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Shell blocks employees from learning about Kiobel v. Shell testing corporate personhood Supreme Court case

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  • George Lessard
    Shell blocks 70,000 employees from learning about Supreme Court case Kiobel v. Shell Testing Corporate Personhood ... From: The Yes Lab
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 2, 2012
      Shell blocks 70,000 employees from learning about Supreme Court case Kiobel
      v. Shell Testing Corporate Personhood

      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: The Yes Lab <mailing@...>
      Date: 2 October 2012 09:16
      Subject: Shell blocks 70,000 employees from learning about Supreme Court
      case


      * Shell Blocks Employee Access to Activist Website http://murderisbad.com *
      *71,010 employees blocked from tweeting Oprah about Supreme Court murder
      case*

      Houston, TX (October 2, 2012) � Early Monday morning, 71,010 Shell
      employees received an email from the company's "Grassroots Employee
      Empowerment Division" providing information on Kiobel v. Royal Dutch
      Petroleum
      http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2012/1001/Supreme-Court-case-tests-US-leadership-in-human-rights,
      a pivotal human rights case being argued in the U.S. Supreme Court.
      The
      email contained links to news stories, as well as a tool to help employees
      tweet their feelings about the case at key US news anchors (and Oprah
      Winfrey).

      The only thing is, Shell has no "Grassroots Employee Empowerment Division,"
      and they don't want publicity for the case. The email was in fact the work
      of an activist group called People Against Legalizing Murder (PALM), who
      received the list of Shell emails from what they believe to be a group of
      disaffected employees. (A similar leak
      http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/976a260e-174f-11df-94f6-00144feab49a.htmloccurred
      two years ago.)

      Within minutes of the email being sent out, Shell internally blocked
      http://i.imgur.com/Q7AA1.jpg the site, preventing employees from accessing
      it. "I would love to participate, but access is denied to all links you
      sent out," wrote one employee among many. The 71,010 employees were
      informed this morning http://murderisbad.com/email of the situation and the
      site's new URL http://murderisbad.com/.

      PALM intended the action to help shine a spotlight on the case, brought by
      the widow of Dr. Barinem Kiobel, who was hanged along with novelist Ken
      Saro-Wiwa for opposition to Shell's drilling plans in West Africa. Shell is
      alleged to have aided paramilitary forces that raided more than 60
      villages, killed over 800 people, and displaced 30,000 more.

      To prevail, Shell lawyers must overturn a 200-year-old law, the Alien Tort
      Statute (ATS), that compensates victims of international crimes. (The law
      has been used to compensate Holocaust survivors
      http://forward.com/articles/161951/applying-american-law-to-far-off-crimes/who
      sued for restitution from corporations that profited from slavery and
      forced labor during World War II.) Shell's lawyers are arguing
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/katie-redford/kiobel-v-shell_b_1305805.htmlthat
      their corporation is not subject to the ATS because it is not a
      person.

      "When it comes to things like election spending, Shell and other
      corporations want
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._Federal_Election_Commission
      to have all the rights of people," said Sean Dagohoy from PALM. "But when
      accused of murder, Shell conveniently argues that they aren't a person
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/katie-redford/kiobel-v-shell_b_1305805.html .
      A ruling in their favor would be a very dangerous precedent, and would
      badly undermine
      http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2012/1001/Supreme-Court-case-tests-US-leadership-in-human-rights/%28page%29/2
      the United States' reputation as a place that cares about human rights.
      That's why we attempted to reach out to Shell employees to help get the
      word out."

      "Surely most Shell employees, like most people, don't want multinationals
      to get away with murder just because murder's convenient," said Andy
      Bichlbaum of the Yes Labhttp://yeslab.org/ , which provided technical
      assistance for the action.

      "Shell needs to let its employees speak," said Mike Bonanno of the Yes Lab.
      "They can prevent it for a day, but in the long run they have no choice."
      Contact

      Sean Dagohoy sean.dagohoy@...
      People Against Legalizing Murder (PALM)

      Andy Bichlbaum or Mike Bonanno murderisbad@...
      The Yes Lab


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