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Remember Ogoni martyrs

It is 10 years since Ken Saro-Wiwa, the Nigerian writer and campaigner for the rights of the Nigerian Ogoni people, was executed (on November 10) along with 8 other leaders of the Ogoni movement. Saro-Wiwa was a major figure in Nigeria. He was a novelist, a poet, a TV executive and the writer of Africa’s most popular ever satirical soap opera.

As the destruction of Ogoni lands began to speed up as a result of the development of Nigeria’s oil industry, he joined, and became a spokesperson for, the movement that was growing in the Niger delta. The international outcry when Saro-Wiwa and the other 8 leaders were murdered on trumped up charges made Shell claim to have changed its ways.

OgoniBut now 10 years on the Niger delta is awash with leaking oil pipes, polluted land, and landless and sick people; and it is also awash with guns and gangsterism and the possibility of civil war thanks to the ruthless and violent activities of the oil companies. Oil spills have destroyed the delta’s wildlife and habitats.

The estimated 350 billion dollars earned from oil by the Nigerian government between 1965 and 2000 have done nothing to alleviate the poverty in the Ogoni lands or in Nigera as a whole. It is one of the poorest 15 countries of the world with 70% of its people living below the poverty line.

To mark this anniversary a book of 100 Poems by the widest range of poets, both African, British and American, is being published and there are events to remind people of what Saro-Wiwa fought for, as well as his life and work.

There are also lots of readings, debates and other events. To find out more visit http://www.remembersarowiwa.com and for more information about the Ogoni struggle you can download this report (pdf file 560kb) by the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) published by the Minority Rights Group. You can email support to MOSOP at mosop@gn.apc.org


Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) UK

217 Lewis Trust, Warner Road, LONDON  SE5 9LY,  UK
FAX/PHONE:  +44 (0) 20 7366 8599 
E-MAILmosopOgoni@aol.com mosopgb@hotmail.com

PRESS RELEASE
10 November 2005

A DECADE (1995-2005)  - THE MEMORY

Today is the tenth anniversary of the judicial murder of the Ogoni 9 -  Baribor Bera, Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gboko, Barinem Kiobel, John Kpuinen, Paul Levura, Felix Nuate, Ken Saro Wiwa. 

As we remember our fallen heroes, brutally cut down by the complicit actions of the Nigerian military and the oil multi-national Shell, we take pride in acknowledging the phenomenal courage they displayed and the consciousness they unleashed.   This knowingness must continue and be buttressed by actions worthy of their sacrifice.

The struggle of the Ogonis is a legitimate one.  A lasting legacy has been carved on to the minds of Nigerians and the world.  We must all examine the purpose of the murder of our martyrs.  They stood firm in dignity against vicious murderous odds and confronted the plunderers of our heritage.  They gave voice and heart to us all.  The sacrifice of the Ogoni 9 must continue to draw attention to the fundamental issues such as: the degradation and sad state of our environment; the relationship between corrupt governments, irresponsible multi-national companies and the plight of our people which has led to abject poverty. The Ogoni struggle explicitly rejects any attempt to wipe away or soften our determination for justice, or question our right to survival and controlling our destiny. 

We thank all our supporters and call on our brothers and sisters to show courage and not defeat.  We owe this legacy to the memory of our fallen heroes and to our generations unborn.  Long live the Ogoni 9.

The struggle continues.

Contacts:       

Mrs Gbenewa Phido – President (MOSOP-UK – 07932 695 305)
Mr Harrison Neenwi  (Secretary – 07859 001 966)


As a continuation of the 10th anniversary of the brutal murder of the Ogoni 9, MOSOP-UK in association with PLATFORM still has the following activities outstanding:

10 NOV 05     Silent Demonstration and Laying of Wreath.  (venue: Shell Headquarters, York Road, Waterloo, London)  8-9 am.

10 NOV 05     Handing over of petition.  (venue: Nigeria High Commission.  Northumberland Avenue, London)

10 NOV 05     Ceremony and Living Memorial Announcement (venue: Bernie Spain Gardens, South Bank, London SE1)  11-12 noon.

10 NOV 05     Dance the Guns to Silence  (venue: Brixton Jamm, Brixton) 7.30 pm –late.

13 NOV 05     Memorial Church Service (Saint Pancras Church, Euston Road, London NW1 - Junction of Upper Woburn Place and Euston Road - Nearest station - almost opposite Euston station, Kings Cross & various buses) 10.00am.

Check PLATFORM (www.remembersarowiwa.com) for details of their activities.

Please remember Ken Saro Wiwa did not seek justice for only the Ogonis but for all Niger Delta communities and the downtrodden public.  We therefore especially seek the support of all Niger Delta communities to make this a memorable anniversary. 

Thank you for your continued support.

The Ogonis are 500,000 in number and Ogoniland is in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) is a developmental and cultural organisation of the Ogoni People.  It is a non-governmental and non-political organisation and its aim is to educate Ogonis on their human rights, promote democratic awareness and protect the Ogoni environment while struggling non-violently for justice for the indigenous people of Ogoni.


P R E S S R E L E A S E / P H O T O - O P
Wednesday November 9th
Photos & information: 07708 794665

NINE NOOSES HUNG OUTSIDE SHELL LONDON HQ ON EVE OF SARO-WIWA EXECUTION TENTH ANNIVERSARY

On November 10th 1995, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight Ogoni colleagues were hung by the Nigerian state for campaigning against the devastation of the Niger Delta by oil companies, especially Shell and Chevron.

On the eve of the tenth anniversary of this execution, activists from
London Rising Tide, Rhythms of Resistance and London Earth First! have come together to take action against Shell for its activities in Nigeria, in Ireland and worldwide.

Nine nooses have been hung from lampposts directly in front of Shell's UK headquarters on London's South Bank. A pipeline decorated with slogans celebrating resistance to the curse of oil in the Niger Delta and in County Mayo in the past and right now is also on site, as are colourful banners and a noisy samba band.

County Mayo is the site of a major new Shell gas development, a disastrous proposal that is being opposed energetically by many locally and internationally: www.corribsos.com

'Shell's activities in the Niger Delta and in Ireland are far from being
isolated incidents,' said Maeve Bunyan, taking part in today's protest,
'they are examples of an entire industry that systematically destroys
lives and livelihoods to feed its triple bottom line of profit, profit and
profit. London is a global oil hub. We're very happy to be able to draw
attention today to the courage and creativity of those who stand up to
this industry wherever it operates.'

This is one of many events taking place this week in London, the UK and all over the world:
www.november10.org, www.remembersarowiwa.com

The action is also in direct opposition to a new law designed to clamp
down on protest in central London: www.freedomtoprotest.org.uk

In memoriam: Baribor Bera, Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbokoo, Barinem Kiobel, John Kpuinen, Paul Levura, Felix Nuate and Ken Saro-Wiwa.
In Solidarity: Activists in prison or under detention and duress in Ogoni, in Nigeria, and around the world.

For info, interviews and a wide range of photos: 07708 794665
Email: UK Shell in County Mayo Solidarity Campaign: stops_hell@yahoo.com
london@risingtide.org.uk

See also:
www.londonrisingtide.org.uk
www.rhythmsofresistance.co.uk
www.groundwork.org.za
www.gcmonitor.org
www.bucketbrigade.net
www.eraction.org
www.shellfacts.com
www.pacificenvironment.org
www.carbonweb.org

Shell is currently laundering its tarnished reputation by sponsoring the
Rubens exhibition at the National Gallery www.artnotoil.org.uk

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