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.

Photo Credit: Jonathan McIntosh

Shareholders and shareholder representatives from around the globe holding legal proxies were refused entry to Chevron’s annual meeting on Wednesday. Five members of The True Cost of Chevron Network were subsequently arrested at the oil giants direction, including GX’s own Antonia Juhasz, Director of our Chevron Program.

Protestors and press gathered outside the meeting as news spread like wildfire. Some folks tweeted live from Houston, others wrote articles and blog posts centered on the Chevron shareholders meeting.

We thought we’d throw together a little list to update folks about where things are at, so here you go:

A sampling of some recent live Tweets
from @changechevron:
#Chevron blocking nearly all 30+ impacted community leaders at Houston agm. All have legal proxies. Locked out.

BREAKING: #Chevron is blocking valid proxy shareholders from entering its mtg one by one if they suspect we’ll raise concerns.

from @AmazonWatch:
5 arrested at Chevron Shareholder meeting! Antonia from @Global Exchange yanked from inside the meeting! Share:

From @codepinkalert:
@AntoniaJuhasz arrested at Chevron shareholders meeting for trying to expose the true cost of chevron! #arrestchevron  (not antonia!)

The following folks are tweeting live from Houston:

Check out some recent articles about the Chevron shareholders meeting

  • Climate Connection posted arrest and protest videos including this one featuring Richmond, CA resident Dr. Henry Clark of West County Toxics Coalition:

Stay Connected!

Check out We Can Change Chevron’s Facebook destination with updates on Chevron resistance events.

Keep checking back with this blog for frequent updates.

Visit the Global Exchange Chevron Program Take Action page for a complete list of ways to get involved.

If you are involved in spreading the news about Chevron related activities, we’d love to hear about it.

Photo Credit: The Campaign for Justice in Ecuador

Today Chevron denied access to shareholder representatives in what appears to be a bid to silence truth about its human rights and environmental abuses.

Here’s a timeline of activities leading up to today’s injustices:

May 19th, 2010: an unprecedented global network of Chevron-affected communities released the True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Report to expose the truth behind big oil.

May 25th, 2010: Leading up to Chevron’s Shareholders meeting in Houston, Texas some 40 of the report authors presented the report to the press in Houston

May 26th, 2010:

  • Chevron’s Annual General Shareholders Meeting (AGM) in Houston, Texas takes place
  • The True Cost of Chevron Network was planning to deliver the report directly to the company’s executives, employees, and shareholders while allies rallied outside
  • Some shareholders and shareholder representatives from around the globe holding legal proxies were denied entry to the meeting
  • Five members of the True Cost of Chevron Network were arrested, including Global Exchange’s Chevron Program Director, Antonia Juhasz, under the direction of the oil giant

Watch video of Antonia’s arrest here, courtesy of Amazon Watch.

Chevron’s actions today are just one more example of how the corporation silences the truth and avoids transparency. Dozens of leaders from communities around the world who are affected by Chevron traveled all the way to Houston to speak out about atrocities committed by Chevron and to deliver the recently released report, The True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report, May 2010.

Emem Okom, founder of the Kebetkuche Women Development and Resource Center of Nigeria describes:

Chevron CEO John Watson opened the annual shareholder meeting touting Chevron as a good neighbor and yet they locked the door for communities from Houston, Alaska, Canada, Burma, Nigeria, and Colombia. This is the way we have been treated at home and meeting them here was no different.

No news yet about when Antonia and others arrested will be released. Check back with us on this blog for status updates.

If you haven’t read the report yet, you can download it here now. Feel free to share with others and spread it around.