Chevron Shareholders With Legal Proxies Arrested for Trying to Speak?!

The rules should be simple; when it comes to shareholder meetings, if you allow entry to some shareholders and shareholder representatives holding legal proxies then you should allow entry to all of them. This was not the case yesterday at Chevron’s Annual General Shareholders Meeting (AGM) in Houston, Texas.

Global Exchange staff received this email earlier today from a trusted source on the scene:

As it turns out, of the 7 people who went inside, 4 of them had the exact same kind of proxies as those excluded. This means that they (Chevron) inconsistently implemented their stated protocols.

Since some shareholder representatives holding legal proxies were admitted into the annual shareholder meeting, it seems highly suspect to deny entry to a select few with dissenting viewpoints. Annual shareholders meetings by definition should provide equal opportunity for all shareholders and shareholder representatives holding legal proxies to express their viewpoints and have them heard.

From an news release this morning:

Shelley Alpern, Vice-President at Trillium Asset Management Corporation was also outraged at Chevron’s actions, stating, “I attend several shareholder meetings every year and I have never seen a company deny entry to legal proxy holders. This is outrageous and reflects very poorly on our company’s respect for the laws that govern our proxy process. The shareholders in attendance today should stand forewarned not to say anything critical or it could be you next year.

There were four men and one woman arrested at Chevron’s shareholders meeting and all were released within 24 hours. The four men who were arrested are: Mitch Anderson and Han Shan from Amazon Watch, Juan from tejas, and Reverend Ken Davis from Communities for a Better Environment. They were apparently let into an inner court yard with their valid Proxy letters but when they were denied entrance to the meeting, they sat down and refused to move.  At one point a few banged on the door to be let in and then were arrested.

Antonia Juhasz, Global Exchange’s Chevron Program Director, was the only woman arrested. She was allowed to speak inside the meeting. Once she spoke people started shouting “Chevron Lies” at which point they ended the meeting and arrested Antonia.

It is unfortunate that legitimate proxy holders were denied entrance to the meeting and that they, along with Antonia Juhasz who held Chevron stock in her own name, had to spend a night in jail just for speaking their minds.  But the true struggle here is that communities are being held hostage by Chevron all around the world.

For first hand accounts and more details about the Chevron shareholders meeting read Amazon Watch’s release and check back to this blog for updates.