[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Sierra Club Release: Ken Saro-Wiwa Execution Anniversary
- To: #International__Comm__+__Liaisons__at__Sierra-Club-SF_at_Sierra-Club-SF@sfsierra.sierraclub.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, #Board__+__Carl__&__Mike__at__Sierra-Club-SF_at_Sierra-Club-SF@sfsierra.sierraclub.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, #Gov__Com-Conservation__at__Sierra-Club-SF_at_Sierra-Club-SF@sfsierra.sierraclub.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, #All__Nat'l__WDC__Staff__at__Sierra-Club-SF_at_Sierra-Club-SF@sfsierra.sierraclub.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, #Conservation-SF__at__Sierra-Club-SF_at_Sierra-Club-SF@sfsierra.sierraclub.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Alistair.J.Jackson@bodyshop.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, ISOUN@aol.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, kane.michael@EPAMAIL.EPA.GOV, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Munro_Richardson1@foreign-rel.senate.gov, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Richard_Boele@bodyshop.co.uk, firstname.lastname@example.org, ROTHK@hrw.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Worldcoun@aol.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, #Field-Offices__at__Sierra-Club-SF_at_Sierra-Club-SF@sfsierra.sierraclub.org, email@example.com
- Subject: Sierra Club Release: Ken Saro-Wiwa Execution Anniversary
- From: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: Mon, 10 Nov 97 16:32:47 PST
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
November 10, 1997 Stephen Mills, (202) 675-6691
SIERRA CLUB CALLS FOR RENAMING OF STREET ADJACENT TO NIGERIAN EMBASSY
Group Presents Petitions for Clinton and Shell CEO
Washington, D.C. -- Sierra Club, Amnesty International, TransAfrica and a
host of labor, church, and pro-democracy organizations today announced a
campaign to pressure the D.C. City Council to rename a city street in memory
of an environmental activist the Nigerian military hanged two years ago. The
street chosen is adjacent to the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
"We're sure that this campaign will get the Nigerian public relations flacks
out in full force," said Sierra Club Board of Directors member Michael
Dorsey. "If they are outraged so be it. We want the ambassador to see Ken's
name every morning as he walks through the embassy doors to represent his
"Two weeks ago we all heard about China's intolerable human rights record,
well China has met it's match in Nigeria," said Stephen Mills, Director of
the Sierra Club's Human Rights and the Environment Campaign. "And
unfortunately the multinational corporations involved there appear to have
influenced the Clinton administration's Nigeria policy just as they affected
China's -- by forestalling any real sanctions, notably an oil embargo,
which would help return Nigeria to democratic rule."
"The petitions we present today for President Clinton containing 3,313
signatures are to remind him that American values are not for sale" said
Mills. "We are the ones who voted to elect him, not the CEO's of the
multinational corporations who bankroll political campaigns."
The petitions demand that Clinton immediately institute sanctions targeting
Nigeria's oil economy including a ban on new investment. The U.S. consumes
nearly half of the oil Nigeria exports. Shell is the largest exporter of
On Nov. 10, 1995, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni minority-rights
advocates were hanged by the Nigerian military following a trial which lacked
any independence or impartiality. The Ogoni had been protesting Shell's
environmental devastation of their land and water. Key witnesses for the
prosecution subsequently recanted their testimony and have signed sworn
statements indicating that they were bribed by the Nigerian military and
Shell to testify against Saro-Wiwa. Another 20 Ogoni, arrested with
Saro-Wiwa two years ago, languish in jail under gruesome conditions. The
Ogoni region of Nigeria is now a closed military zone where Saro-Wiwa's
supporters are routinely jailed and tortured.
Petitions were also presented to Shell today containing the signatures of
4,183 individuals pledging to boycott the company. Though it has been two
years since the Ogoni were executed for protesting against Shell's pollution,
the company has so far refused to clean up the area or compensate affected
petitions cite Shells tolerance of human rights violations and claim that
Saro-Wiwa's execution was a direct result of their actions.
"Shell's environmental policy in Africa reeks of discrimination," said
Dorsey. "The company thinks that it can adhere to one operating standard in
this country and another, lower standard in Africa. Shell has absurdly
claimed in letters to our members that it doesn't get involved in politics
and would `not influence the political development of Nigeria'. The fact is
that by doing business in Nigeria, and thereby supporting the brutal Abacha
dictatorship, the company is involved in Nigerian politics whether it likes
it or not," Dorsey continued.
"One report released this year found Shell's hydrocarbon pollution levels in
Nigeria nearly 700 times higher than what is allowed in Europe," Dorsey said.
Though denying it at first, Shell has now admitted to both paying the
military and importing weapons into Nigeria.
While the Clinton administration has failed to impose any effective sanctions
against Nigeria, it has not stopped cities across the U.S. from adopting
local ordinances canceling Shell contracts and barring business with
companies that do business with Nigeria. Cities that have passed such
ordinances include Amherst and Cambridge, MA; Berkeley and Oakland, CA; New
Orleans, LA; New York, NY; and St. Louis, MO. The U.S. Council of Mayors,
the Harvard Undergraduate Council and Alameda County in California have also
passed resolutions condemning Nigeria. In June, Rep. Donald Payne (D-NY10)
introduced the "Nigeria Democracy Act" (HR 1786), a bill to impose sanctions
The Sierra Club, long known for its battles to preserve and protect U.S.
wilderness areas, has increasingly found itself participating in an entirely
new arena -- the struggle for human rights, particularly for the right of
individuals to protect the environment. The Club's Human Rights and the
Environment Campaign seeks to ensure individuals' rights to speak out on
behalf of the environment, and to help environmental advocates organize in an
effective manner to petition their government.
"In many countries the Sierra Club finds that environmentally concerned
citizens are not only increasingly threatened by their own governments," said
Mills, "some multinational corporations have pressured nations in desperate
need of foreign investment to compete for their business by reducing
environmental and labor standards."
"In order for the environment worldwide to be protected, citizens must be
involved," said Mills. "American foreign policy has ignored this fact for far
too long. For our families and for our future, global environmental problems
must be freely discussed in order to be solved.
Following the 1995 execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa, the Sierra Club Board of
Directors voted to boycott Shell Oil until the company cleans up it pollution
in Ogoniland. The Sierra Club is also actively supporting the Payne bill to
impose sanctions against Nigeria.
Founded in 1892, the Sierra Club is the largest grassroots environmental
organization in the United States. The Club currently has approximately
600,000 members and campaigns on a variety of domestic and international