FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Mar. 24, 2006
Contacts – March info: Valley Reed (214) 288-8935 firstname.lastname@example.org
ExxonMobil info: Nick Mottern (914) 806 -6179 email@example.com
APRIL TEXAS PEACE MARCH, ENDORSED BY CINDY SHEEHAN, HOWARD ZINN,
TO ALSO CALL ON EXXONMOBIL TO “RETURN” $7 BILLION IN WAR PROFITS
A two-week march to the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas, starting April 1, that will call for an end to the Iraq War and immediate withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq – endorsed by peace worker Cindy Sheehan and historian Howard Zinn – will also call on ExxonMobil Corporation to spend $7 billion of its record $36 billion 2005 profit to alleviate war suffering and to compensate thousands more who have documented harm from its operations.
Ms. Sheehan and Mr. Zinn are among a list of endorsers of the march that includes: independent journalist Dahr Jamail; Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly; Michael Letwin, co-convener of New York City Labor Against the War; author Norman Solomon; Sundiata Xian Tellem, co-chair of the Green Party of the U.S. Black Caucus; David Swanson, co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org; Tim Carpenter, National Director of Progressive Democrats of America; and Global Exchange. The march is being organized by the Dallas Peace Center, Peace Action Texas, Crawford Peace House, ConsumersforPeace.org and is endorsed also by the Southern Christian Leadership Council and the Dallas NAACP. (A complete list of endorsers appears below.)
The call for ExxonMobil to spend $7 billion on meeting war-related and business-related human needs is based on the increasingly widely-held view that the conditions created by the Iraq War have contributed significantly to the dramatic profits of ExxonMobil and other major oil companies since the occupation began in 2003. For example, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and colleague, Linda Blimes, writing on the cost of the Iraq War, note that the war has had a major inflationary impact on oil prices, which in turn, has meant that “Profits of oil companies have increased enormously.”
Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, responding to an inquiry from ConsumersforPeace.org, estimates that as much as 20 percent of ExxonMobil’s record $36 billion 2005 profit, or about $7 billion, is “a ball park number” for what can be considered war profits for the oil giant. This is an estimate of the amount of profit that is essentially unearned and is traceable to oil prices that have been inflated because (1) the Iraq War has severely depressed Iraq oil production, and (2) there are fears that the Iraq War may spread, possibly affecting oil production in Iran and Saudi Arabia.
ConsumersforPeace.org is promoting the ExxonMobil War Boycott, which seeks immediate withdrawal of all U.S. forces and mercenaries from Iraq, reparations for Iraq, impeachment of George W. Bush and prosecution of U.S. officials for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Iraq.
“ExxonMobil has made at least $7 billion extra in 2005 because of the invasion and occupation of Iraq,” said Nick Mottern, director of ConsumersforPeace.org. “This is unearned money, taken from consumers, and it needs to be returned to society,” he continued. “We propose that ExxonMobil write checks to private organizations for relief in Iraq, for war-related injuries of U.S. veterans and to compensate people in the U.S. and elsewhere who have been harmed by ExxonMobil operations.” The beneficiaries would include residents of Beaumont and Baytown, Texas, living near ExxonMobil refineries who have experienced severe health problems, according to Mottern.
ConsumersforPeace.org is developing a list of potential recipients for the $7 billion.
“War profiteering is unacceptable in any war,” said Mottern, “and it is particularly despicable when it is done by the nation’s largest oil company during an illegal war that has so much suffering and has so much to do with oil.”
On April 4, in Waxahachie, Texas, the march will commemorate the 38th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This is also the date in 2004 when Ms. Sheehan’s son was killed in Iraq; his body was returned to her on Palm Sunday.
April 1 – 10 a.m. Press conference at ExxonMobil headquarters in Irving, Texas, then march to the Trinity River.
A partial list of those appearing at the press conference:
Texas Rep. Lon Burnham
Dallas civil rights leader Rev. Peter Johnson
Rev. Roy Malveaux, Beaumont, Texas
Valley Reed, chief organizer, March to Redeem Campaign
Maureen Haver, Jumpstart Ford Campaign
Nick Mottern, Director, ConsumersforPeace.org
April 2 – 2:30 p.m. Press conference in front of Dallas County Courthouse and Jail, then take DART to Dallas VA Hospital.
4:30 p.m. Rally at Dallas VA Hospital.
April 3 – 10 a.m. March south to Red Oak.
April 4 – 10 a.m. March south to Waxahachie.
7 p.m. Vigil in Waxahachie commenrating the assassination of Dr. King.
April 5 – 10 a.m. March south to Italy.
April 6 – 10 a.m. March south to Carl’s Corner.
8 p.m. Performances by musicians and dancers.
April 7 – 10 a.m. March south to Hillsboro, then southwest to Aquilla Lake.
April 8 – 10 a.m. March to Aquilla.
April 9 – 10 a.m. March to Gholson.
April 10 -10 a.m. March to Lacy Lake View.
April 11 -10 a.m. March to Waco.
April 12 -10 a.m. March to Waco Lake.
April 13 -10 a.m. March to Crawford for the celebration of the 3rd Anniversary of the founding of the Crawford Peace House.
After Downing Street
Annie and Buddy Spell, Louisiana peace activists (Annie is president of the Greater Covington, LA branch of the NAACP.)
Anthony Arnove, author – “Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal”; co-editor with Howard Zinn – “Voices of a People’s History of the U.S.”
Arden Buck, Mountain Forum for Peace, Nederland, CO
Association of Humanitarian Lawyers
Beth K. Lamont, Humanist Chaplain, NGO Rep. to the United Nations for the American Humanist Society.
Bloomington Peace Action Coalition (Indiana)
Camilo Mejía, Staff Sgt., Florida National Guard, was the first soldier to go public with his refusal to redeploy. He spent seven months in military confinement for his decision. He is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War
Campus Antiwar Network
Charles Jenks, Chair, Advisory Board, Traprock Peace Center, Deerfield, MA
Cindy Sheehan, Co-founder, Gold Star Families for Peace
Coalition Against War and Injustice (Baton Rouge)
Consumers for Peace
Covington Peace Project (Louisiana)
Crawford Peace House
Dahr Jamail, independent journalist who spent over 8 months reporting from occupied Iraq
Dallas County Young Democrats
Dallas Peace Center
David Swanson, Co-founder, AfterDowningStreet.org
Dennis Kyne, Gulf War veteran, activist and author of “Support the Truth”
Dirk Adriaensens, Coordinator, SOS Iraq and member of the Executive Committee of the Brussells Tribunal, Belgium
Don Debar, correspondent, WBAI, New York, NY
Elizabeth Wrigley-Field, National Coordinating Committee – Campus Antiwar Network
Eric Ruder, reporter, Socialist Worker newspaper
Gabriele Zamparini, freelance journalist and film maker living in London; co-editor of www.thecatsdream.com
Goldstar Families for Peace
Howard Zinn, historian, playwright and activist; author of “A People’s History of the United States” and co-editor with Anthony Arnove of “Voices of a People’s History of the U.S.”
International Socialist Organization
Jacob Flowers, Director, MidSouth Peace and Justice Center
Judy Linehan, Military Families Speak Out
Jumpstart Ford Campaign, a joint effort of Global Exchange, the Rainforest Action Network and the Ruckus Society
Kären Ahern Digging Deeper Media Collective, member VFP of Western Washington
Karen Parker, J.D., Pres. Association of Humanitarian Lawyers, UN non-governmental organization delegate.
Kathy Kelly, Nobel Peace Prize nominee; Co-founder Voices for Creative Non-Violence
Karen Burke, Campus Antiwar Movement to End the Occupation, Austin, TX
Karen Hadden, Seed Coalition, Austin, TX
Lindsey German, Convener, Stop the War Coalition (UK)
Michael Letwin, Co-convener, New York City Labor Against the War
Mid-South Peace and Justice Center (Memphis)
Mike Corwin, International Socialist Organization, Austin, TX
Nick Mottern, Director, ConsumersforPeace.org
Nada Khader, Executive Director, WESPAC Foundation, White Plains, NY
Norman Solomon, author of “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death”
Paola Pisi, professor of religious studies (Italy) and editor of http://www.uruknet.info
Phil Gasper, Chair, Department of Philosophy & Religion, Nortre Dame de Namur University; Professors for Peace
Progressive Democrats of America
Sharon Smith, author of “Women and Socialism: Essays on Women’s Liberation”
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Sonya Sofia, Rainbow organization
Stan Goff, Master sergeant, retired, U.S. Army
Sundiata Xian Tellem, Co-chair, Green Party of the United States Black Caucus; former chair, Green Party of Dallas County
Sunny Miller, Executive Director, Traprock Peace Center, Deerfield, MA
Texans for Peace
Traprock Peace Center (Massachusetts)
Thomas F. Barton, Publisher, GI Special
Tim Baer, Director, Bloomington Peace Action Coalition
Tim Carpenter, National Director, Progressive Democrats of America
Valley Reed, Chief organizer, March to Redeem Campaign
Ward Reilly, SE National Contact, Vietnam Veterans Against the War; Veterans for Peace, Baton Rouge, LA
Affiliations are for identification purposes only.
– 30 –