They call it the Amazonian Chernobyl.
In 1964, the multinational corporation Texaco — one of the planet-destroying giants spawned from John D. Rockefeller’s colossal illegal monopoly — began drilling in Ecuador.
For nearly thirty years, Texaco turned tens of billions in profits while illegally dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste, destroying habitats, livelihoods, and lives — all to save roughly $3 per barrel in proper waste treatment costs.
When Chevron was eventually busted by the Ecuadorians, the company spent a microscopic $40 million on “cleaning” the area and negotiated an agreement with corrupt officials, saying the clean-up was “complete,” even though a domestic science team deemed the areas wildly unsafe.
In 2003, American attorney Steven Donziger visited the South American nation and described it as “an apocalyptic disaster.”
Children walked barefoot along oil-covered roads.
Jungle lakes were covered in oil.
Local tribes suffered from stomach cancer, respiratory illnesses, miscarriages, and birth defects.
Donzinger helped 30,000 indigenous Ecuadorians file a $28 billion lawsuit for making them sick and poisoning the Amazon with eighteen billion gallons of toxic water.
After an eight-year court battle, the locals won a groundbreaking $9.5 billion to help offset some of their losses, roughly three weeks of Chevron’s revenue. It was the first time in history that an indigenous group had successfully beaten a multinational corporation.
Chevron refused to pay the fine.
Instead, they decided to destroy Steven Donzinger’s life.
There is no depth to which some people will go to make money.
Especially multinational corporations — after all, they’re anti-human alien fictions that live forever, have more rights than humans, and legally exist for the sole purpose of extracting wealth from the commons to deliver to elite shareholders.
According to a leaked internal Chevron memo, “Our L-T [long-term] strategy is to demonize Donziger.”
So far, with a legal team of hundreds, they’ve:
Sued him for $60 billion (the most against any individual in American legal history)
Got him disbarred as a lawyer
Frozen his bank accounts
Crushed him with millions in fines
Not allowed him a jury
Got a court to force him to wear a 24-hour ankle monitor for the past two years
Imposed a lien on his home
Destroyed his ability to earn a living
Placed him under house arrest for the past 800 days (not only has the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights ruled it illegal, and twenty-nine Nobel laureates called “judicial harassment,” but it’s four times longer than the maximum sentence allowed for this charge)
And as of last week, Steven Donzinger is now in prison.
Do not go gentle into that good night
I hope you’re furious.
You should be.
This is the first time a multinational corporation has prosecuted an individual.
A good man.
This is what happens when corporations take control of your Congress.
When a nation allows the unlimited accumulation of wealth and power.
When your inequality is worse than the Roman Empire.
We need to help Steven
I encourage you to stuff your fury into the furnace of action:
Watch Steven’s goodbye message sent just hours before going to prison.
Watch the documentary Crude on Youtube.
Sign the petition demanding the President and AG release him immediately.
Read up on intimidation lawsuits
If you or someone you know works at Chevron, whistleblow
Ask the New York Times why they won’t cover the story
This will continue to happen until we fix this forever
First, here's how not to fix this absurd injustice:
Don’t bother calling your corporate-sponsored Congressman.
Don’t bother getting pepper-sprayed by corporate-directed cops at a rally.
Don’t bother hacking or stalking the board of directors and end up in the cell beside Steven.
There’s only one weapon that can bring monster corporations to heel:
We need folks like WallStreetBets, meme-stonkers, and especially activist shareholders to buy enough stock to seize control of the company (just like what’s currently happening at Exxon), run an internal investigation to oust every single person involved in persecuting Donzinger, make restitution to Donzinger, then publish the internal documents and press for the imprisonment of the cruel and inhumane individuals who continue to put profit before people.
Clearly, Chevron has ruined Donzinger’s life to make a statement — that if you mess with our ability to make profits, human lives be damned, we will ruin yours.
It’s time we put multinational corporations on notice.
This earth belongs to we the people — legal fictions live and die by our will.
And while we wait for the courts to send all these criminals to jail, let’s all stop buying Chevron products.
Spread the word.