From the May-June 2021 issue of News & Letters
San Ramon, Calif.—On April 16 several dozen mostly Burmese people gathered in front of Chevron’s headquarters to publicly ask the management, the employees and the public at large to stop funding the bloodshed in Burma. Chevron has been paying the Burmese military since 1990, making the generals into billionaires. Many signs called on Chevron to “respect humanity, reject Myanmar military coup,” “stop funding slaughter in Myanmar” and “China policy/Burma slavery.”
A Burmese man from Pegu (now spelled Bago) told us that over 700 have been killed, sometimes as many as 80 in a single day in his city, the youngest a 7-year-old. Hundreds were wounded that day and over 3,000 arrested.
CHILD PROTESTERS GUNNED DOWN
An 11-year-old girl wrote a letter before going out to join a demonstration. She said, “if I’m shot, don’t worry about my body. Fight on. If we win, my death will be worth it.” She was shot in the head that day. Many young people write similar letters before going to demonstrations.
A member of Amazon Watch related what Chevron, then Texaco, which merged with Chevron in 2001, did to the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador. In order to save $3 per barrel, they deliberately dumped more than 16 billion gallons of toxic wastewater, spilled 17 million gallons of crude oil, and left hazardous waste in hundreds of open pits dug out of the forest floor.
After decades of legal actions, the courts found Chevron liable for $6.1 billion in cleanup costs. Chevron refuses to pay, and stated they will keep fighting the judgment “until hell freezes over, and then they will continue to fight on the ice” (for more on that, check out amazonwatch.org). One protester held a sign, “Chevwrong: INhuman energy.”
This was not an isolated protest. Every week since the Feb. 1 coup, the Free Burma Action Committee holds a protest in San Francisco. We will keep opposing the U.S. corporations as well as China’s support of the terrorist state of Burma.