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Exxon, You Can't Silence Us: A Public Letter

By The Other 98 / other98.com
Feb 15, 2013
4.5 ·
2

In a brewing scandal that should shock and trouble all of us, Exxon silenced us this week.

We put together a nationally crowdfunded PSA, promoted by thousands online who threw in a dollar or a click or both in favor of two simple ideas: we should be able to get the word out about the most pressing issue of our time, climate change, on television primetime; and we should be able to demand that our tax dollars stop being used to fund oil, gas, and coal.

We had already aired the ad, called Exxon Hates Your Children, to great acclaim in Denver, New York and Washington DC. But when we bought time in Exxon’s backyard, Houston, on the most pro-Oil network on televison, Fox News, something snapped – and Exxon decided to issue a cease and desist demand and threaten Comcast into not airing your PSA as scheduled.

That’s right: the richest company in the world couldn’t stand even 30 seconds of criticism on the airwaves. And they went after you, and your right to have a voice in national media.

Enough. We might not agree on everything, but we can all agree on this: When the richest company in the world takes aim at silencing even a moment of dissent on the airwaves, it’s taking aim at all of us. And we won’t let them do that. The issues we face as a nation, as human beings, are too important. The values we treasure are too big. And our voice is too needed.

Join us in telling Exxon: No. Just no. You don’t get to take our voice away. You can’t silence us.

P.S. You can watch the PSA Exxon didn’t want you to see here:

Sign the Petition.

The petition reads:

“Exxon, you can’t silence us. And you won’t silence me. I demand Exxon Hates Your Children be allowed to air without Big Oil interference.”

 

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Films For Action is a community-powered, digital library for people who want to change the world.

 

Our mission is to provide citizens with the knowledge and perspectives essential to creating a more beautiful, just, sustainable, and democratic society.

Films For Action was founded in 2006 by a few friends in Lawrence, Kansas, after realizing how essential a healthy media is to a healthy democracy.

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“Independent media is dangerous because it allows people to speak for themselves. And when you hear someone speaking from their own experience - whether it's a Palestinian child or an Israeli grandmother or an uncle in Afghanistan or a refugee in the Calais refugee camp - it changes you. It breaks the sound barrier. It challenges the stereotypes and the caricatures that fuel the hate groups. You may not agree with what you hear - I mean, how often do we even agree with our family members? - but you begin to understand where they're coming from. That understanding is the beginning of peace. I really do think that the media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth. Instead, all too often, it is wielded as a weapon of war. We have to take the media back.” - Amy Goodman, Place to B at COP21