Just In Case….

..you were thinking that this civilisation’s not as bad as some of us paint it, here’s a story – one of thousands – from our neighbours in Nigeria.

Some salient points:

The Bowoto v. Chevron case arises from simple facts: On May 28, 1998, Chevron participated in the murder, shooting and subsequent torture of Nigerian villagers engaging in environmental protest against the oil giant. Chevron paid the Nigerian police and soldiers who conducted the attack, ferried them to the attack zone and “closely supervised” them during the attack. The case seeks justice for the villagers injured and killed in the attacks.

The Nigerian police and soldiers opened fire on the unarmed civilians. Chevron Nigeria’s security officer directed the soldiers’ activities using a bullhorn. The police and soldiers shot and killed two people, one of whom is Arolika Irowarinun, whose family is among those bringing this lawsuit. The other protester who was killed was shot in the back. The security forces shot and injured at least two more, including Larry Bowoto, who was shot multiple times. None of the individuals who were shot or injured posed any threat.

First They Poisoned Our Land

When We Protested, They Shot Us

I should think that every single one of us living in Africa and aware of what’s going on should be posting Endgame’s Premise Eleven on the walls of our souls:

From the beginning, this culture—civilization—has been a culture of occupation.

and be carrying Premise Fifteen around in our hearts:

Love does not imply pacifism


3 responses to “Just In Case….

  1. Europeans made it to steel and gunpowder first, and became a pox on every other place ever since. I sometimes would like to imagine that if the indiginous peoples of Africa had never had to endure colonialism or the need to become like white people, that the continent might perhaps developed peacefully. That MIGHT be a pipe dream, but it’s a dream worth having nonetheless. The old ways honored life.


  2. Michael — steel, gunpowder, and pox! You said it. Have you read Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel? It asks (and answers) the question of why Europeans conquered the world, rather than someone else, or no one. The answer is simple luck of geography. A masterpiece of a book.I am delighted that this is being brought to trial; it is more than I dared to hope.


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