Two years ago, the Chevron Program was launched at Global Exchange. The Program was later re-named the Energy Program to focus on oil companies other than Chevron, including BP in the wake of the Gulf oil disaster. Our goal was to link those communities harmed by—and fighting back against—Chevron into a powerful activist network to better achieve local demands and reach out to new allies to build a powerful advocacy base able to take on the entire oil industry.
With your help, and that of all our allies, our successes have been remarkable.
By May 2010, the network was formalized as the True Cost of Chevron Network. Starting with approximately 20 groups, representing ten countries or states in the U.S., the Network grew to over 40 groups, from or representing 20 countries or states linking community leaders and advocates from Alaska to Indonesia, and from Australia to Nigeria.
The Network has become much stronger than its individual parts, with participants able to learn from, strategize with, and support one-another, work together to greater amplify and bring greater public attention to demands, build more allies to our struggles, and better reign in, restrict, and regulate the harmful activities of Chevron. In so doing, we have not only experienced significant local victories, we have also brought greater public attention to the human rights, environmental, economic, social, and political costs of oil addiction more broadly and linked with more allies to the struggle against Big Oil and in favor of green, sustainable energy alternatives.
The power of the True Cost of Chevron Network was realized at the recent Chevron Annual General Meeting this past May – a week of activities were arranged around and targeted Chevron’s AGM. The Chevron Alternative Annual Report was released with much anticipation and coverage, when Network members from across the globe traveled to San Ramon, CA to face Chevron shareholders and CEO John Watson. Network members from Chevron impacted communities and supporters were present both inside the AGM and outside in protest.
Global Exchange and the Energy Program was also honored to present Dr. Wilma Subra with the 2011 Domestic Human Rights Award on June 1 for her relentless work in exposing the disastrous impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oilrig explosion: oil coating the bottom of the ocean, oil continuing to wash up on shore and oil destroying the life cycles of countless organisms and tracking health impacts on Louisiana communities. A full video of her speech is here. Wilma is also featured in Black Tide: The Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill.
| Dr. Wilma Subra with Energy Program Director, Antonia Juhasz at this year's Human Rights Awards
After two active years, we’ve learned that organizing against the third largest corporation in the United States and the wealthiest industry in the world is difficult to sustain financially and our full-time Energy Program will close and we say farewell to Energy Program Director, Antonia Juhasz. But with confidence we will continue to support the great work of the True Cost of Chevron Network.
Global Exchange has always welcomed the opportunities to incubate and help sustain new movement-building partnerships, coalitions and networks larger than Global Exchange itself around the big ideas of social, economic and environmental justice. We believe the True Cost of Chevron Network is a powerful entity we are proud to consider a benchmark in that ongoing legacy.
Our powerful and paradigm shifting rights based organizing continues the fight for justice for communities and the planet. It is time to change the rules to ensure that the people who must bear the effects of policy decisions are the only ones who make them. It is time to assert our rights as communities to define the kinds of places we want to live, respecting the rights of workers and the rights of nature and we are proud to be on the leading edge of the movement for community and nature’s rights worldwide. Learn more here.
Many thanks for your ongoing work to support peace and justice.
PS. By joining Global Exchange today for $50 or more, you will receive a copy of Black Tide: The Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill or The Rights of Nature: The Case for a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth. Sign up now!