Stop E$$O from destroying our climate.
Esso doesn't want to talk about climate change. They don't want
to talk about clean, green energy. In fact, they don't want to talk
to us at all.
Earlier this month, Esso France succeeded in silencing its
opposition through a French court by censoring a parody logo on the
Greenpeace France used the E$$O logo on its French website, and
the court sided with Esso, ordering the logo be removed. Esso says
the logo, which replaces the "SS" with dollar signs, damages Esso's
reputation, but they don't want to talk about the content of the
site and the real problem with their reputation.
Logo parodies aren't going to damage Esso's image as much as
their own actions.
ExxonMobil has tried to undermine international talks to halt
climate change through the Kyoto Protocol. They have funded
multimillion-dollar anti-Kyoto advertising campaigns and spent
US$11.7 million on lobbyists in one year. ExxonMobil also
contributed more than US$1 million to the Republican Party the year
George W. Bush was elected. A year later President Bush withdrew
the US from the Kyoto agreement.
Although Esso may be able to stifle debate in France, the
international campaign has moved the censored
French site to Texas - oil hotbed and the home of Esso's parent
company ExxonMobil. Every citizen in every country, speaking
whatever language, has a right to know the lengths this company
will go to in its efforts to carry out business as usual.
As far as we are concerned the debate here should be about
Esso's activities to derail action on climate change. But Esso's
attempts to gag a key part of the campaign through the courts has
moved the issue into the contentious debate about freedom of speech
on the Internet.
The decision by the French court is not just a blow to the Stop
Esso campaign, but may pave the way for corporations and
governments to silence voices worldwide speaking out against
environmental and human rights abuses. This court action is the
beginning, where will it end?
After all, since when is truth no longer a defence for freedom
of speech. It is obvious where Esso's commitments lie. Esso chose
to spend its money on banning the use of its logo in France rather
than tackling the problem of climate change. Despite profits of
US$15.5 billion in 2001, Esso still refuses to make investments in
It is time to show that opposition can not be silenced on the
Internet. You can help spread the word about Esso beyond the reach
of French courts, including downloading and setting up your own
Stop Esso site.
Support the Stop Esso campaign and free speech:
Send a internet card of the parodied logo
Email Esso Paris and the architect of
ExxonMobil's climate policy, CEO Lee Raymond
Join the competition and design a new StopEsso
copy of the censored Stop Esso site or link to it at http://www.stopessofrance.org
Greenpeace France's site will continue at http://www.greenpeace.fr/stopesso, but will
stop using the logos as ordered. Greenpeace France has not been
involved in setting up the new site.