Nigeria: In Memory of Ken Saro-Wiwa

Thursday, November 14, 1996

One year ago, on November 10, 1995, author and leader of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni leaders were executed by Nigerian military authorities for exposing the environmental and human devastation caused by the oil industry and its documented collusion with the brutal military dictatorship in Nigeria.

One year later the Nigerian military continues to threaten, detain, torture and kill Ogoni people. Currently, another nineteen Ogoni are facing trial under the same unjust legal procedures that led to the execution of Saro-Wiwa and his colleagues. Security is heavy in Ogoniland prior to November 10 and people have been warned to stay home and not participate in memorial services or they will face serious reprisals. Foreign journalists have been banned as of November 1 from entering the country.

With its most prominent opponent silenced, Shell, the largest oil company in Nigeria, is poised to return to Ogoni and resume its production. With no substantive change in sight, the Ogoni call for your support to keep Shell out of their land. You can be a part of the solution by refusing to buy from Shell, by demanding that Shell get out of Nigeria, and participating in the commemoration activities listed below.


In honour of the commemoration services in Canada, Nigerian environmental lawyer Oronto Douglas, Ken Saro-Wiwa's defence lawyer and the Chief Field Officer of Environmental Rights Action, a branch of the Civil Liberties Organization, will join the Wiwa family in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. He is available for interviews, along with Ken Saro-Wiwa's brother Dr. Owens Wiwa and his wife Diana Barikor of MOSOP Canada. Contact them by sending an e-mail to the CCPJ.

November 6

Amnesty International demonstration at Nigerian High Commission, Ottawa. Contact AI at tel: 613 744-7667 or inquire by e-mail.

November 10

10:30 a.m.
Church memorial observances for the Ogoni nine across Canada. Nigerian church service at 117 Midwest St. (Scarborough), Toronto. Call Kole Shettima, the Inter-Church Coalition on Africa (ICCAF), at tel: 416 927-1124.

1:30 p.m.
Information pickets at Shell station at Spadina and King in Toronto. Call Jason Potts, OPIRG, at tel: 416 408-1727.

3:00 p.m.
Live satellite benefit concert for MOSOP broadcast simultaneously from Dublin, Toronto, New York and Brighton, U.K, featuring Sinead O'Connor, The Edge (of U2), Maira Ni Bhraonin, Ronnie Drew, and readings from Roddy Doyle (author of The Commitments) in Dublin. In Toronto, Diana and Dr. Owens Wiwa will join performers, including Tarig Abubakar and the Afro-Nubians, Centrifugal Force (headed by Colin Doroschuk, ex-Men Without Hats), Moxy Früvous, The Mahones and Michelle Sweeney; Canadian writers Rohinton Mistry and Gary Farmer will read. The show is at the News Theatre, 98 The Esplanade and can also be viewed on the World Wide Web at Tickets are $25. Contact Patty Diamond or Vivian Singer of Strategic Objectives at tel: 416-366-7735, or call 1-800-387-4592 for tickets.

3:00 p.m.
Special observance for International Writers in Prison Day hosted by PEN Canada at Massey College, 4 Devonshire Place, Toronto. Following the PEN Canada event, there will be a candlelight procession from Massey College. Contact PEN at tel: 416 703-8448 or via e-mail.

November 12

Roundtable on multinationals and human rights in Montreal. Contact Katherine Cukier at tel: 514 398-7432.

November 15

8:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Social Investment Organization conference on "Corporate Responsibility in a Global Economy" at the Park Plaza Hotel, Toronto, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Owens Wiwa. Call Janice Louden of SIO at tel: 416 360-6047.

7-10 p.m.
African Night in Memory of Ken Saro-Wiwa and Eight Other Ogonis at OISE auditorium, 252 Bloor St.W, Toronto. This evening of dance and theatre, including a performance of Ken Saro-Wiwa's last play, "On the Death of Ken Saro-Wiwa", is a benefit for MOSOP. It is hosted by Rita Devereaux of Vision TV and features a speech by Nigerian environmental lawyer Oronto Douglas. It is sponsored by MOSOP, the Canadian Committee to Protect Journalists (CCPJ), Greenpeace Canada, Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG-Toronto), and the Steel Workers' Humanity Fund. Tickets: $8; $5 for students. Contact the CCPJ at tel: 416 703-1638 or drop us an e-mail.

November 8-17

Picketing of Shell stations in Waterloo, Montreal, Vancouver and the United States. For Montreal, contact Katherine Cukier at tel: 514 398-7432. For Vancouver, contact the Ogoni Solidarity Network at tel: 604 873-8554.

November 26

7:30 p.m.
St. Lawrence Centre Forum, with Roger Clark of Amnesty International, Margo Franzen of the Body Shop Canada, and James Cooney of Placer Dome. Contact Lina Anani at AI Toronto at tel: 416 929-9477.