Protesters Blast Gore Oil Connection

By Justin Torres | July 7, 2008 | 8:26 PM EDT

Los Angeles ( - After clashing with the Los Angeles Police Department yesterday outside the Democratic National Convention, more than 3,000 protestors took to the streets Monday to blast the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Al Gore for his ties to Occidental Petroleum.

"It's said that Bush/Cheney is the big oil ticket, but Al Gore is marinated in Occidental oil," said a protest organizer outside the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. "He profits while Oxy plunders."

Occidental Petroleum has ignited controversy by drilling on land in the Columbian jungle occupied by the U'Wa, an indigenous Indian tribe that has protested the move.

Gore owns more than $750,000 in Occidental stock through the estate of his father, the late Sen. Albert Gore Sr.

"Say it loud, get Oxy out of U'Wa land," said signs held by the protestors. A group of activists also faced off against police in riot gear while chanting the classic 1960's slogan, "There ain't no power like the power of the people, 'cause the power of the people don't stop!"

"So many of us have supported you, Al Gore, because of what you've done for the environment," said Hermanoso Alceda, a Green Party candidate for mayor in
Riverside, CA. "But you've let us down and let the U'Wa die."

A spokesperson for the Gore campaign in Los Angeles said during a news briefing, "The Vice President has always fought for the environment, and he will continue to do so." The spokesperson indicated that Gore has no ties to Occidental besides his stock.

Sunday, several protestors were arrested after a brief clash with police during a rally in support of the release of Mumia Abu Jamal, sentenced to the death penalty for the murder of a Philadelphia police officer.

Police spokespersons have indicated that the protestors will be allowed to demonstrate in a cordoned-off area near the entrance to the Staples Center, after groups representing the protestors mounted a legal challenge to planned restrictions on protest staging areas.