I: (en)U'WA : Pressione sui legami di AL GORE alla OXY

>In this post :
>1. press release for NY Times ad targeting Gore
>2. Transcript of ABC National news broadcast on U'wa
>3. ACTION ALERT : U.S. Congress to vote on military aid!
>Protest Fidelity Investments!  Protest Al Gore!  Call your
>representatives and urge them to vote against Clinton's Colombia war
>Let Rainforest Action Network know if you are organizing something :
>Contact Patrick 1-800-989-RAIN, organize at ran.org
>For Immediate Release March 6th, 2000
>Contact: Stephen Kretzmann, 510-551-7953 or Atossa Soltani, 310-317-7045
>Lauren Sullivan, 415-398-4404 or Danny Kennedy, 510-705-8981
>Enviros Question Gore's Commitment in a N.Y. Times Ad
>Expose V.P.'s "Deep Ties" to Occidental Petroleum
>Gore Urged to Act in Defense of the U'wa People of Colombia
>Escalating a campaign questioning Vice President Al Gore's environmental
>commitment, environmental organizations today placed a  full-page ad in
>the west coast edition of the New York Times. The ad, whose headline
>reads "Who is Al Gore? Environmental Champion or Petroleum Politician?
>The U'wa people need to know" substantiates Gore's connections to
>Occidental Petroleum and argues that the Vice President has a specific
>responsibility to act on behalf of the U'wa people.
>The U'wa, a remote Colombian tribe, are engaged in a tense standoff with
>Los-Angeles based Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) over the drilling of the
>Gibraltar 1 oil well. The U'wa, a deeply spiritual people who believe
>that oil is the "blood of Mother Earth", have repeatedly stated that
>they "are willing to die" to keep oil drilling off of their ancestral
>lands. More than 2,500 local farmers, union members, and students have
>joined thousands of U'wa and other indigenous peoples in non-violent
>blockades and protests near the well site to stop Oxy's project. The
>heavy military presence around the oil project has already led to
>violence against peaceful indigenous peoples. In the last month, many
>have been injured and at least three have died. The situation remains
>very tense.
>Gore has enjoyed the corporate sponsorship of Oxy throughout his
>political career. He controls up to $500,000 in Oxy stocks and has
>received $20,000 a year for almost 30 years from mining rights to his
>land that Oxy never mined. Gore's father made a great deal of his wealth
>while working for Oxy and its ex-chairman, Armand Hammer. Gore Sr. sat
>on the Board of Oxy for twenty-eight years. Since Gore was elected Vice
>President, Oxy Chairman Ray Irani has given more than $400,000 to the
>Democratic Party. Furthermore, Gore's "reinventing government"
>initiative resulted in the sale of the Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve
>to Occidental in 1998. The unprecedented closed bidding process was the
>largest privatization of federal property in U.S. history, one that
>tripled Occidental's U.S. oil reserves overnight.
>Environmental and human rights leaders have been attempting to direct
>the Vice President's attention to this issue for years. In March 1998,
>the Amazon Coalition wrote the Vice President on this issue requesting
>his assistance. There was no reply. A month later a full-page ad in the
>New York Times generated hundreds of letters to Gore. Gore also met
>briefly with the spokesman for the U'wa people, Berito Kuwaru'wa, after
>the Indian chief received the 1998 Goldman Environmental Prize. Despite
>repeated attempts, Gore has consistently ducked the issue by attempting
>to both deny his connections to Oxy and claim political impotence.
>In January, grassroots environmental activists from around the country
>began targeting Gore at his campaign appearances. Eight were arrested at
>a sit-in at Gore's campaign headquarters over the U'wa issue in
>Manchester, New Hampshire. The Democratic debate at the Apollo Theatre
>was briefly interrupted by protesters, and in Olympia Washington, U'wa
>supporters reportedly drowned out Gore supporters. Just Saturday,
>activists in Boston disrupted yet another campaign rally. In all,
>organizers estimate that at least twenty-five campaign appearances over
>the last 6 weeks have been marred by protests around the U'wa issue.
>Activists continue to demand that Gore take action that results in an
>immediate suspension of Oxy's project, and a significant reduction of
>tension on the ground.
>"Neither we, nor the U'wa, are going to go away", said Steve Kretzmann
>of Amazon Watch. "As a professed champion of the environment, Gore has a
>general moral obligation to take action in defense of the U'wa and their
>homeland. More importantly, as someone with deep ties and access to
>Occidental, Gore clearly has a specific duty to take action in this
>case. We won't accept the excuse that he's powerless to stop this
>situation. As Vice President of the United States, he has the power to
>make a difference".
>Text of the NY Times ad can be viewed at www.ran.org,
>www.amazonwatch.org or www.moles.org
>#2 ABC NEWS! (National Broadcast)
>Questioning Gore’s Integrity
>Vice President Criticized for Betraying Environmental Cause
>By Terry Moran
>Peter Jennings:
>Far from the campaign trail; but very much a story about one of the
>candidates is one way to frame our Closer Look segment tonight. The
>begins in the Colombian rain forest, with one of the region's oldest
>indigenous peoples and makes its way back to the vice president of the
>United States. We'll spend some time tonight trying to sort it out.
>(Commercial break)
>L O S A N G E L E S, March 6 - Al Gore says he’s the environmental
>candidate. He wrote a best-selling book on it, and it’s a central part
>his presidential campaign.
>“I will not let you down,” stated Gore when he spoke at the League of
>Conservation Voters in New York on Feb. 24. “I will fight with
>I’ve got to protect the environment here in New York, all through our
>and around the world.”
>But all along the campaign trail, Gore is greeted by demonstrators who
>he has betrayed the environmental cause when it comes to protecting
>The story begins in a remote region of Colombia, where the U’wa people
>threatened to commit mass suicide if U.S.-based Occidental Petroleum
>forward with plans to drill for oil on what the tribe claims are its
>traditional lands.
>The U’wa oppose the drilling because they fear it will violate the rain
>forest, which they consider sacred.
>Making It a Personal Issue
>Last month, a violent confrontation between villagers and police led to
>least one death. What has all this got to do with Al Gore? Money.
>“There’s probably no company in America today,” says Charles Lewis of
>Center for Public Integrity, “that is as close personally and
>financially to
>the vice president than occidental petroleum.”
>After Gore’s late father left the U.S. Senate, he was named to the board
>Occidental Petroleum. Financial records show the vice president is the
>executor of his father’s estate, which holds as much as $500,000 worth
>Occidental stock.
>That means Gore could ultimately benefit from the company’s operations
>Colombia. Plus, Occidental is a major Democratic Party donor, giving
>$500,000 in soft money since 1992. To environmental activists, the vice
>president’s duty is clear.
>“If he wants to be an environmental champion,” says Atossa Soltani of
>Watch, “he needs to make a statement on this issue. And he needs to take
>personal…responsibility for his family fortune.”
>Conflicting Political and Legal Pressures
>It sounds simple: a multinational oil company, a threatened native
>people, a
>powerful politician. But there are other factors at work here that have
>the vice president in a dilemma.
>First, as executor of his father’s estate, Gore has legal
>that could prevent him from simply dumping the Occidental stock.
>And the Clinton administration is supporting the Colombian government in
>battle with guerillas and drug dealers, who control 40 percent of the
>Many foreign policy experts say developing the oil business as an
>alternative to drugs is crucial to Colombia’s survival.
>“If they would stop oil exploration,” says Lowell Fleischer of the
>for Strategic and International Studies, “which seems to be the goal of
>of these indigenous leaders, I think that would just lead to more
>Vice President Gore refused several requests to speak with ABCNEWS about
>U’wa and his family’s holdings with Occidental.
>But as the demonstrators dog him - and Occidental begins drilling in
>Colombia - Gore’s public silence on the issue leaves him open to the
>that for all his speechmaking on the environment, he won’t put his money
>where his mouth is.
>FYI: Visuals included long pan of today's New York Times ad (California
>version) placed by RAN, Project Underground and Amazon Watch, video
>the U'wa shot with the camera we sent them, protests vs. Gore in NH, LA,
>and Oakland and Berito Kuwaruwa blowing the sacred conch shell!
>ACT NOW MARCH 3, 2000 - MARCH 16, 2000
>In January, President Clinton introduced an emergency supplemental aid
>package to Colombia.  The Administration's $1.3 billion aid package to
>Colombia is a disastrous approach to stemming the drug trade and ending
>South American nation's brutal armed conflict. This new aid, combined
>funds already directed toward Colombia, will amount to $1.6 billion over
>the next two years. Over 60% of this package is assistance to the
>army, widely-recognized as the most abusive military in the Western
>hemisphere.  This aid will make the United States a major actor in
>Colombia's counterinsurgency war.
>T I M E   T O   A C T
>The proposed U.S. aid package to Colombia is moving quickly through
>Congress.  However, grassroots efforts and recent reports linking
>military and paramilitary forces have initiated debate in Congress.
>provides grassroots groups working on Colombia a small window of
>opportunity to affect the package.
>The Aid package is scheduled to be introduced in an "emergency
>supplemental" on MONDAY, MARCH 6 in the House of Representatives.  It
>be voted on by the Appropriations Committee probably on THURSDAY, MARCH
>It will then go to the floor of the House for a vote on MARCH 16 and
>to the Senate.
>A C T I O N   A C T I O N   A C T I O N
>1) Oppose military aid to Colombia
>2) Support positive amendments that
>A. shift assistance from the military assistance to positive social
>investments in Colombia
>B. shift funds for military assistance to demand reduction, education
>treatment programs in the United States
>C. include human rights conditionality and monitoring of security
>3) Sign-on to the dear colleague letter that Reps Campbell, Schakowsky,
>Baldwin and Nadler are circulating.  The letter asks Appropriations
>Committee Chairman C.W. Bill Young not to appropriate additional funding
>for the Colombian military as proposed in Clinton's supplemental
>H O W   T O  C O N T A C T
>Y O U R   R E P R E S E N T A T I V E
>U.S. Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121
>Web address for email addresses and phone #'s:
>+ This aid package will not only pour hundreds of millions of dollars
>the most abusive military in the Western Hemisphere, but it will almost
>certainly destabilize fragile peace negotiations and undermine support
>of a
>negotiated settlement.
>+To avoid getting the United States more deeply involved with
>Colombia's infamous armed forces, I ask you to oppose aid to the
>army due to human rights concerns, especially army links at a regional
>local level to brutal paramilitary forces.
>+Instead, I urge you to support a substantial positive aid package for
>Colombia, including: humanitarian relief for people displaced by
>crop substitution programs for small farmers to switch from coca to
>crops; economic assistance; programs to strengthen Colombian government
>investigations into human rights violations and drug trafficking; aid
>civil society efforts for human rights and peace.
>+Finally, because the United States "War on Drugs" is one that must be
>fought at home, I ask you to increase funding for drug treatment and
>prevention programs here in our own country.
>alert produced by:
>U.S./Colombia Coordinating Office
>agiffen at pop2.igc.org
>Phone: 202-232-8090
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