Boycott Shell Now

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The battle for democracy and corporate accountability in Nigeria continues, as the native Ogoni people fight against the brutal military government and Shell Oil, which has devastated the environment in Ogoniland and imported arms for the regime (see “End Environmental and Human Rights Abuses in Nigeria” for more background). The World Council of Churches (WCC) recently endorsed a boycott of Shell, estimating that over 3,000 Ogoni have died and over 30,000 have been displaced in the last four years of conflict, and noting that between 1982 and 1992, Shell’s Nigerian operations spilled 1,626,000 gallons of oil in 27 separate incidents.

Now this social and environmental devastation seems poised to be repeated in the Peruvian Amazon, where Shell Oil is planning a 40-year, $2.7 billion natural gas drilling project. If the project begins as scheduled in July 1997, it will place one of the largest gas operations in South America in a rainforest area that Peru’s government has set aside as a homeland for uncontacted indigenous peoples.

On May 14, Project Underground held an International Day of Action Against Shell, timed to coincide with Royal Dutch/Shell’s annual shareholders’ meeting in the U.K. Picketers at Shell gas stations from Washington, D.C. to Vancouver, Canada showed solidarity with protestors in London, who called on shareholders to divest their shares in Shell.

At the meeting, Shell rejected a shareholders’ resolution — which won 41 million of the total 357 million shares (11.5%) — demanding that an outside auditor examine Shell’s record to see if the company has honored its stated commitment to environmental protection and human rights.

You can still protest Shell’s abuses — and their rejection of the resolution — by boycotting Shell, and writing a letter to the company telling them why. Address your letter to:

Mr. Phillip J. Carroll, CEO
Shell Oil Corporation
P.O. Box 2463
Houston, TX 77252
Phone: (800) 241-4044
Fax: (713) 241-4044

To find out more about Shell’s operations in both Nigeria and Peru, call Project Underground at (510) 705-8981 or e-mail them at shanna@moles.org to order their 1996-1997 “Independent Annual Report” on Royal Dutch/Shell. You can also request boycott postcards to send to Shell, or an entire “Shell Boycott Pack” with a timeline of the Ogoni struggle against Shell and other information on the issue.

To get the latest new information as it develops, join Essential Information’s “Shell-Nigeria- Action list,” an unmoderated e-mail forum for the exchange of information and grassroots action ideas. To subscribe to the list, send an e-mail to listproc@essential.org with the message:

subscribe shell-nigeria-action <your e-mail address>

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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