November 23, 2007

UK-wide protests against Total Oil’s involvement with the Burmese military regime

Saturday 24 November 2007:
Burma solidarity protests will take place at Total petrol stations across the UK on Saturday as part of a day of action calling for the company to stop financing the country’s military junta. Over 30 petrol stations are being targeted, with protest locations including Bradford, Brighton, Cardiff, Guernsey, London, Manchester and Oxford.

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 are expected to take place at 11 Total petrol stations in the course of the day. A finale protest will take place at the Baker Street petrol station at 170-172 Marylebone Rd, NW1, from 4pm to 6pm. In Guernsey, campaigners are planning to protest at all 14 Total stations on the island, travelling by bus from one station to the next. [2]

The day of action is 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 Avaaz.org 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]

For more information contact:

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

[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:http://www.burmacampaign.org.uk/index.php/burma/campaigns/total-oil/10/121

[2] A full list of protests on 24 November, plus further information about the campaign, can be found at: http://totaloutofburma.blogspot.com

[3] See http://www.avaaz.org/en/burma_corporate/ Total’s products in the UK include its network of petrol stations, as well as such brands as Bostik (makers of Blu-tac) and Spontex cleaning products.

[4] See http://observer.guardian.co.uk/business/story/0,,2204744,00.html

[5] For reports, see http://totaloutofburma.blogspot.com

 


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