Wednesday, April 12, 2006

 

Protest! Protest! Protest!

Here is a link to a very disturbing picture. So disturbing that we’d only put up a link and not the actually photo because it’s only fair that people are given due warning. But it’s certainly worth a look- it shows a Karen man recently tortured and executed by the Burmese army. The genocide of the Karen people is intensifying-as an insider in Burma reports:

Troops have killed over 100 Karen people, displaced thousands more and burned down villages and crops in an ongoing crackdown that intensified last month

These 100 deaths are only the recent ones; adding to a sickening death toll-the genocide of the Karen is one of the regimes most prominent policies, one which they dedicate nearly 50% of their annual income to, and one which is funded by Total.
It’s an undisputable fact- the first payment by Total to the regime was used to by military weapons –these weapons were then used in the genocide of the Karen, a trend which has continued ever since. Filling up a Total directly funds the regime, and the genocide.
And the worst thing about this? People are funding it without even knowing it. Thousands of people will fill up at Total everyday completely oblivious to the genocide their money is going towards. And if a lot of them knew they wouldn’t be there filling up.
So what’s the best way to get the message across? One of the best ways we found is to hold a protest outside your local Total garage. Provided you do it peacefully it’s completely legal. Set up some banners, hand out leaflets to drivers and let people know what they will be funding if they will up at Total. It works! In just two hours at our last protest we had over thirty people drive out without filling up after we talked to them and countless more drove by and shouted their support.
So how do you go about sorting out a protest? The first thing to do is get together your fellow activists-friends, classmates, workmates; anyone who wants to join in. You can make your own banners or if you sign up to the Burma campaign (http://www.burmcampaign.org.uk/) you can ask them for free posters. Then you need some leaflets to give the drives, again you can send off to the Burma campaign for these or make your own. Then just head down to the nearest Total station for an hour and two and let people know what they are funding. You’ll be amazed how well it work-and remember-this spreads, every person who you talk to is likely to tell at least one or two other people or show some others the leaflets!
So get down there and let people know what Total are doing-remember-you can make a difference.

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