Days before his release, Donziger released a video message thanking supporters but shifting the focus on the Ecuadoreans he represented, vowing to continue the fight to hold polluters like Chevron accountable. This echoes statements from his newly launched Substack, Donziger on Justice, which the lawyer is hoping continues driving the community built in support of his release toward the sustained goal of environmental justice. Donziger, a former journalist, said he’s eager to return to writing as a means of further the cause. “I love journalism and I can’t wait to begin writing in this space on regular basis,” Donziger said, though he admitted that mainstream media coverage of cases like his are rarely covered with the same fervor as with “the governmental persecution of human rights lawyers in other countries.”
“In fact, Attorney Ted Boutrous of Gibson Dunn both represents the New York Times on media issues while trying to destroy my life on behalf of Chevron, work for which he bills $1,200 per hour,” Donziger continued. He had more charges against the paper but also concluded by vowing not to “turn my back on my clients in Ecuador nor on the larger battle for human rights and judicial accountability around the world.” Indeed, Donziger hasn’t given up the fight, just as Chevron has stuck to its company goals of raking in as much cash as possible—consequences to the planet and the vulnerable be damned. Also on Monday, Accountable.US released a report on the drastic uptick in compensation Big Oil CEOs received in 2021 compared with 2020. On that list? Chevron’s Mike Wirth, who got a $4.5 million bonus last year for god knows what, moving his total compensation well above $22 million for 2021. In contrast, Donziger’s entire way of life and primary career have been crushed by the company.
But his spirit certainly hasn’t. Donziger will be attending and celebrating his release at a block party in Manhattan later this evening.
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