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 WE DO...ACTIONS | ADVOCACY | AWARENESS | MATERIAL SUPPORT for BURMA

Annual Activities

We advocate "Freedom" for the people of Burma. To that end, we do various actions and activities all year round for advocacy, awareness and fundraising. Below are our activities in the year 2012.

Jan 22  Project Help Burma Fund Raiser
Jan 29 BADA Annual General Meeting 
Feb 19 Ko Zarna Public Speaking Event
Mar 10 Burma Human Rights Day Benefit

April 30 Walk Against Genocide
May 19 Asian Heritage Street Celebration
May 30 Chevron Shareholder Meeting Protest 
July 29 Run for Burma at SF Marathon
Aug 8 Berkeley Burma Day Flag Raising
Sept 9  Solano Stroll Parade and Booth
Sept. 29 Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Visit to SF
Nov 24 Annual Burmese Literary Talk

Dec 3 Protest at the Chinese Consulate
 

Peace for Burma/Burma Freedom Actions Campaign - 2007 back to top

Since its founding, BADA has been realizing actions and campaigns to help Bring democracy and freedom to the People of Burma. We have held countless numbers of protests, rallies, petitions drives and events. Due to the recent brutal Crackdown of hundreds of thousands of peaceful protesters led by Buddhist monks and nuns in Burma, BADA is currently working with all committed individuals and groups in the area and around the world to keep the Burma's issue alive and to bring democracy and freedom to Burma without any further delay. We are determine to finish the job that our fellow Burmese led by Monks, nuns started -- to establish a democratic government peacefully. Please help us in any way you can.


Boycott China Olympic Campaign (More detail here)

Chevron Out of Burma Campaign (formerly Unocal)

  • UNOCAL, A NEW BREED OF ENERGY COMPANY
  • THE DEADLY DEAL
  • THE PIPELINE KILLING FIELD
  • ENVIRONMENTAL RUIN
  • ECONOMIC MELT-DOWN
  • BURMAíS STRUGGLE FOR DEMOCRACY
  • A NARCO-REGIME
  • WHAT YOU CAN DO
  • ADDTL ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE (San Francisco Bay Area)
  • How to get Involved (San Francisco Bay Area)


  • UNOCAL, A NEW BREED OF ENERGY COMPANY back to top

    Unocal, a California oil corporation, is involved in a joint-venture with Burmaís brutal and repressive military regime. The junta which rules Burma has been condemned for its human rights violations by the U.S. Congress, U.S. State Department, AFL-CIO, European Union, United Nations, and Amnesty International. The UNís International Labor Organization, after years of investigation, has called for multilateral sanctions due to the pervasive use of forced labor throughout Burma. The military maintains its stranglehold on Burmaís people with weapons bought with foreign currency gained in partnerships with foreign oil companies. Unocal is one of the last American companies still doing business with Burmaís military regime.

    THE DEADLY DEAL back to top

    In February 1995 Unocal signed a contract with the junta to extract and transport natural gas using a pipeline from the Yadana Field located off Burma's coast. The pipeline goes from the undersea gas field across southern Burma and into neighboring Thailand. Unocal is a 28.26 % shareholder in this project.

    Its project partners are TotalFinaElf of France with 31.24 %, the Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) with 25.5 %, and the Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) with 15 %. MOGE is the energy ministry of the regime. Unocal's initial payments to the junta to gain the concession were roughly $20 million.

    (place map at right side of paragraph)

    THE PIPELINE KILLING FIELD back to top

    Of the gas pipelineís 218 miles, 41 miles cuts across southern Burma's Tenasserim region to Thailand. The pipeline area is the homeland of the Karen, Mon and Tavoyan peoples. These ethnic minorities have been under attack by the juntaís troops which are seeking to suppress rebellion and use civilians for forced labor on army projects.

    To completely control the pipeline region, thousands of people have been forcibly relocated and their homes and farms destroyed by the juntaís troops. Imprisoned in new settlements, these villagers have been forced to work without pay constructing roads, railways, and military bases, and clearing forest along the pipeline route. Many of them have been tortured, raped and murdered by the troops providing security for the pipeline. Unocal executives have been callous when confronted with accounts of this human rights abuse. "If you threaten the pipeline, there's gonna be more military. If forced labor goes hand in glove with military, yes, there will be more forced labor. For every threat to the pipeline there will be a reaction," commented Unocalís former President John Imle.

    A lawsuit against Unocal on behalf of victims of its Burma pipeline scheme, continues in a US Federal Court in California. Extensive testimony from victims and witnesses about abuses related to the pipeline form the basis of the suit. "The allegations of forced labor in this case are sufficient to constitute an allegation of participation in slave trading," stated Federal Judge Richard Paez, the first judge to preside over the case. Later, in a summary judgment,


    Federal Judge Ronald Lew found that the evidence suggests that Unocal knew that forced labor was being used and that (Unocal) benefited from the practice.

    Unocal and Total boast that their project brings gainful employment, education and health care to Burmaís people. They claim that they provide agricultural assistance and fair wages in the pipeline region. However, thousands of refugees continue to flee the pipeline area. The oil company development projects have been accused of doing little to help people in reality, and there are reports of their payments to civilians being confiscated by the military. Ka Hsaw Wa, Goldman Award winning director of EarthRights International, which has conducted extensive investigations in the pipeline area, comments that villagers there say that these projects are like when the man throws leftover bones at the dog.

    ENVIRONMENTAL RUIN back to top

    In Burma the gas pipeline cuts through precious ecosystems including dense tropical forest, disrupting the habitat of rare animals such as tigers, rhinoceros and elephants. It has destroyed wetland areas and demolished a wide swath of forest. Logging companies and poachers (including Burmese soldiers hunting elephants) are now able to enter the militarily secured area. A wildlife sanctuary established years ago by ethnic Karens is suffering clear-cutting.

    On the Thai side of the border, the pipeline cuts through a rainforest region, defying the protests of Thai environmentalists who objected to its encroachment on protected forests and its harm to some of the last herds of wild Asian elephants. Unocalís unwillingness to rein in its partners is part of a pattern of irresponsibility, commented Bhinand Jotirosaranee, one of the Thai protest leaders, "They are accountable for this environmental destruction, and are showing disrespect to local people who have cherished elephants for centuries."

    ECONOMIC MELT-DOWN back to top

    With a severe economic crisis in Asia decreasing Thailandís ability to fund large infrastructure projects, the actual need for the pipeline project has come into question. Thailandís PTT was unable to get the pipeline operating on schedule, and the electric utility company that was supposed to receive the gas has been late in completing its generating plant. It now appears that the gas from Burma is more expensive than, and probably of an inferior quality to, gas from Thailandís own Gulf of Siam, yet Thai consumers will still be forced to pay for the gas from Burma. In addition, Thailandís energy needs have decreased due to the slowdown in the nationís economy. But Unocal has persisted in promoting the pipeline project, and is actively involved in efforts to enhance the image of Burmaís regime while fighting off economic sanctions against the regime.

    BURMAíS STRUGGLE FOR DEMOCRACY back to top

    Burmaís military bloodily suppressed a popular uprising for democracy in 1988, killing thousands of unarmed demonstrators. In 1990 elections, the people of Burma overwhelmingly voted for the National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, who in 1991 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. But her party was never allowed to take office, and a junta of generals continues to keep a tight grip on the country. Weapons for the army have been procured with hard currency earned from deals with the multinational oil companies. In addition to providing foreign exchange to the junta, the petroleum deals have given it an incentive to cling to power indefinitely, in hopes of raking in billions of dollars in profits from the sale of gas through the pipeline.

    All investment in Burma has been controversial, with the oil company ventures particularly so. "These people are hurrying in to make cozy business deals while pretending that nothing is wrong," Aung San Suu Kyi told The Times Magazine, "They need to be reminded that this is one of the most brutal military regimes in the world and putting money into the country now is simply supporting a system that is severely harmful to the people of Burma." A grassroots movement for corporate withdrawal from Burma, based on South Africaís anti-apartheid campaigns, has resulted in widespread consumer boycotts, and local selective purchasing laws in over 21 cities. The United States government issued a ban on new American investment in Burma in 1997. Companies which have withdrawn from Burma following public criticism include the oil firms Petro-Canada, Amoco, Texaco, ARCO, and Baker Hughes, as well as Motorola, Apple Computers, Pepsi, and Levi-Strauss.

    A NARCO-REGIME back to top

    Unocalís Burmese government partner, MOGE, has been accused of being a primary money-launderer for the countryís massive heroin trade. Unocal has rejected calls for an investigation of its link to Burmaís drug trade. "Ití s the oil companies who prop up this corrupt narco-regime with lucrative payments and turn a blind eye to widespread heroin trafficking" said Robert E. Wages, President of the 85,000 member Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers trade union.

    Unocalís partnership with the brutal junta of Burma is not its only ugly aspect. Unocal has been involved in some of the worst oil spills and leaks in California history, and in a polluting gas plant on Lubicon Cree land in Canada. Unocalís cultivation of ties with the Taliban militia of Afghanistan, to promote a gas pipeline through that war-torn country, came under criticism from groups objecting to the Talibanís gender apartheid abuse of women, support of international terrorism, and involvement in the heroin trade. Unocal project sites in India and Indonesia have been marked by fatal violence against indigenous protesters by security forces in recent years.

    In 1998, a petition was submitted to the Attorney General of California by organizations and individuals calling for the revocation of Unocalís corporate charter, due to the companyís environmental devastation, complicity in crimes against humanity in Burma and elsewhere, and other forms of corporate misconduct. Called a company without a country by Business Week, Unocal has become notorious. Unocal severely downsized its US operations in 1997, selling its refineries and gas stations to another company, Tosco. It should be noted that the Union 76 gas stations are no longer owned by Unocal, so they are not subject to any boycott regarding Burma. After years of weak share prices and selling off assets, Unocal CEO Roger Beach, the high profile defender of the Burma pipeline project, was replaced in December 2000 by Charles Williamson, a longtime Unocal executive.

    Other petroleum companies still in Burma include a parallel pipeline group of Premier (UK), Nippon (Japan) and Petronas (Malaysia); as well as Halliburton, a Texas oil services company which Vice President Dick Cheney served as the CEO of until recently. Cheney has been a partner with Unocal in the lobbying groups USA Engage and National Foreign Trade Council which promote continued trade with Burmaís regime.

    In support of Burma's democracy movement, we call on Unocal to completely withdraw from Burma. All corporations should cease operations in Burma until genuine democracy is in place.

    WHAT YOU CAN DO back to top

    * Write to the new CEO of Unocal. Tell the company to withdraw from Burma! Send letters to:
    Mr. Charles Williamson, CEO Unocal Corporation 2141 Rosecrans Blvd., Suite 4000 El Segundo, CA 90245

    * Get more information on Burmaís pipelines, including the detailed report Total Denial II from EarthRights International: http://www.earthrights.org * Ask your school or investment group to divest any Unocal stock they own. *More information about additional ways you can become involved in the Unocal Campaign. Tel (415) 503-0888 E-mail: campaign@badasf.org

    ADDTL ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE (San Francisco Bay Area) back to top

    Continuing our campaign to pressure petroleum corporations to leave Burma by contacting members of their Boards of Directors, this week we write to Frank Herringer, board member of Unocal. This week (the week of February 4) please send a "Valentine card" to Mr. Herringer, who is Chairman of the insurance/finance company TransAmerica. This is coordinated with other Valentine's Day activities designed to draw Mr. Herringer's attention to Burma. The card can be store-bought or home made; simple (a red heart drawn on white paper) or elaborate.

    Address:
    Mr. Frank Herringer
    Chairman
    TransAmerica Corp.
    600 Montgomery St.
    San Francisco CA 94111 USA


    On your card, write a simple message, such as:
    "Have a Heart, Call for Unocal to Leave Burma"
    "The People of Burma Need Your Love. Unocal Out!"
    "Unocal's Burma Pipeline is a Heartbreaker!"


    Cards from children would be particularly effective. If you are having a meeting, party or other event, ask people to sign a giant Unocal withdrawal "Valentine" for Mr. Herringer.

    How to get Involved (San Francisco Bay Area) back to top

    For more information on how to get involved, contact Heidi Tel (415) 503-0888, E-mail: zquante@igc.org we write to Frank Herringer, board member of Unocal. This week (the week of February 4) please send a "Valentine card" to Mr. Herringer, who is Chairman of the insurance/finance company TransAmerica. This is coordinated with other Valentine's Day activities designed to draw Mr. Herringer's attention to Burma. The card can be store-bought or home made; simple (a red heart drawn on white paper) or elaborate.

    Address:
    Mr. Frank Herringer
    Chairman
    TransAmerica Corp.
    600 Montgomery St.
    San Francisco CA 94111 USA


    On your card, write a simple message, such as:
    "Have a Heart, Call for Unocal to Leave Burma"
    "The People of Burma Need Your Love. Unocal Out!"
    "Unocal's Burma Pipeline is a Heartbreaker!"


    Cards from children would be particularly effective. If you are having a meeting, party or other event, ask people to sign a giant Unocal withdrawal "Valentine" for Mr. Herringer.