I have some news -- as of this week, I'm a criminal.
And so are the people of Ecuador who stood against Chevron for poisoning the Amazon with 18 billion gallons of toxic oil waste in its ruthless quest for more profit.
In a blatant attempt to avoid a massive judgment against it in Ecuador's courts, Chevron has twisted the RICO Act -- legislation designed to target mobsters -- to silence their critics and have them labeled as criminals. Shockingly, a U.S. judge actually sided with Chevron last Tuesday, ruling against the people who fought so hard to bring the oil giant to justice.
It's now possible for other wealthy corporations to attack activists like you and me just for speaking out and exposing their actions -- but we're not going to stand for this.
Last month, SierraRise supporters sent more than 100,000 messages urging the Senate to fight back against Chevron -- and we're not done yet!
More after the jump
For nearly two decades, Texaco, now part of Chevron, dumped oil waste into the pristine Ecuadorian Amazon, creating what's considered by many to be the world's largest oil disaster. Since then, countless people like Servio Curipoma -- a cacao farmer from the small oil-ravaged town of San Carlos -- and his family have suffered a plague of deadly cancers and devastating birth defects.
Instead of doing what's right and paying for its pollution, Chevron has waged a non-stop campaign of intimidation against villagers like Servio and the activists who support them. The oil giant has even gone so far as to attack a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist for his anti-Chevron art.
This verdict sets a dangerous precedent for anyone who values their right to speak out when a corporation puts greed before people or the environment. Like Deepak Gupta, a lawyer fighting Chevron, said on Tuesday, "Today's decision should be extremely troubling for anybody who cares about the rule of law."
It is time to show Chevron that it may have won in one courtroom in New York, but it will never defeat us.
In it together,
SierraRise Senior Campaigner