Why Boycott Shell?
Committee in Support of the People of Nigeria (CISPON) 1997
Once a month our group of local concerned (Bay Area) residents will be present at various Shell stations to protest Shell Oil's continued ecological and human rights abuses in Nigeria.
In the spirit of the South African anti-apartheid movement in the United States, we are organizing to end both the United State's support for the Nigerian military dictatorship of General Sanni Abacha and the military's collusion with multinationals, especially Shell Oil, operating in the country.
The brutal exploitation of both the Nigerian people and the land's resources by Shell results in huge profits for both the company and their military collaborators. Half of Nigeria's oil is produced by Royal Dutch Shell. Oil accounts for 80% of government revenues and 90% of foreign export earnings. In the 1960s before oil was a large economic factor producing 50,000 barrels a day, the per capita income was $1,300. Today, while producing 2.1 million barrels a day, the per capita income has dropped to $300.
Boycotting Shell does not hurt the people of Nigeria since the increase in the production of oil has not meant a growth in income for them.
In 1995, the United States imported 588,000 barrels of oil a day from Nigeria. In the same year, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists were executed by the government for protesting Shell's oppressive presence in their homeland. Nineteen others still remain in prison for the same crime for which Saro-Wiwa was executed.
To: Danny Kennedy, Project Coordinator Project Underground, Berkeley
From: Create Video Productions (SF Bay Video) May 4, 1997
Dear Mr. Kennedy and Project Underground:
Less that two months ago, Create Video Productions (SF Bay Video) undertook the project of producing a video primer for your organization which was taken from two hour-long documentaries called "Delta Force" and "In Remembrance: Ken Saro-Wiwa" by Catma Films. This video, which we titled "Don't Let Shell Kill Again", was completed on May 1St. It is important to say a few things about this project and those who contributed to its production.
As you are aware, all the labor on this project by Create Video Productions (SF Bay Video) was donated. This amounted to over two hundred hours of planning and editing activities. The total running time for this production is 13:39 minutes. Among the changes made to the original films was the introduction of an American narrator, Carol Denney, who also donated her time. Most of the images and original script were reordered to accommodate this shorter form. Closing slates were also added at the conclusion of the video identifying Project Underground.
Create Video (SF Bay Video) Productions also arranged for a post production grant through Paul Kealoha Blake, Mel Vapour, and the East Bay Media Center. Their generous grant provided over forty hours of time in one of their editing suites as well as materials and special media services. It is safe to say that the Media Center's contribution made this video revision possible. This has resulted in no cost to Project Underground.
Create Video Productions is giving you what is termed a Dub Master tape, in the S-VHS format for reproduction of this video on 15 minute VHS cartridges. This will insure less generational loss during duplication. We could also generate a similar Dub Master in the PAL format for duplication in Britain. The video label is as follows:
"Don't Let Shell Kill Again" 13:39 TRT
Create Video Productions, Copyright 1997 Project Underground (510) 705-8981
East Bay Media Center has offered to duplicate this video on VHS Fuji stock, 15 minute cartridges at a very competitive price. They can be reached at 2054 University Ave. #203, Berkeley, CA 94704, (510) 8433699 or Fax (510) 843-3379.
Finally, the premiere of "Don't Let Shell Kill Again" will be this Friday, May 9th, at 8 PM. It will be projected on a movie screen in McLean Lounge at First Congregational Church of Berkeley which is located between Durant and Channing at Dana. We understand that Project Underground will arrange for a couple of speakers to tell everyone about the boycott, the AGM of Shell in London, and what the current situation is in Nigeria. We hope you can bring some information sheets, posters, and postcards.
We are requesting donations at the door which, after expenses for the event, will be directed towards the duplication of this video for Project Underground. We appreciate your work and we hope that this video will provide Project Underground with the educational tool that you envisioned.
Project Underground Exposing corporate environmental and human rights abuses;
Supporting communities fusing mining, oil, and gas activities, 12 March 1997
This is to confirm that L A Wood and Carolyn Erbele of Create Video Productions, Berkeley are helping us in our campaign to Boycott Shell on behalf of the Ogoni and other indigenous communities in Nigeria. They have offered to prepare a brief video for us from two hour-long documentaries which will be used as an empowerment and education tool. OU main tactic at the moment is to propose selective purchasing laws with city and county councils throughout the Bay Area in order to boycott Shell - and this primer video will help us in this task.
In making this educational video they will use stock footage from two British-made documentaries for which we - project underground - have full distribution rights here in the United States. The filmmakers are fully aware of our use of their two most recent productions in political organizing and are keen to see us use the material however necessary to actualize this boycott. We would appreciate any assistance you can provide LA and Carolyn in this work, and if necessary can provide proof of our status as project of a charitable, educational organization.
Danny Kennedy Project Coordinator