Nemo Semret writes:
>>>>As many have noted, a major culprit in the Nigerian tragedy is the
Royal Dutch/Shell oil company. Not only have they been one of the big
developers of oil fields right in the region were the executed
activists came from, they continue their activities after other oil
companies have withdrawn or suspended projects. Shell has no regard it
seems for human rights or the environment. Just today, the New York
Times has an article announcing that Shell is going ahead with a
US$3.8 billion natural gas development deal with the criminal
government of Nigeria.
The only thing that might have made Abacha and Co. think twice is if
their pocketbooks were threatened. Shell could exert more pressure on
them than all the human rights and democracy activists in the
world. Yet they choose not to.
If you recall, Shell was one of the last multinationals still
operating in South-Africa under Apartheid. I think this an undeniable
pattern of insulting disregard for African peoples' rights. I wonder
how deep an effect it would have on Shell's balance sheets if all
African's worldwide boycotted the company. Maybe not much, but the
memory of Saro-Wiwa and the others who lost their lives, and our
basic human dignity demand that we do. Please BOYCOTT SHELL.<<<<
I have 2 reactions:
1) This is an important issue. It needs more attention than should be
available within AFRIK-IT. Is there a list already established, to focus on
Nigeria/Shell? If so, I would like to see this discussion moved there. If
not, I think I would be good, if those promoting this activity would take the
initiative to establish one. I would join you there.
2) I think direct action is important. Let me suggest an approach to
influencing Shell. Approach and influence Shell through it's shareholders.
I'll outline the idea in a step by step fashion, simply to illustrate the
Step 1: Begin by securing a list of the top holders of Shell voting shares.
Step 2: Develop the specific plan of action for Shell to take to impact the
situation in Nigeria. Package it in a fashion, that can be presented,
understood clearly, and voted on yes or no.
Step 3: Next identify by name the individuals or group who vote those
Step 4: Directly approach the individuals with the proposal for action, to
be placed on the agenda for the next board of directors meeting, and attempt
to secure their support. Repeat for all major blocks of Shell shares. Try
to get enough shares supporting the proposal to win the vote.
Step 5: If successful, monitor the implementation and be prepared to step in
if the implementation is delayed or derailed.
Step 6: If unsuccessful, begin direct action campaign against the
individuals responsible for voting the Shell shares. Here are some examples
of the kinds of things that can be done:
* Institute a massive PR campaign, targeted specifically at the
individuals involved in voting Shell shares, placing pressure on them within
their local communities. Bring their faces and names before the public and
the court of world opinion, and let them be judged for their actions.
* File class action suits against the individuals charging them with
destruction of property.
* File civil suits against the individuals charging the individuals with
* Get criminal charges filed against the individuals charging them with
I think the above is sufficient to illustrate the concept. This approach,
directly targeted to the responsible individuals within Shell will highly
leverage the efforts and will shorten the time required to effect change.
Right now, the dictatorship in Nigeria is being used by them to accomplish
their goals of "increasing shareholder value." This kind of campaign has
the potential to bring the primary beneficiaries and the real responsible
parties into the court of world opinion.