A historic judgment has awarded Ecuador $17 billion for using a system that dumped toxic waste for 30 years. Chevron has fought this in all the dirty political ways they could flex their muscles. They claim they’ll never pay.
Around the World in 80 Years…Maybe
Has this story been reported by any mainstream media? I doubt it—and I doubt they will ever pay a penny of the judgment. I read things like this and think about the role our government has played in this and in supporting every repressive dictator in the world if they have something we want. I think about places like Saudi Arabia with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world and we send it’s former dictators billions a year in “foreign aid”. And I get actually nauseated, sick to my stomach at all this—and I think “what can I do”, so I don’t want to think about it any more. Go out in the streets of our supposedly free country and advocate the over throw of our government as the protesters around the world are doing and you can be locked up—–in the same way the other repressive governments do.
Democracy Now is NPR, so it’s kind of mainstream…sort of…
The problem of making a company pay this kind of judgment…enormous. Like they say in the video, without some kind of leverage, it’s not likely.
Helplessness is my most common feeling too, when it comes to things like this and other ways that “my” country does things I find horrifying. If the US was a person, that person would belong in jail. And what can we do?
Yeah – take to the streets and your chances of being harmed are pretty damn good in this “free” country.
At the WTO protests in Seattle, I had several close escapes from teargas and one friend of mine still has health problems dating to a specific canister dropped in…I think it was near Pioneer Square? Or Belltown? Anyway.
In San Francisco, in the anti-war protests, James and I were both arrested, herded into cattle pens in an empty pier, and held along with thousands of others in order to make the protest look smaller than it was. The strange thing about that one – no one struggled. It was ~too~ peaceful, in that we didn’t have a specific goal beyond a show of numbers. We were too easy to round up because we hadn’t made arrangements with others to occupy specific places and stay there, resisting efforts to move us. Of course, most of us who cooperated have no record, because there were too many of us and they never put through the paperwork on the arrests. Crazy, eh?
But yeah – other than those two occasions, I’ve never taken to the streets. And it’s because of the dragging feeling of inadequacy. What effort on my part can counter the concerted work of dozens of corporate fucks cutting away all considerations beyond the short-term financial? And that’s just in regards to this one disaster!
The hopelessness is another loss, a loss of my own heart and blood. And people here in the US keep thinking that this system works, though it turns out millions of us – the hopeless, the manipulated insisting that we’re free.