While you were sleeping this past Sunday evening, a most unusual incident transpired in San Francisco. Three top Chevron executives led a procession of hundreds from the Roxie Cinema at 16th and Valencia to the Chevron station at Market and Castro. It was quite a sight.
The execs stood atop wheeled platforms wearing "Survivaballs," 6-foot diameter "grub suits" designed to keep our most valuable citizens safe in the event of climate calamities they may have caused.
"We at Chevron have found a way to sustainably use fossil resources, while ensuring our survival in any ensuing climate crisis," said one bulbous executive. "I feel great, but I almost feel bad for the 99% of the population who can't afford one of these things."
After being dragged the mile uphill by hazmat-suit wearing minions, the executives descended from their wheeled daises to enact a series of "tableaux morts" from the post-apocalyptic future, with the Chevron station as backdrop. In one, they demonstrated to passersby just how easily a Survivaball could suck the lifeblood from any number of "less fiscally responsible" citizens. In another, they demonstrated how Survivaballs would protect executives from pounding assaults by starving hordes.
"This is only a little stretch," said Antonia Juhasz, director of the Chevron Program at Global Exchange. "Chevron is already actively sucking the lifeblood from many communities worldwide, including here in California, where they're not only destroying the environment, they're shirking $1.5 billion in taxes annually with the help of their lobbying. Also, for some it can feel as if Chevron has so successfully bought off the government that no amount of pounding will matter."
Larry Bogad, one of the protest organizers and a theatre professor at UC Davis, concurred. "Even the Pentagon agrees: corporations like Chevron are driving us to the brink of disaster. The rich will definitely need something like Survivaball to survive the result of what they're doing."
The eerie, elaborate protest ended on a positive note. "There's one thing a Survivaball cannot withstand," intoned Bogad through a bicycle-powered sound system. "And that's when citizens organize, and change the rules of the game, so that companies like Chevron can't keep undermining democracy and destroying the world."
The ensuing demonstration had the Survivaballs fleeing back down Market street whence they had marched, pursued by protesters, dozens of people in skeleton suits, and the fifty or so rebellious former "Chevron workers" who had dragged them up the hill.
"Organized resistance works," said Juhasz. "Right here in Richmond, long-term community organizing, combined with a lawsuit, has succeeded in stopping Chevron from a major retooling of its refinery -- which would have increased Chevron's already toxic presence in this area. They've been stopped dead in their tracks."
"There's still time," said David Solnit of Mobilization for Climate Justice West, one of the protest's organizers. "But we really have to act now. We've got to get organized, stay organized, and fight hard and effectively. One way to join the fight is to visit www.BeyondTalk.net."
Chevron is a target of citizen protests in California, across the United States and around the world because of Chevron's role at the forefront of climate destruction, human right and public health abuse, environmental devastation, economic strangulation, and wars for oil (The True Cost Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report).
Despite their record of heartily defending Chevron in disputes worldwide, the US Chamber of Commerce was nowhere to be seen Sunday evening. The Chamber, which is suing the Yes Men for impersonating them in a press conference two weeks ago, has purchased numerous Google Ad spots begging readers to give them money because they're "under attack" by the Yes Men and others.
Following a special screening of The Yes Men Fix the World, Bogad, Juhasz, Solnit, and film director Andy Bichlbaum led the entire theater audience, throngs of others waiting outside, and dozens of others who came out of their houses and off the streets to join the mass theatrical procession up 16th Street to the Chevron station at Market and Castro. This is the latest, and most elaborate in a series of post-screening rampages in major American cities including New York City and, most recently, Chicago.