By: Cynthia Papermaster
I prepared a speech at Jackie Barshak's suggestion. Usually, I speak without this level of preparation, so I'm grateful to Jackie because I needed to remember Chevron's role in the Iraq War, and I needed to re-acquaint myself with the many efforts over many years to call out Chevron's role in militarism. I re-discovered this awesome 2008 Chevron anti-war material, for instance. How many of us have traveled to the Chevron Refinery gates over the years to join with the Richmond community and the many groups working to oppose Chevron?
We shut two of Chevron's entry gates! Amazing victory!! Banner holders stretched across the entrances and Chevron capitulated. The Richmond Police were stationed across the road watching, but there were no arrests or hassles as far as I could tell. We heard them say "Move out and clear the entrance" but we didn't move. We stood our ground.
I spoke on behalf of CODEPINK. My prepared speech is below, but when it came time at the very end to step up to the mic, I put my speech away and spoke of what I know:
- that Chevron drove the illegal war and occupation of Iraq to steal their oil and take over the Iraq oil industry, resulting in death and misery for Iraqis and U.S. soldiers and at a tremendous cost to all of us
- that the military is Chevron's BIG customer, using more fossil fuels than 100 countries combined, emitting untold amounts of greenhouse gases that are causing climate catastrophe
- that Chevron is in partnership with war profiteers such as Lockheed, with a former Chevron executive on Lockheed's Board of Directors.
- I asked the gathering to say the names with me of the BIG 5 war profiteers: Lockheed, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics
- that Chevron itself is a war profiteer.
- that Chevron is raping our Mother Earth
- and that we are coming together and we are powerful -- the anti-militarism, climate, labor, healthcare, education, immigration, environmental and all other issue groups-- together we will RISE, LOVE and RESIST the war industry, so that future generations will be able to live in peace and harmony with each other and our precious planet.