Several activist groups say they will join together today and tomorrow outside of Chevron headquarters in San Ramon for two days of protest against subsidies for oil companies.
Ellis Goldberg, president of the Tri-Valley Democratic Club, said the protests will be part of "a national week of action" with protestors calling attention to a variety of causes.
Goldberg said the purpose of the two-day protest is to bring to light how oil companies, according to him, are not paying their fair share (of taxes) by benefiting from oil subsidies.
Chevron is the 14th most profitable company in the U.S., said Goldbeerg, who lives in Danville. Chevron is "benefiting immensely from its lobbying group, The American Petroleum Institute," he added.
"I'm not looking for Chevron to say anything," Goldberg said. "We are not lobbying Chevron, we are lobbying Congress."
He added that he expects between 50 and 150 people to demonstrate today.
"The reason we're in front of Chevron is because they're big oil and that's the place to be lobbing about oil subsidies," Goldberg said. "We don't expect them to quit the API or get them to stop lobbying for loopholes."
Instead, Goldberg said his group aims to bring awareness to the San Ramon Valley, which he believes is generally unaware that oil companies, according to Goldberg, will receive $44 billion in subsidies over the next five years. By raising awareness of the price of oil subsidies, and how a reduction could benefit the public, Goldberg hopes to drum support for President Obama's jobs bill.
"What we want is for Congress to turn that around," Goldberg said. "The Republican Congress is not going to turn that around, we're going to have to turn Congress around."
Goldberg said other groups, such as the American Dream Movement (AMD), are focusing their efforts on supporting the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations and voicing concern for job growth.
The Tri-Valley MoveOn Council is one of 70 groups under the AMD umbrella that want to "make sure that people have jobs, that our children have education and a secure future," the Democratic Party activist said.
"Here we are giving welfare to an oil company that's one of the richest companies in the world, when there are people who are hungry and don't have jobs," said Organizer Karen Beck. "We know that these corporations…throw money at Congress, and their vote almost matters more than ours. What we do know is we don't have the money of the corporations but we have our voices."
To that end, MoveOn will have several speakers who have lost their jobs or homes and will invite residents to share their stories as well.
Goldberg's group will have a demonstration of a "subsidy sucker," and both groups aim to have a good time while spreading their message to neighbors.
"We have this concept of getting them off the couch," Goldberg said. "The idea is to push the community, inch them toward the edge and once they get off the couch maybe they'll join us on the protest line."
The event will be held at 6121 Bollinger Canyon Road from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today and from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday. Another protest is scheduled in Walnut Creek, where demonstrators will gather outside a Bank of America building Wednesday evening.
Chevron maintains that it "pays its fair share."
"Between 2005 and 2009, our industry paid or accrued to the U.S. government almost $158 billion in taxes, royalties and fees, including $98 billion in federal income taxes," claimed Chevron Media Advisor Sean Comey.
"That totals nearly $86 million a day," Comey added. "Changing important tax provisions outside the context of broader corporate tax reform would achieve one unmistakable outcome: it would restrain domestic development and reduce tax revenues at a time when they are needed most."