In south-eastern Nigeria, hundreds of unarmed Ijaw women used boats to occupy four Chevron-Texaco pipeline stations.
Protests against oil companies operating in Nigeria have been taking place for a while. These recent and dramatic actions were taken in response to the grinding poverty in which local people live in this oil-rich region. Chevron-Texaco have operated in the region for more than 30 years, but the activists say there is little to show for all the wealth generated.
A separate group of women have occupied the company's Escravos export terminal since 8 July. On 17 July Associated Press quoted Kingsley Kuku - a spokesperson for the Ijaw Youth Council - as saying, “Our women are without fear. They are participating actively in our struggle and have embarked on this action without the use of arms, not even brooms,” adding that Ijaw men would “burn down all Chevron oil facilities” if police or the military intervened using force.
As we went to press the company was attempting to negotiate with the women activists.