New York Protest Tuesday to Decry Opening of Trial, Rally for Justice in Ecuador, Say No to Chevron's Abuses ___ "This trial is merely Chevron's latest cynical ploy to evade accountability for its crimes in Ecuador," said Paul Paz y Miño of Amazon Watch. "Chevron's legacy in the Amazon has caused enough environmental ruin and human suffering already; it's time the company to pay for a cleanup, rather than for more abusive efforts to run from its responsibility." The Foley Square protest will feature villagers from the Ecuadorean Amazon living amidst hundreds of Chevron's abandoned toxic waste pits that litter the region. They will be displaying bottles of water polluted by Chevron oil operations, as well as images of friends, family, and community members who have died or suffered cancer and similar illnesses from prolonged exposure to petroleum wastewater. The rally is being organized by members of New York's Ecuadorean community, along with human rights supporters and environmental activists, who will be supporting them with a massive 'Lady Justice' figure and other visually arresting props. Forty-seven 'named plaintiffs'—all of them indigenous rainforest residents and rural villagers—who represent the tens of thousands of affected people have been named in Chevron's lawsuit, which alleges that their previous claim and subsequent judgement are a conspiracy to extort the company. Two of the Ecuadorean villagers have accepted personal jurisdiction in the case in order to fight the allegations. Fearing a public backlash for suing victims of its pollution, Chevron has focused its smear campaign on New York-based human rights attorney Steven Donziger, who has advised the Ecuadoreans in their efforts since first visiting the contaminated region in 1993.