HMC: Who actually owns SWN?

SOURCE: http://www.mediacoop.ca/blog/max-haiven/19452

by Max Haiven

The struggle of the people of Kent County New Brunswick against fracking, and the phenomenal resistance at Elsipogtog this October, has generated a lot of buzz online.  Many people, both local to Mi’Kmaqi (Atlantic Canada) and beyond want to help. One way to help is to put economic pressure on SWN, the corproation that is responsible for the shale-gas testing and whose “thumper” trucks were so heroically seized until the RCMP raid on October 17.  Recently, some have referred to this website <http://stockzoa.com/ticker/swn/> to argue that SWN is actually owned by major global brands like Microsoft, Nike, Exxon, Disney and Philip Morris.

This is inaccurate.

SWN is a publicly-traded corporation, which means that its shares are traded on the New York Stock exchange and its “owners” are multiple individuals and corporations.  Because it is “publicly” traded, it must report who its major investors are, and this is where the stockzoa.com information comes from.  If we look at the list, we can see that most of those owners have obscure names.  Here are the top 5:

Capital Research Global Investors^ 20.98M $766.48M June 30, 2013
Sands Capital Management 18.10M $661.33M June 30, 2013
Vanguard 16.86M $615.91M June 30, 2013
Wellington Management Company 16.23M $592.83M June 30, 2013
T. Rowe Price Associates 15.40M $562.58M June 30, 2013

These are all “funds,” which means that each of them is itself a company made up of multiple investors.  In other words, each of these “investors” is itself a corporation, made up of multiple investors. Because most of these funds are “private,” we don’t get to know who those investors are.  They are most likely a combination of (a) very rich individuals, (b) investment banks, (c) pension or mutual funds which manage people’s retirement savings and (d) possibly (but not likely) major corporations (like Nike, WalMart, Microsoft, etc.).

Now these “funds” are ALSO investors in all those global brands mentioned above (Microsoft, Nike, Exxon, Disney and Philip Morris).  Funds like these work by making multiple investments in many different companies and creating a “portfolio” of stocks.

In other words:  SWN is NOT owned by Microsoft, Nike, Exxon, Disney, Philip Morris, etc.

The same FUNDS that own SWN ALSO own shares in Microsoft, Nike, Exxon, Disney and Philip Morris, etc.

The exception is invetsment banks.  The stockzoa.com page shows us that some major banks DO own part of SWN.  Hence:

GOLDMAN SACHS 10.29M$376.04MJune 30, 2013 JPMORGAN CHASE & CO 3.15M$114.89MJune 30, 2013

(Due diligence: I am not an expert in investments, but I am a specialist in the sociological and cultural dimensions of finance capital.  You can see a relatively readable piece I wrote on the subject here: http://truth-out.org/news/item/16911-financial-totalitarianism-the-economic-political-social-and-cultural-rule-of-speculative-capital)

WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?

1. Boycotting brands that own SWN is very difficult.  Most of them are extremely secretive private funds whose offices are in New York, Conneticut, LA, Boston or the Cayman Islands.

2. More problematically, it is not unlikely that many Canadians (and certainly many Americans) are unwitting investors in SWN and other fracking companies because their banks or pension funds are making investments wither directly in SWN stock, or in the funds that are, in turn, buying SWN stock.

3. On the bright side, because SWN is made up of multiple investors and publicly traded, their share prices can be affected quite dramatically by bad publicity. If investors believe that the firm is in trouble in New Brunswick, they may be tempted to sell the stock, which can cause SWN’s share price to drop.

4. But convincing these funds to divest from SWN is likely a losing strategy.  These funds are not run by conscientious individuals. They are run by ruthless professional fund managers whose only legal responsibility is to make as much money for their clients as possible. Trying to convince them to do otherwise is like trying to convince a shark to try a vegetarian diet.  Most of the investors in the funds have little to no idea where there money is going.

SO

Efforts to hurt SWN economically would more effectively occur on other fronts:

1.  The civil disobedience in Kent County will continue to cost SWN a huge amount of money.  Some estimates put it at over $60,000 a day.

2.  Economic efforts should be directed at SWN’s local and more vulnerable partner, Irving, who have been providing private security for SWN, whose newspapers in NB have been criminalizing and defaming anti-fracking protesters, and who will gain materially from a shale-gas industry in the province.  Irving have allowed SWN to use one their lots to store their equipment. Irving owns (a) Irving gas stations and home heating, (b) Majesta and Royal paper products, (c) Cavendish Farms (who make a large percentage of North America’s french-fries) and (d) Kent Building Supplies, and much more.  Without Irving’s support (both material and political) SWN and Fracking in New Brunswick would be history. In Halifax, solidarity protesters have been holding demonstrations outside Irving gas stations since the summer, and more are planned in the future.

3. Economic efforts can also target local (Atlantic Canadian) fracking companies, notably Corridor Resources (http://www.corridor.ca/), a Halifax-based comapny (traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange) that has already fracked in Penobsquis NB, and is planning to undertake the incredibly dangerous practice of deep-ocean drilling in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

4.  More generally, while SWN is the company responsible for fracking in Kent County, Canada has the dubious honour of being the world’s leader in mining and resource extraction corporations, and many of these corporations are committing heinous crimes against Indigenous people around the world.  These mining companies are, for the most part, traded on the Toronto Stick Exchange, and almost every Canadian who has a pension or a mutual fund is, unwittingly, an investor.  Divestment campaigns against Canadian mining companies would be very helpful.

Meanwhile, there are desperate financial needs at the protest camp in NB to help cover legal and bail fees.  To make a donation, check out sacredfirenb.com.

Those in Halifax can join in solidarity actions this Monday at the Irving Station at the corner of Robie and Charles Street at 3pm: https://www.facebook.com/events/167445490121276

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Anonymous (Hacktivists): OpFrackOff in Elsipogtog

The international Hacktivists group Anonymous has released a statement regarding their solidarity with the struggle against fracking/shale gas in Elsipogtog.  They are committed to tracking and revealing the relationship between Texas-based SWN Resources (the company trying to frack in Kent County NB) and the Irving Corporation.

To watch their media release, go here: https://vimeo.com/77409237

From the #OpFrackOff paste-bin (http://pastebin.com/Vsjb1GuC)

Greetings to our courageous Mi’maq friends who have stood valiantly against the forces of frack.
To the forces of fracking in New Brunswick and beyond, you didn’t expect us, did you?
On Friday, Anonymous put out an #OpFrackOff press release denouncing and seeking to identify the RCMP officer responsible for saying “crown land belongs to the government not to fucking natives.” This comment was first reported on Thursday at 12:27 pm Atlantic time by APTN camerman Ossie Michelin. It has been confirmed to Anonymous by two sources. One source provided a picture of the officers from which the comment came. The picture’s time stamp is at 12:29 pm Atlantic.
An independent anonymous source was able to give a more complete description of the officer. The second source’s description nicely fit the man on the far right of the picture: black hat and glasses. That source also passed us a second, later picture that they believe to be the same officer.
It appears to Anonymous as if none of the camo and black clad paramilitary officers were wearing any identifying information.
This is unacceptable.
The attire of the officer in question suggests that he is with one of the RCMP’s Emergency Response Teams. In New Brunswick, this would be the J-Team. Why is Canada attacking it’s First Nations population with a self-described paramilitary force? To protect the right of a Texas oil company’s fracking ambitions?  And what do Wendy’s french fries have to do with fracking?
Wait, Wendy’s French fries?
Cavendish Farms is the top French fry supplier for Wendy’s in North America.
Who the frack is Cavendish?
Cavendish Farms is owned by the Irving family, the oil and gas and media magnates that control nearly everything in New Brunswick. Halifax Media Co-op has already reported that SWN, the Texas oil company that owns most of the fracking rights in New Brunswick, is working hand in glove with the Irving’s in Elsipogtog.
Independent journalists with #OpSWN are working to lay out all the relationships between SWN Resource Canada, the company wanting to frack on traditional, never ceded Mi’maq territory, and a variety of other resource extraction companies in Canada, including Irving Oil.
These relationships include media, money, and political connections. Anonymous continues to demand that the officer who racially slurred our Mi’maq friends be identified and disciplined.
And that the RCMP apologize for it’s racist violence.
It is almost unbelievable that an officer could spell out so clearly the problem that has been at the heart of the relationship between Canada and its First Nations from the very beginning. This is the colonial attitude and it’s violent tendencies in a perfect nutshell.
If anyone has video or audio recording of this event, please release it to the public as soon as possible.
Anonymous also requests that the public help the independent journalists mapping information via Pearltree regarding the collusion that exists in the Canadian Atlantic between media, politicians, and oil and gas companies.  Follow #OpSWN on twitter for details.
Help us demand that the courage of Elsipogtog in standing up to a paramilitary force not be wasted.
Premier Alward has dismissed calls for a referendum on fracking, saying that one isn’t needed.
Anonymous disagrees.
The people demand a direct say over whether or not their water is poisoned.  Anonymous calls for a referendum on fracking exploration to determine the will of the people. Until that time, Mr. Alward, put your paramilitary thugs back on desk duty.
We are Anonymous.
The Corrupt Fear Us.
The Honest Support Us.
The Heroic Join Us.

From the #OpSWN paste-bin (http://pastebin.com/jSdhre1m):

Welcome to #OpSWN!
This project was conceived to help us all collaboratively map the relationships and finance/behavior patterns between the corporate and government players determining the quality of our environment, and of our lives. As @GeorgieBC points out so eloquently in this http://georgiebc.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/good-bye-wikipedia-hello-something-else/ article, we have grown past the need to have our data interpreted and spoon fed to us by the very corporations and politicians who have a vested interest in manipulating our perception of reality. From the article above link above:
“To be a stigmergical project instead of a cooperative one, each contributor must be free to work according to their own ideas and the power of the user group must be limited to acceptance or rejection of the final project for their own use only. This is simple in a structure like pearltrees where everyone creates their own pearls or pearltrees and others link to them or not as they see fit. It is simple in an RSS or Twitter feed where anyone can create their own list of voices to follow. It is impossible in Wikipedia.”
It’s time to own our knowledge and ability to share what is important to US with one another. We’ve found Pearltrees to be a wonderful collaboration tool, and are hoping you will like working with it as well. At the end of this outline you will find some FAQ’s from the Pearltrees website. First we’ll just review why and how Pearls were used to map relationships in support of the Elsipogtog Sovereignty call and fracking resistance.
Canada is as transparent as it’s tar sands discharge
    We have begun to map the corporate players in New Brunswick, but hit a wall on the politicians as there is no public data available for campaign financing, or political financing, in New Brunswick. Their election reporting site says:
        “The Political Process Financing Act requires each registered political party to file semi-annually with the Supervisor a financial return disclosing the sources of political contributions, other revenues, and details as to how those funds were expended. Each registered district association and each registered independent candidate are required to file a similar return annually.”
but there is NO DATA there! Furthermore:
    “Over the course of 2013, Elections New Brunswick will provide the public with the ability to search on-line for the financial returns submitted by the political parties, district associations, candidates and third parties.” http://www1.gnb.ca/elections/finance/financereturns-e.asp
Well, it’s late October of 2013, and the only data posted there is an Excel spreadsheet with a picture of a graph in it showing that 100% of the required 2012 disclosure forms have been received. Okay…then why aren’t they PUBLISHED? It appears that we will have to do that ourselves. We will post a link to the site that tells you who all your “representatives” are, and hope that a local citizen answers our request to obtain and post disclosure documents so we can see (and Pearl) their direct financial relationship to the corporations. For instance, Steven L Mueller, SWN President, Chief Executive Officer, Director has a total annual compensation for 2011 of $6,118,755 http://www.pearltrees.com/#/N-u=1_1284199&N-p=92826247&N-s=1_9552981&N-f=1_9552981&N-fa=9552976. Who did he buy in the US election? (http://www.pearltrees.com/#/N-s=1_9552981&N-u=1_1284199&N-p=93146817&N-f=1_9552981&N-play=2&N-fa=9552976)
Reality TV stars are not more interesting than the Ruling Elite
In addition to this factual, financial information about those who rule, we need gossip! That’s right…I said it…good old-fashioned gossip! Because it is a bit interesting when André Desmarais, son of Paul Desmarais (worth 4.5 billion or so), marries former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s daughter, France. Where did all their new furniture come from – a tax write off? What Board of Directors do they and their friends sit on? What charities do they run and contribute to? These people are the new Ruling Elite, and we should know more about them than we do Justin Beiber, who is irrelevant.
Our goal is to map the relationships among all these people and their business interests – to follow the money. Any intersections found between the corporations, or between them and the politicians, are relevant information if we are to understand whose interests are really being served in our communities. Pearltrees offer us a simple way to document and visualize these relationships.
Most of the relationships among business people will be found in their alliance organizations and councils. We focused on The Atlantica Centre for Energy to map the first level of relationships influencing the #Elsipogtog action. Why? Because it clearly tells us who is making money off this project. At some point we can add examples of the tactics each of these corporations use when doing business – which would tell us which tactics they’re likely to use against an opponent. There is much that can be mapped – your imagination is the only limit. http://www.pearltrees.com/#/N-u=1_1284199&N-p=92972708&N-s=1_9566369&N-f=1_9566121&N-fa=9558533
Pearltrees can accept 3 basic forms of data: URL links to published content, image uploads, and brief notes. It is not a venue to publish new information in, but you can link to your own content. The free version has a limit for how many pearls can be added to any one branch (read the FAQs for more information on the process), so we mapped out the relationships in a collaborative virtual notepad first using Riseup.net – because they are awesome! Support them if you can https://help.riseup.net/en/donate . You can use this as your starting point if you’d like – it shows the information we’d like to see added for the People involved in these organizations, and who needs completion.https://pad.riseup.net/p/OpSWN_People You can use Hack Pad if you’d like to keep your research pad confidential https://hackpad.com/
We utilized URL links to existing data that was vetted to insure quality. Notes for explanations are good only where they can be pasted somewhere to link to, or their content is limited in lengths accepted by Pearl notes. “You can’t put more than 16 pearls in the first ring of a pearltree, you can’t put more than 32 pearls or pearltrees in the second ring or more than 48 pearls or pearltrees in the third ring.” To get started with pearls, see the FAQ’shttp://www.pearltrees.com/s/faq/en Mapping out your data before starting to pearl may seem like a waste of time, but will save frustration in the long term. We gave you a copy of our garbled conversation while getting started with Pearling so you could understand how the information flows. See this pad for unpearled research and background. https://pad.riseup.net/p/OpSWN_ResearchNotPearled
Have FUN! :D Look for us on twitter in the #OpSWN hashtag, and contact @Kaymee and/or @GeorgieBC when you have pearls you’d like added to the original research, or research you’d like US to add to ours. Trick or Treat…Happy Hunting :)

Solidarity!: Maine trans and/or women’s action camp occupying Irving Corporation’s Portsmouth, NH HQ

SOURCE: http://twac.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/maine-trans-andor-womens-action-camp-occupying-irving-corporations-portsmouth-new-hampshire-headquarters/

MAINE TRANS AND/OR WOMEN’S ACTION CAMP OCCUPYING IRVING CORPORATION’S PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE HEADQUARTERS

Posted: October 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

UPDATE 12:52p.m. All cop cars are gone. Unconfirmed belief that pain compliance was used to remove the lockdowners.

UPDATE 11:46 Cops have the whole building blocked off, no visuals on the lockdowners.

UPDATE 11:43,  Oil has mysteriously spilled on Irving’s private parking lot.

UPDATE 11:42,  All protesters, except those locked have been removed from the premisses.

UPDATe: 11:37 Lock downers are under arrest, but are still locked in.

UPDATE 11:29am Irving owns the parking lot to the building, outside protesters are being told they will be arrested if they don’t leave the property.

UPDATE 11:21am Chief of police has just arrived.

UPDATE 11:18am Two banners dropped at near by bridges:

“Irving, exploiting native land and water”

photo-6

“Fracking: Drilling, Killing, Spilling”

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 12.06.34 PM

UPDATE 11:12am protesters, pushed out of building by police leaving lockdowners with out any support

Call Portsmouth police to demand they release the arrested protesters with out charges (603) 436-2511

UPDATE 11:05: Direct support for the lockdowners have been arrested, other support pushed outside the building.

UPDATE 11:02: First arrest has been made

UPDATE 11:01am: police have arrived, threatening arrest.

UPDATE 11:00am: banner  inside Irving headquarters

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photo-5

MAINE TRANS AND/OR WOMEN’S ACTION CAMP OCCUPYING IRVING CORPORATION’S PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE HEADQUARTERS

In solidarity with New Brunswick First Nation’s Fracking Protest

BREAKING Portsmouth, New Hampshire Irving Corporation Headquarters: this morning dozens of activists participating in the Trans and/or Women’s Action camp (TWAC) are occupying an Irving Corporation Headquarters. Dozens of activists are currently occupying the office to present their demands to Irving officials. Ten activists are “locked down” using a combination of lock boxes and u-lock kryptonite bike locks. These activists will occupy the office until demands are met or they are forcibly removed. This action comes after a three day long event where women, transgender, gender queer, and gender variant activists from Maine and other parts of the North East come together to learn political organizing skills with a focus on direct action civil disobedience, Protesters have brought a list of demands and refuse to leave the building until they speak with Kevin Flemming, Chief Strategy Officer, David Glassberg, Chief Legal and Governance Officer, or another high ranking Irving official. This office occupation is in solidarity with the Mi’kmaq First Nation’s current road blockade in Elsipogtog, a protest against fracking exploration by SWN Resources Canada that is currently taking place on their traditional lands without their consent.

The Mi’kmaq First Nations have been defending their land with a road blockade since September 30th. On October 17th there was a violent attempt to raid their encampment by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Irving oil supports fracking exploration on First Nations land by allowing SWN Resources to store their equipment in an Irving owned compound, and reports state that natural gas that comes off of Elsipogtog land would go to the Irving refinery in New Brunswick. Please see our attached list of demands for more information on Irving’s practices.

“What is happening to the Mi’kmaq and Elsipogtog First Nations in New Brunswick is horrific. The indigenous people of this continent have experienced violent occupation and genocide for over 500 years, and the situation in New Brunswick is a continuation of that occupation and genocide. The very least we can do as non-native allies is put our legal status on the line to expose Irving’s connection to this horrific situation and learn how to most effectively be non-compliant to the colonial domination of indigenous people. The Canadian government and all corporations involved need to respect indigenous sovereignty and immediately stop any fracking exploration.” -Christine Allium, TWAC Organizer.

TWAC Maine supports indigenous sovereignty, community self reliance, healthy and flourishing ecosystems, an end to corporate domination, and racial and gender justice.