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)