DALLAS: Activist groups last week announced an "international day
of action" against ExxonMobil at a three-day conference, during which
they shared tactics for fighting big business.
Chris Doran, campaigns director for Seattle-based Pressure Point,
claimed more than 100 protests worldwide are planned for July 11.
Organizers picked the date in the hopes of influencing public opinion
prior to a July 16 global climate-change conference in Bonn,
ExxonMobil is being attacked for several issues, including its
opposition to the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for developed nations to
reduce so-called greenhouse gas emissions. The Bush administration
rejected those goals in March.
Bianca Jagger, who is involved in a boycott of ExxonMobil's European
arm, Esso (PRWeek, May 14), and former Texas agriculture commissioner
Jim Hightower attended the conference, titled "Empowering Democracy:
Challenging Corporate Power, Demanding Accountability." They spoke to
the 180 or so attendants representing 40 activist organizations.
Training sessions addressed issues including Internet activism,
nonviolent resistance, racism, media relations and shareholder advocacy.
The conference culminated in a rally outside ExxonMobil's May 30 annual
The protest featured giant puppets, street performers and an appearance
by Jagger, who said she sold most of her ExxonMobil stock after starting
the boycott, but kept two shares so she could attend the meeting.
Organizers characterized the conference as the first annual "corporate
campaigners" conclave. A list of suggested corporate targets for next
year included Citigroup, Monsanto, Nike, International Paper,
Corrections Corporation of America, JP Morgan, Eastman Chemical,
Wal-Mart, Philip Morris and Tricon Global, which owns Taco Bell, KFC and