The protest coincided with the first day of the largest United Nations climate change conference in history, which opened Monday in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Holding signs and chanting slogans, protesters representing 30 different Bay area environmental and anti-globalization groups braved the cold and the 7 a.m. protest start time at the Bollinger Canyon Road headquarters.
"Why Chevron? It's the biggest polluter and it's in our backyard," said Gopal Dayaneni, a member of Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project, one of the groups at the protest.
Sean Comey, Chevron spokesman, said the company welcomes constructive criticism, but what he heard from demonstrators was inaccurate and misleading.
"We work hard to protect the environment," Comey said, "and the issue of climate change, we take it very seriously."
Protesters urged Chevron to support equitable, science-based targets and solutions on international climate change, and called on the company to stop supporting campaigns that oppose national climate change legislation and stop expanding into heavier sources of crude oil.
Due to the protest, traffic was backed up onto Bollinger Canyon Road at Interstate 680, drawing looks from many drivers on one of San Ramon's busiest streets. Protesters even got a honk from diesel truck driving
The demonstration was organized by the Mobilization for Climate Justice West, a collaboration of about 30 Bay Area-based organizations. The protest started with about 100 people and dropped to about 60 later in the morning. Twenty nine people were arrested for violations including blocking traffic, trespassing and unlawful assembly, said San Ramon Police Lt. Dan Pratt. Most were cited and released, but a few were taken to jail for resisting arrest.
Cathy Kunkel, who sat with others locked arm-and-arm at the Chevron entrance gate, said she had been there since 6:45 a.m. and was still chanting there about three hours later. She said she feels Chevron is undermining climate policy by lobbying against it.
As she talked, those she linked arms with began to sing.
"We shall not be moved," they sang.
Reach Sophia Kazmi at 925-847-2122. Follow her at Twitter.com/sophiakazmi.