Saturday 19th of October 2019

Sixteen Arrested AT U.S. Halliburton Protest

Today's Houston Chronicle says it all:

Sixteen people protesting Halliburton Co.'s environmental record and
its role as a military contractor were arrested on trespassing charges
Wednesday when they surged toward a building where company shareholders
were meeting.

Another man was arrested on a charge of destroying public property for tearing up a plastic fence holding back protesters.

A masked man beat on a large empty jug and protesters chanted, "The
whole world is watching," and "Shame on you," while police made the
arrests. A designated area had been set up for the protest, and police
had told protesters not to leave that area.

Those arrested were frisked, handcuffed and taken to the Stephens County Jail.

The
Houston-based company said it decided to meet in the southern Oklahoma
city where it was founded to highlight company operations that remain
here.

Critics accused it of seeking a friendly and remote
location in an attempt to duck protests. The company is the leading
employer in Duncan, which is about 80 miles south of Oklahoma City.

One
of those arrested was wearing a Dick Cheney mask. The vice president
formerly headed Halliburton, which has drawn criticism for its big
government contracts, some awarded without competitive bidding. Its KBR
unit provides support services for troops stationed in the Middle East.

About 100 people protested outside a meeting attended by about 200 shareholders.

Shareholders
of the world's largest provider of products and services to the
petroleum and energy industries looked back on a year of record
earnings. Halliburton, founded in 1919, earned $2.4 billion in 2005.

They
approved a company request to increase its authorized share count to 2
billion from 1 billion. Dave Lesar, the company's chairman and chief
executive officer, said a stock split was planned sometime in the next
two months.

Shareholders rejected a request by a group of
Texas and Kansas shareholders for adoption of a policy based on the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Halliburton directors, noting
that the company does business in more than 100 countries and refrains
from doing business where prohibited by the U.S. government, did not
support the proposal.

Lesar said after the meeting that the protest did not bother him.

"I cannot change the fact that my predecessor is the vice president of the United States," he said.

Protesters
carried signs such as "Bush Lied," and "Record Corrupt Blood Soaked
Profits." Oklahoma Veterans for Peace lined up 37 pairs of combat boots
to represent Oklahoma soldiers killed in Iraq.

Jan Gaddis of Duncan held up an "I Support Halliburton" sign.

"It
is not some monolithic organization that is devoid of humanity," she
said. "They are a very responsible corporate citizen and their
employees are involved in the local community and churches."

Halliburton
spokeswoman Cathy Mann has said potential protests played no role in
deciding where to hold this year's meeting. She said the company has
done a good job of supporting American troops overseas.

"Halliburton supports the rights of demonstrators, even when they have the facts wrong," she said.

Halliburton
shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange late Wednesday morning at
$74, down $1.01. The stock has traded from $39.65 to $83.97 over the
last year.

___

Associated Press writer Sean Murphy in Duncan contributed to this report.

 

the usual suspects .....

‘In the weeks following Hurricane Katrina, there was much hue and cry about the
massive no-bid “cost-plus” cleanup and rebuilding contracts going to
politically-connected firms like Bechtel, Fluor and CH2M Hill. 

And sure enough, eight months later, the first audits are in and it is
that same old depressing reel of fraud and waste and mismanagement. According
to a recently released memo by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California. 

The documents disclose widespread mismanagement, waste and fraud in
contracts worth billions of dollars. The documents reveal a host of major
problems that occurred in numerous locations under multiple contracts over a
period of many months. 

We’re talking about double-billing for hauling the same debris, hauling extra
debris to boost reimbursements, overstating mileage - the same old tricks. As a
neat touch, inspectors found that Army Corps of Engineers officials had an
“informal agreement” not to challenge bills that exceeded estimates by 50
percent.’
 

Beyond
Halliburton