Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Latest With Sweet Crude

Dear Friends of Sweet Crude:

 Heartfelt thanks for your support
 We need your help urgently (by December 5th)
 There’s a fabulous piece of art in it for you
 Read on for the details
 Or trust me and go directly to
 Check back between now and the 5th to see how we’re doing

As the holidays roll around, I’m thinking, what a year! It’s been exactly seven months since Cliff, Joel, Sean, Tammi and I walked out of Nigerian military prison. To all of you who helped secure our release, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

We are so grateful to be back home and back to our lives. The detainment was tough on us, as you can imagine (of course not anywhere near as tough as things are for the people who live in the Niger Delta). What you might not know is the huge financial hit we took as a result of our imprisonment and the footage confiscated by the Nigerian SSS.

The Nigerian government tried their best to sabotage Sweet Crude in the hopes they could continue to suppress the truth about the Niger Delta. We can’t let them win.

I returned in April more determined than ever to finish this film. But we have a hole to dig out of to the tune of $30,000.

As much as I have and will continue to welcome your enthusiastic support, in this moment it’s money we need. I realize it’s not a great time to ask, given the current economic mess. But hey, at least this investment will yield you a beautiful piece of art instead of a loss.

For just $100, you’ll get to take a stand for journalistic freedom AND get a piece of Sweet Crude history.

We’ve created a custom designed, limited edition, hand printed Sabotage poster from the actual text messages exchanged between Nigeria and Seattle in the early hours of the detainment. More about this amazing piece here.

This is a quick hit fundraiser. On December 5th, we’ll print as many posters as we have orders for. Why December 5th? (Scroll down to find out.)

So don’t hit snooze. Get the details and place your order right now at

I realize $100 may not be possible for everyone. If that’s the case, consider chipping in with some friends. What a great reason for a party, each time you pass the poster on to the next person to enjoy for awhile. On the other hand, if you can afford more than $100, I hope you’ll buy lots of posters (great gifts) or make a larger donation here.

Please forward this email as far and wide as you can.

Many thanks,
Sandy Cioffi, Filmmaker

P.S. Apologies if you get this email more than once – we’re using multiple lists to make sure we reach everyone we know.

Why December 5th?
December 5th 2008 is the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. So what does this have to do with Sweet Crude? Well, you might know that John D. Rockefeller lobbied hard for the 18th Amendment. But what few people know is why. Teetotaling aside, according to some reports, John D. was really after Prohibition rather than Temperance, thereby shutting down the ethyl alcohol our ingenious and frugal forebears were distilling to fuel their vehicles. How else would Standard Oil, recently stripped of its monopoly, continue to capitalize on the burgeoning automobile industry? So now you know the rest of the story – or at least the theory of some theorists out there. We needed a deadline for our fundraiser and thought it fitting to commemorate this little known chapter in the annals of oil profiteering (and oil profiteering disguised as a religious crusade, at that).

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