Sunday, December 14, 2008

60th Anniversary of UN Declaration of Human Rights

60th Anniversary of Human Rights Day (10/12/2008)

60th Anniversary of Human Rights Day (10/12/2008)

60th Anniversary of Human Rights Day (10/12/2008)

60th Anniversary of Human Rights Day (10/12/2008)

60th Anniversary of Human Rights Day (10/12/2008)

60th Anniversary of Human Rights Day (10/12/2008)

On the 60th Anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Burmese and solidarity groups held a demonstration at the Myanmar/Burma Embassy 19A, Charles St, London W1J 5DX (10/12/2008). There is no justice, freedom or respect for human rights in Burma. The protesters called for the release of all political prisoners in Burma. Ignoring international calls the regime has sentenced many more political prisoners in the last month to sentences as long as 65 years.

For details of Political Prisoners in Burma:
Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma)

Over 200 Asian Legislators urge UN Sec-Gen to travel to Myanmar, secure release of all Political Prisoners

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Amnesty International Human Rights Day London Event

Amnesty's 60th Anniversary of the UDHR

Amnesty's 60th Anniversary of the UDHR

December marked the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On Saturday 6th December, Amnesty International asked people to gather together in hundreds of locations around the world, holding up a light and forming the shape of the iconic Amnesty candle. The images captured sent a strong message of solidarity around the world, and showed our commitment to making the basic human rights articles laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 60 years ago, a reality for us all.

In London 30 AI groups held up a group-made banner representing one of the articles of UN Declaration of Human Rights, with a photo of from around the world of a person not lucky enough to be afforded that particular right. Barnet and Enfield Amnesty group had chosen Aung San Suu Kyi as somebody who does not enjoy the rights for this day. They held up a placard for article 7: "All are equal before the Law". Aung San Suu Kyi clearly does not enjoy this right in Burma as she is now in her thirteenth year of detention. Her party was elected in 1990 with 82% of the vote, but the corrupt Burmese military junta refused to recognise the result of the election that they had organised. Now they propose new elections in 2010 that are far from democratic as the military will retain absolute control and Aung San Suu Kyi is barred from standing in the new elections. Clearly the Burmese junta is intent on continuing to ignore Article 7 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights: "All are equal before the Law", despite Burma having signed it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Santa Boycott's Total Oil at Marylebone Rd

On 3rd December 2008, Santa Claus assisted by some merry elves, boycotted the Total petrol station at Dorset House, 170-172 Marylebone Rd, London. French Total Oil had been very bad all year, funding the brutal military regime in Burma with approximately 500 million dollars a year. Many passing taxis, buses and other motorists beeped their support for the boycott.

Whilst French Total Oil had profited all year from high prices and the misery it caused in Burma and elsewhere, Santa hoped people would remember just how totally disgraceful a year it had been for Total:

In January a French court made French Total Oil pay a large share of €200 million in damages to civil parties for Europe's largest oil tanker disaster. The Erika tanker disaster suffocated hundreds of miles of Atlantic coastline killing or injuring 300,000 sea birds. The court said Total, the world's fourth largest oil group, had failed to take into account the age of the ship and deficiencies in its maintenance. This carelessness had a "causal role in the sinking and, as such, provoked the accident", the judge said.

In October Total Oil was found guilty of price fixing. The European Commission fined nine firms that had been fixing the price of paraffin between 1992 and 2005. French Total Oil was fined 128.1million euros (the 2nd largest fine of the firms involved).

In December Total Oil faced criminal charges over Buncefield, Europe's largest peacetime blaze and the UK's largest peacetime explosion. Total is facing three charges — failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees; failing to protect persons not in their employment; and causing pollution to ground water in the vicinity of the plant. In October Total finally gave up 3 years of ridiculous denial that they were only liable for damages within 451m of the explosion, putting residents through years of "unnecessary struggle". Ironically Total's partner in Buncefield is Chevron (known as Texaco in UK), the same partner as in Total's Burma Yadana gas pipeline. Chevron and Total are arguing over responsibility for Buncefield : "Chevron, which owns 40 per cent of Hertfordshire Oil Storage Ltd. claims that Total alone should be responsible for the damage claims, on the grounds that the French company controlled Buncefield's employees and day-to-day operating procedures. "Total proposes that the focal point of the current litigation should be to ensure that Chevron, its joint venture partner, properly faces up to its responsibilities,'' the company said."

The Burmese have long suffered from Total Denial, but let's hope Total doesn't manage to get away with it for much longer in the UK and the Buncefield victims get total satisfaction in 2009.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

24 hour Hunger Strike/Fast for Burma's political prisoners

From Indymedia:

From 9am 26th November to 9am 27th November Burmese held a 24 hour hunger strike/fast in Parliament Square, London. Burmese Muslims, Buddhists and Christians all held prayer services for political prisoners in Burma. The brutal Burmese military dictatorship has recently sentenced student leaders and democracy activists to 65 years in prison. The Burmese were calling on UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon to visit Burma in December.

The event was sponsored by the NLD-LA UK ( - National League for Democracy is Aung San Suu Kyi's political party) and supported by Women of Burma - UK, Burmese Muslim Association, Burma Democratic Concern, Rep of NCUB, International Buddhist Monks Organisation and representatives of Burmese ethnic groups and other solidarity groups. The Burmese wore white (or white arm bands) as the prison uniform in Burma is white. Many Burmese visited throughout the day. Passers-by kindly signed a petition that was handed in to 10 Downing Street by the Burmese.

Sadly, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has just said he won't even visit Burma, despite being invited by the regime and a December visit being suggested for months.

The military junta in Burma has sentenced at least 215 political activists, monks, nuns and journalists during November, bringing the total number of political prisoners sentenced since last year's uprising to at least 384.

• Activist and famous comedian Zarganar, who had been organising relief supplies to survivors of Cyclone Nargis, received sentences totalling 59 years.

• Prominent Buddhist monk U Gambira, leader of the All Burma Monks' Alliance, who played a leading role in last year's Saffron Revolution, was given sentences totalling 68 years.

• Twenty-three members of the 88 Generation Students Group, who led the protests against fuel price hikes in August last year, including Min Ko Naing, were given sentences of at least 65 years each.

Ban says he won't go to Burma because there has been no progress, but it is his job to ensure progress happens. He won't bring change to Burma sitting behind a desk in New York. He must go to Burma and negotiate change, including the release of all political prisoners.

On 10th December the UN will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration proclaims "the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people." Surely the best way to celebrate the declaration would be for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to visit Burma and at least try to obtain the release of Burmese political prisoners.

TAKE ACTION: please fax/email Ban Ki-moon asking him not to abandon Burma's brave democracy activists to spend the rest of their lives in jail.

Download a message to fax at:
Or send a message via email:

40 Burmese Dissidents Given Prison Terms of up to 65 Years

Burmese Online Petition Request for Release of Political Prisoners in Burma


More Photos of 24 hour hunger strike/fast for political prisoners event:

Full Article on Indymedia with more photos

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Kilburn Total Oil Protest (27/08/2008)

Protest at Kilburn Total station, 409 Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, NW6 7QG on 27th August 2008 by French Total Oil is responsible since the mid 1990's for massively funding the brutal Burma junta and significantly helping to keep it illegally in power. Aung San Suu Kyi the 1991 nobel peace prize winner has been in detention for 12 of the last 18 years. Her party won the election in 1990 with 82% of the vote but the corrupt Burma junta did not allow her to take power. Why are 400,000 junta soldiers so afraid of one woman ?

A passer-by asks for his photo to be taken with his camera and then poses for our photo. We thank him for his support.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Southfields Total Protest (20/08/2008) protest at Southfields Total Station near Wimbledon. French Total Oil has played a significant role in keeping the brutal Burma junta in power through funding their oppression with hundreds of millions of dollars a year. The French Total Oil operated Yanda gas pipeline was built with slave labour.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Total Oil Protest Marylebone Road 13/08/08

There were roadworks at the Total Station making rather a mess, but the 5 protestors still manage to hold up banners for the passing vehicles and hand out leaflets to passers-by. Some of whom we were pleased to learn already supported us and were even on our emailing list. French Total Oil has collaborated with the brutal military junta since the mid 1990's, sponsoring the oppressive regime with 500 million dollars a year in payments from the Yadana gas pipeline. This arms and equips the brutal junta's war against the Burmese people and ethnic minorities.

8-8-88 Burma Protests and Bike for Burma Report

From Indymedia:

Friday 8th August marked the 20th Anniversary of the 8-8-88 Burma democracy uprising in which at least 3,000 unarmed Burmese protesters were murdered by the Burmese junta. In London the Burmese unveiled a glass memorial at the peace park near the Imperial War museum, held a protest for political prisoners at the Burmese Embassy and in the evening had an exhibition on Burmese political prisoners at the School of Oriental and African Studies. The following day the new generation of Burmese students and exiled activists held a Bike for Burma event around London to remember 8-8-88 and ask people not to forget Burma.

For Full Article, more pictures and news from Burma

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Clapham South Total Oil Protest for Burma

From Indymedia:

On 30th July six protesters from held a demonstration at the Ridge Total Service Station, 40 - 50 Balham Hill, Wandsworth, London SW12 9EL (near Clapham South). French Total Oil funds the brutal Burmese junta with 500 million dollars a year from the Total operated Yadana gas field, fuelling oppression and great cruelty in Burma. Next August 8th will mark the 20th uprising of the 8-8-88 protests in which 3,000 peaceful Burmese protesters were murdered by the Burmese junta.

Several vehicles entering the station were put off buying petrol and turned around. Although there were less passers-by than at some other protests, a high proportion were interested in the protest taking leaflets about Totalitarian Oil and about the Cyclone Victims in Burma.

Full Article, More photos and news from Burma:

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Chiswick Free Burma Protest against Total Oil

From Indymedia:

Six protesters from held a demonstration at Chiswick West Four Total petrol station, 137 Chiswick High Road, Chiswick W4 2ED on 23rd July. They called for French Total Oil to stop funding the brutal Burmese junta with hundreds of millions of dollars a year from the French Total operated Yadana gas pipeline. Burma earns most of its foreign currency from gas exports and spends 50% of its budget on the military in a war against its own people. Since the mid 1990s French Total Oil has played a significant role in keeping the brutal Burmese junta in power, against the wishes of the Burmese people.

The protesters "BEEP 4 BURMA BOYCOTT TOTAL" banner attracted support from passing cars, including a passing fire engine that beeped in support with the firemen on board waving their approval at the protest. About 400 Total Out of Burma leaflets and the same again for a leaflet in support of Burma Cyclone victims were handed out to passers-by.

At the Chiswick protest and earlier at 33 Cavendish Sq (where Total's UK Holding company is based), passers-by told the protesters they would not buy petrol from Total again.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Day of action for Burma in Chester

From Indymedia

Wrexham Women for Peace and supporters held a stall for Burma in Chester city Saturday July 19th to encourage people to boycott TOTAL petrol stations, to call for the release of all political prisoners in Burma, and to support those affected by Cyclone Nargis. In the afternoon, there was a demo outside Hoole TOTAL petrol station.

The morning sunshine was punctuated by torrential downpours and high winds, so it was a bit of a challenge to keep the stall upright and the leaflets dry. Nevertheless, Chester was packed with people for the Lord Mayor's parade, so we weren't short of punters.

In the afternoon, in slightly kinder weather, we held a noisy demo outside Hoole TOTAL petrol station. The response to our 'beep for burma' banners and placards was overwhelming. An irate TOTAL worker came out to shout at us for venturing onto the forecourt and to defend her employer on the spurious grounds that Shell - who she used to work for - is just as unethical. Yeah, we know that, but today is about Burma and TOTAL is the main culprit there.

It would be great if these demos were held at a frequency to cause real concern to TOTAL, and with the aim of shutting the petrol station down. Anyone in Chester or nearby up for this?


Friday, July 18, 2008

Bastille Day Card - Support Liberty in Burma

From Indymedia:

On July 14th three members of celebrated Bastille Day at the Institute Francais in London, calling on "Liberty Equality and Fraternity" with the Burmese "liberty" movement and the heroic prisoners of conscience in Burma. A Bastille Day card with approximately 150 signatures was sent to President Nicolas Sarkozy care of the French Embassy in London, highlighting French Total Oil's continuing shameful collaboration with the brutal Burmese dictatorship and calling for liberty for Burma.

The card contrasted the Bastille prison with the notorious Insein prison in Burma, where many prisoners of conscience have been suffering for years. In the recent Nargis Cyclone 36 of the prisoners were shot dead by guards and apparently four more died from torture during interrogation after the shooting.

The Bastille Day card also celebrated the recent release of French hostage Ingrid Betancourt from Columbia and called for Aung San Suu Kyi to be freed. Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for 12 years. Her party won 82% of the vote in the 1990 election but she was not allowed to take power by the corrupt Burma dictatorship that is kept in power by gas revenues from Total's Yadana gas pipeline (the pipeline map was used in back page of card showing displaced/destroyed villages and military camps for the pipeline).

We were grateful for the support of many passers-by, students studying French at the Institute and particularly the French people we met who knew of French Total Oil's collaboration with the dictatorship in Burma and were very critical of Total.

Full article with more picture and news from Burma

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Brighton Burma Fest (July 13th 2008)

Well done to Brighton's Free Burma Group for organising a Burma Fest fund raising event for Burmese Cyclone Nargis victims last Sunday July 13th in Preston Park Brighton. Two Burmese speakers spoke about Burma and their experiences. Talented musicians, great atmosphere and great people.

Brighton Free Burma Group:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Kilburn Total Oil Burma Protest 9th July 2008

From Indymedia:

Four protesters braved the rain on Wednesday 9th July to protest at Totalitarian Oil at Kilburn Total station, 409 Kilburn High Rd, Kilburn, NW6 7QG. For many years French Total Oil has been funding the brutal Burmese junta's oppression of the Burmese people, with hundreds of millions of dollars a year from the Yadana gas pipeline. The Burmese don't benefit from the gas exported to Thailand, instead they have suffered from forced labour and the military camps around the pipeline. The junta spends 50% of Burma's budget on the army and uses foreign currency it earns to buy weapons.

Last Thursday 10th July French Total Oil decided not to invest in the Iran South par gas field. Chief Executive of Total, Christophe de Margerie gave the following quote: "Today we would be taking too much political risk to invest in Iran because people will say: 'Total will do anything for money'" See

When Total began its investment in Burma it knew full well it would be significantly helping to keep one of the world's most horrible regimes in power and that it would lead to the abuse of the Burmese people. In 1996 one Total executive was quoted in the Financial Times as saying "unless the area is pacified, the pipeline won't last". In 1999 a French parliamentary mission reported: "The link between the military presence, the acts of violence against the populations and the forced labour is established as a fact. Total had to be aware of that." Of course Total was aware, many western companies had already pulled out of Burma for ethical reasons, but at the time in Burma Total would do anything for money. It has given the military junta hundreds of millions of dollars a year to buy weapons and crush democracy in Burma ever since.

Full Article and news from Burma

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Wimbledon Southfields Total Oil Burma Protests

25th June
25th June
2nd July
2nd July

From Indymedia:

On 25th June and 2nd July the team held a protest at Southfields Total Oil Station, 262 Wimbledon Park Road, London SW19 6NL. They leafleted the pedestrians attending the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament just down the road from the station. French Total Oil funds the brutal Burma junta with 500 million dollars a year and its gas pipeline in Burma was built with slave labour (see

Over the 2 protests we were able to distribute about 1,000 leaflets to the crowds attending Wimbledon, including many taxis. Some cars did turn away from the Total station and people were shocked to learn of Total's involvement in Burma. We even had a Total employee visiting Wimbledon show us a Total ID card and agree with our protest.

For Full Article more pictures and Burma News

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Real Disaster in Burma is the Government

The Real Disaster in Burma - animated film narrated by Ricky Gervais

Projection onto Waterloo Station Entrance

Home burned in Te Mu Der village on 4 June 2008
Bullets and shells left behind by the Burma Army after the attack

On the 25th June we joined Burma Campaign UK at Waterloo Station where they were projecting a video of the "The Real Disaster in Burma’, a short animated film narrated by Ricky Gervais, onto the entrance of Waterloo station. The animation makes the point that despite the devastating 2nd May Burma cyclone, the real disaster in Burma is the brutal military government and that they continue to terrorize and oppress the people of Burma.

The reality of the animation is only too clear in recent reports and photos from Free Burma Rangers medical teams: see above photos of a Karen home burnt down by the Burma army on 4th June 2008 during the displacement of 1,000 Karen villagers. The Free Burma Rangers article shows further pictures of land-mine victims and Karen village school children having to hide from the Burmese army. The Karen children are in great danger - a previous Free Burma Ranger article tells of a child they had previously treated being captured in December 2008, tortured, ankle tendons cut open, disemboweled and throat cut by the brutal Burma army. Over 3,200 Karen villages have now been destroyed by the Burmese Army, with 200,000 Karen currently hiding from the Burmese army in the jungles of Burma. Almost 150,000 Karen refugees have been living in Thai refugee camps for up to 20 years. As of October 2007, at least 500,000 people were estimated to be internally displaced in the country’s eastern States. This is, however, a conservative figure as no information exists for several parts of the country.

The Real Disaster in Burma - animated film narrated by Ricky Gervais

Burma Army Attacking and Displacing over 1,000 Karen People on 4 June 2008.

Atrocities Continue in Karen State, Burma (13-year-old son Wilbur Htoo tortured and disemboweled)