Sunday, November 25, 2007

Totally Out of Order: A Day of Action

(From our press release issued 25 Nov. Further details and photos from the various protests will be posted soon.)

On Saturday 24 November, protests were held at 36 Total petrol stations across the UK. The protests called upon Total Oil to pull out of Burma and stop financing the Burmese military regime [1]. Protest locations included Bradford, Brighton, Chatham (Kent), Cardiff, Guernsey, London, Manchester, Oxford, St Albans and Virgina Water (Surrey).

Blockades occurred at some stations, with several lasting for an hour or more. In Camden 10 protestors blocked the York Way Total station for an hour, while 15 students in Surrey blockaded the Virginia Water petrol station for more than 2 hours. Throughout the UK the protests received support from motorists and pedestrians alike. Many drivers turned away from the petrol stations upon seeing the protests, some informing protestors that they would not to buy from Total again. At all the targetted petrol stations business was noticeably slow, and in some cases virtually non-existent, during the protests.

Paul Golding, one of the protestors, said, "Total’s investment in Burma is the largest in Europe. By paying millions of dollars to the Burmese dictatorship every year they are helping keep it in power. If the West wants to help end the oppression and ongoing human rights abuses in Burma, then quite simply, we must stop our companies from funding the oppressors."

In London, protests took place at 14 Total petrol stations during the course of the day. The final protest in London attracted over 30 supporters and took place at the Baker Street petrol station on Marylebone Rd, NW1, from 4pm to 6pm. In Guernsey, campaigners protested at all 14 Total stations on the island, and picketed the main station on the island for 3 hours. [2]

More photos can be viewed at

Contact: totaloutofburma[at]

The day of action was part of a growing global campaign calling on French oil company Total to stop funding the Burmese junta:
Boycott: Last week, the global internet advocacy website launched a global boycott of Total, as well as US oil company Chevron, for their presence in Burma – with nearly 50,000 signing up in ten days [3].
Divestment: European pension funds withdrew almost £110m in investments from Total in a matter of days in protest at the company's involvement in Burma. [4]
Popular protests: Since October weekly protests have taken place in London outside Total Oil's offices. Other spontaneous protests have occurred outside Total garages around the UK. [5]

[1] Total Oil has had a joint business venture with the Burmese government since 1992. Its major project is the Yadana gas project in southern Burma, which earns the military regime hundreds of millions of dollars every year. Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s democracy leader, has said that “Total is the biggest supporter of the military regime in Burma.” For more information about Total Oil's investment in Burma see the Burma Campaign UK website:
[2] A full list of protests on 24 November, plus further information about the campaign, can be found on this blog.
[3] See Total’s products in the UK include its network of petrol stations, as well as such brands as Bostik (makers of Blu-tack) and Spontex cleaning products.
[4] See,,2204744,00.html
[5] See reports on this blog.

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