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 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7498902.stm
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.