NEW YORK (CNN) — A $15.5 million payout made by oil giant Shell to settle a lawsuit brought against it by relations of executed Nigerian writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and other activists will allow the families of the victims to move on with their lives, Saro-Wiwa’s son has told CNN.
The New York lawsuit — brought to court by the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of Saro-Wiwa’s family and others in 1996 — accused Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary of complicity in the writer’s 1995 hanging and the killings or persecution of other environmental activists in the Niger Delta.
Nigeria’s Ogoni people have complained for years that Shell was allowed to pollute its land without consequences.
Saro-Wiwa’s death sparked a worldwide outcry, and his movement ultimately forced Shell out of the oil- and gas-rich Ogoniland region.
“It enables us to draw a line under the past and actually face the future with something tangible, some hope that this is the beginning of a better engagement between all the stakeholders in this issue,” Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr. told CNN.
Shell said it “had no part in the violence that took place” but called the settlement “a humanitarian gesture to set up a trust fund to benefit the Ogoni people.”
Shell fought the lawsuit until last week, when a federal appellate court ruled that the plaintiffs could sue the company’s Nigerian subsidiary in American courts, overturning a March decision in the company’s favor.
Saro-Wiwa said the case set a precedent for oil companies operating in regions such as West Africa by demonstrating that they could “be brought to trial in America for human rights violations in Africa.” Watch Saro-Wiwa discuss how he hopes the case will set a precedent »
“Justice is always hard won… It took 13 years to go through the legal process but clearly before we started this corporations throught they could almost operate with impunity but now the legal landscape has changed,” he said.
Roughly half of the settlement will go into a trust fund to help the people of Nigeria‘s Ogoni region, according to court papers.
25 Things you need to be a man | Jun 10, 2009 11:22 by Hayden Green
I don’t really think of myself as manly. I’m not sure if anyone else thinks of me as manly either. The facial hair helps a little, as does the deepish voice and bulging muscles. Ok, I was lying about the muscles.
But manliness, as it exists in our minds, can be seen as a character flaw (much like religion). Manly men are the reason Marc Ellis is still on TV, manly men are the reason we have Tui ads, manly men are the reason for annoying celebrity strippers.
So what could I expect from a list in Popular Mechanics called: The 25 Things Every Man Should Be Able To Do? Must be able to kill an animal without remorse and eat its heart? Must be able to name the entire 1985 All Black Squad including their home provinces? Must find racist jokes funny?
But after perusing the list I discovered that Popular Mechanics has a very interesting view of being a “man”. In fact looking at the list (which I will show you soon) it would be quite easy for a woman to be a man (even easier than surgery).
“Man”, as I read it in the list, is now a concept not a sex. Men were hunter/gatherer/semen-factories and then evolved into farmers/truck-owners and for some reason you needed a penis to be that (I blame religion again). The list though seems to define man (or manly) as protector/provider but removing any gender bias (like strength or speed or hair growth).
PopMech said they created the list because they felt that people couldn’t fix things anymore. They saw a problem with our disposable society. We upgrade rather than fixing, we throw out rather than repair, we contract in rather than DIYing.
Sometimes this isn’t our fault though. I recently had a new shower put in; the installer was explaining some part of what he was going to do when he paused: “Do you understand anything about this?”
“No”, I replied honestly and somewhat apologetically. He must have caught my tone because he said, “That’s not a problem, we’ve all got our specialist areas these days. I don’t know much about computers” (I had told him that I was a blogger at some point).
With the idea that specialisation leads to eventual extinction then having a wide variety of skills can only be a good thing, right?
The PopMech list can be broken down into groups: