Monday, May 21, 2012

Indigenous activists set to crack Shell annual meeting


Activists Set to Crack Shell Annual Meeting

Indigenous Delegation to confront Shell at AGM in The Hague
Get the Shell Out/IEN photo
Posted at Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com
French translation:
http://www.chrisp.lautre.net/wpblog/?p=803

May 21, 2012/The Hague – A delegation of Indigenous community leaders and representatives is travelling from North America to The Hague attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the oil company Shell tomorrow (22 May). They are attending to protest Shell’s environmental devastation and repeated human rights violations in their communities.
The community representatives include:
  • Eriel Deranger – Community spokesperson for Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, in Alberta, Canada - an Indigenous community residing downstream from tar sands operations and who are currently suing Shell for violating past agreements
  • Ron Plain, from Aamjiwnaang First Nation, in Ontario, Canada - which has been called ‘the most polluted place in North America’ by the National Geographic Society, and the ‘the most contaminated airshed in Canada’ by the World Health Organization due to its proximity to ‘Chemical Valley’ where Shell’s and other tar sands operators’ refineries are causing serious health and reproductive impacts
  • Robert Thompson, Chairman of REDOIL and an Inupiat from Kaktovik, a village on the edge of the Arctic Ocean in Alaska, where Shell plans to drill offshore in Arctic waters this summer
They are accompanied by representatives of the Indigenous Environmental Network and the UK Tar Sands Network.
The group will be present at the Shell AGM, where there are protests and actions planned from 9.30am, outside the Circustheater. They will then be entering the AGM with proxy shares to confront Shell’s Board of Directors and present a newly-released report.
The report, Risking Ruin: Shell’s dangerous developments in the Tar Sands, Arctic and Nigeriaprofiles Indigenous communities impacted by Shell’s operations in Canada’s Alberta Tar Sands, Aamjiwnaang First Nation’s territory in Ontario, Alaska’s Arctic Ocean and Africa’s Niger Delta. It argues that the impacts of Shell’s destructive activities outweigh the benefits and expose the company to both reputational damage and political risk, including litigation.
Click here to read the report.
At Shell’s Annual General Meeting in The Hague, Netherlands, on 22nd May, the delegation will confront the Chairman and Board over the massive human and ecological rights violations and economic devastation that the company’s operations have brought to local communities. There will also be a simultaneous creative protest by UK activist groups, including UK Tar Sands Network and London Rising Tide, at Shell’s satellite AGM in the Barbican Centre on May 22nd.
Eriel Deranger, community member and spokesperson for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN), Alberta – an Indigenous community residing downstream from tar sands operations and who are currently suing Shell for violating past agreements [4], said, “Tar sands extraction projects on our traditional lands are being approved at a pace that is both irresponsible and irreparably destructive. People in the community of Fort Chipewyan
 are genuinely afraid. Our food and water sources are contaminated, resulting in a fear of eating traditional foods and eroding the continuation of our cultural and subsistence lifestyles. Yet Shell plans to aggressively expand its activities, doubling production. The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation is calling on Shell to meet its past agreements and halt expansion until our broader concerns about the cumulative impacts of tar sands operations are addressed.”
Ron Plain, from Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Ontario – which has been called ‘the most polluted place in North America’ by the National Geographic Society, and the ‘the most contaminated airshed in Canada’ by the World Health Organization due to its proximity to ‘Chemical Valley’ where Shell’s and other tar sands operators’ refineries are causing serious health and reproductive impacts – said:
“Aamjiwnaang is the first community in the world to experience birth ratios of 2 girls to 1 boy due to endocrine disruption from the pollution. This is the first step towards extinction. Shell have admitted that their current facility, which is located at the fenceline of Aamjiwnaang, ‘could not meet today’s environmental regulations or standards.’ But Shell’s proposal for a new facility within Aamjiwnaang territory was recently denied by Canada for a whole host of environmental, social and other reasons. The corporate response to that set-back was to build onto the antiquated facility the equipment needed to process more tar sands bitumen.”
Robert Thompson, Chairman of REDOIL and an Inupiat from Kaktovik, a village on the edge of the Arctic Ocean in Alaska, where Shell plans to drill offshore in Arctic waters this summer, said:
“Shell plans to drill in the Arctic this summer without the proven technology or infrastructure to deal with inevitable spills. They have not demonstrated the ability to clean up spills within or from under the ice or during storms. Our culture depends on a clean ocean, and we have subsisted in this region for 12,000 years. We oppose Shell’s plans that have the potential to destroy the culture of our people and will further push the planet into irreversible climate change.”
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For interviews please contact: Suzanne Dhaliwal, UK Tar Sands Network: +44-7807-095-669
For North America: Clayton Thomas-Muller, IEN Tar Sands Campaign, ienoil@igc.org, +1-613-297-7515

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