its failure to hire locals in the delta region near its oil drilling operations. Go to Article

Market Watch: Amazon Defense Coaltion: High-Stakes Trial in San Francisco Focuses Attention on Chevron’s Growing Human Rights Problems Around Globe

Chevron’s recent high-profile hiring of William J. Haynes, a former Bush Administration lawyer implicated in the torture scandal at Guantanamo Bay, is the latest sign that Chevron’s legal department has become increasingly callous to human rights concerns, said Kevin Koenig, an organizer with Amazon Watch, which monitors the company’s human rights and environmental record. Go to Article

Market Watch: Amazon Watch: Chevron Asked to Disclose Relationship to Pat Murphy

The environmental group Amazon Watch today called on Chevron and the San Francisco-based writer Pat Murphy to divulge their financial relationship in light of disclosures that Murphy’s website accepts fees for editorial control of news articles written under Murphy’s byline. Go to Article

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