Sunday, November 18, 2007

Avaaz on Total Oil and Burma

Far from the headlines, the crisis in Burma continues--fueled, in part, by international oil corporations like Total Oil and Chevron/Texaco. These corporations don't just fund the junta; they lobby on its behalf in capital cities around the world. These are the same companies many of us fuel up with. That means our pressure as consumers has the power to force change—and it's our responsibility to act.

Will you pledge to join the global boycott of Chevron and Total? The boycott will last until the companies withdraw from Burma, or until the Burmese junta begins a genuine democratic transition and frees all political prisoners--including Aung San Suu Kyi. We'll deliver all the pledges and comments straight to the top management of Chevron and Total. You can see what brands to avoid in your country and take the pledge, at:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/burma_corporate

French oil giant Total (which also owns ELF and FINA) and U.S.-based Chevron (which also owns Texaco, Caltex an Unocal) have been operating the Yadana natural gas pipeline in southern Burma since the early '90s.The junta takes in an estimated $450 million a year from the Yadana project alone--and uses that money to maintain its brutal control, while most people in Burma live in dire poverty. To keep their profits flowing, Chevron and Total lobby hard in the U.S. and Europe against government measures to support a democratic transition in Burma.

For companies like this, it's all about the bottom line. We must show them that if they keep backing the Burmese dictatorship, they will lose their customers--by the tens of thousands, the hundreds of thousands, even by the millions.

With enough pressure in the pocket book, we could actually get these companies to switch sides--using their enormous leverage with the Burmese regime to push for the democratic reforms necessary to call off the boycott. It just requires more loss from the boycott than profit from the junta.

Could that happen? Yes--if we act together. That's why we're raising a call for an international boycott of Total and Chevron. The pledge: to refuse to buy fuel from any Total, Chevron, ELF, FINA, Texaco or Caltex station in our home countries and wherever we travel. The boycott will last until the Burmese junta begins a genuine democratic transition and frees all political prisoners--including Aung San Suu Kyi --or until these companies exit Burma completely.

To make sure our voice is heard, we'll deliver all the boycott pledges and comments straight to the senior corporate management of Chevron and Total Oil. You can add your name to the boycott pledge today, at:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/burma_corporate

We've all witnessed the rise of global corporations whose power crosses national boundaries. But today, Chevron and Total are going to witness the rise of something greater: global people power. Today, as consumers and wold citizens, we stand up together to demand justice for the people of Burma – and our voices will be heard.

With hope,

Ricken, Paul, Pascal, Graziela, Galit, Ben, Milena, Sarah, Iain - the whole Avaaz team

P.S. Chevron and Total often try to hide behind the argument that their presence benefits the Burmese population. But the call to target Chevron and Total comes directly from the people of Burma themselves:

"Total has become the main supporter of the Burmese military regime."

-- Aung San Suu Kyi
Nobel Peace Prize winner and last elected leader of Burma