Chevron wins the Public Eye Lifetime Award, and The Yes Men bury the “Demon of Davos”
Davos, 23 January 2015
At the 16th and last Public Eye in Davos, the international web community awarded Chevron the Lifetime Award for what is effectively one of the worst environmental disasters on the planet. When accepting the award, Paul Paz y Miño from the US-based nominating organization, Amazon Watch, was particularly outraged about "Chevron’s refusal to comply with the 2013 verdict which ordered the company to pay US$ 9.5 billion in damages and clean up costs". Instead, Chevron’s lawyers and advisors have been delaying justice and thus have also subjected the 30,000 affected people to decades of suffering," said Paz y Miño. Amazon Watch confirmed its intention of handing over the Lifetime Award to the responsible executives at Chevron’s headquarters in California.
In their world exclusive "Requiem for the WEF", The Yes Men said that "public-private cooperation as it has been promoted and perpetuated in Davos isn’t part of the solution but part of the problem, such as the ever-increasing gap between rich and poor or the imminent climate collapse." Dressed up as undertakers, the US superstars of the anti-globalization movement said "we must force businesses to do the right thing - not rely on their goodwill". And German member of the European Parliament and Attac co-founder, Sven Giegold, said in his keynote speech: "If the Public Eye must die, it should at least be reincarnated at the G20 summit."
For fifteen years, the Public Eye has cast a critical and innovative eye on the World Economic Forum. Ten times it has presented the annual award of shame to a corporation with a particularly abysmal record in terms of human rights or the environment. The main reason now for "leaving Davos" is the arrival of the broadly supported civil society "Coalition for Corporate Justice" (SCCJ) in Berne. With the launch of a popular initiative aimed at requiring Swiss companies to respect human rights and environmental standards abroad as well as at home, the political core demands of the Public Eye are surely on the right track.
Oliver Classen, Media Director Berne Declaration, email@example.com, +41 (0)44 277 70 06