Category: News

#BloodMoneyMyanmar – Global Week of Action against Oil & Gas industry (Oct. 25 – 31st, 2021)

Following the week of action in September coordinators of the Blood Money campaign decided to call for another week of action in October. This time with the focus on the oil and gas industry.

Global Call Theme
မြန်မာပြည်ကိုကယ်တင်ရေး စစ်ကောင်စီကိုငွေမပေး
Freeze Payments To Junta and Save Myanmar

#BloodMoneyMyanmar #FreezePaymentsToJunta #SanctionMOGE #Total_StopSponsoringSAC #Chevron_StopSponsoringSAC #BloodMoneyCampaignMM

Go to:
What YOU can do!Why the oil and gas industry?Materials
☆ Announced activities
(coming soon)


What YOU can do!


Why the oil and gas industry?

Revenues from the oil and gas companies are flowing through the state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) on to the military. MOGE is effectively a department of the Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE) and has entered four joint ventures for four different offshore gas projects: Yadana Project (operated by TotalEnergies and Chevron), Shwe Project (operated by POSCO International), Zawtika Project (operated by PTTEP), as well as the Yetagun Project (operated by Petronas – but currently production is halted). Approximately 80% of the gas is exported by pipeline to Thailand or China. MOGE acts as the revenue collector for the state’s royalties, profit share, and bonuses. Following the coup in February the military has control over all government bank accounts, including MOGE’s accounts.

According to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) revenues and associated taxes from MOGE are the larges single source of foreign exchange available to the military. The oil and gas industry was forecasted to earn the MOGE revenues of about USD1.5 billion in 2020/2021 according to the Ministry of Planning, Finance and Industry.
Each investor in the joint venture also pays 25% of corporate income tax on their net profit.

The Yandana Project is the only project with contracts that are publicly available. MOGE in its role as a state enterprise entered into a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with three “contractors”: TotalEnergies (31% ownership); Unocal, now Chevron (28% ownership), and PTTEP (26% ownership). MOGE participates in the PSC as a fourth contractor with 15% ownership. The gas is sold to PTT, the Thai state oil company and parent of PTTEP.

The gas produced is transported via a 63km onshore pipeline to the Thai border. The pipeline is managed by the Moattama Gas Transportation Company (MGTC), whose shareholding mirrors the joint venture participation under the PSC. In 2017-2018, MGTC paid taxes to the government and dividends to MOGE of USD141 million. Under the original agreement, these dividend payments can only be paid with the approval of PTTEP. TotalEnergies and Chevron and TotalEnergies is responsible for arranging payment of MGTC’s taxes. On 12th May 2021, shareholders of MGTC voted to suspend all cash distributions due to the unstable context in Myanmar.

TotalEnergies has an additional role as the “Operator” of the upstream production and the pipeline. This means that TotalEnergies is in charge of the day to day on site operations. It also facilitates the gas sales to PTT by submitting an invoice as a “representative” of the parties to the PSC.

According to TotalEnergies’s reports to the EITI, which is reproduced in the table below, the company appears to make revenue payments to MOGE in cash for cost recovery, MOGE’s profit share, the state profit share, and royalties.
TotalEnergies’s and MOGE’s Memorandum of Understanding states that, apart from the gas that is retained for domestic use, all MOGE entitlements under the PSC will be “‘taken ‘in cash’, i.e. paid to Myanmar and MOGE by the Foreign Participants in the Projects.” (earthrights.org, see section 4(d) of the Memorandum of Understanding)
This would suggest that at least TotalEnergies, if not also PTTEP and Chevron, are taking the gas, selling it and have cash liability to MOGE.

It is estimated that around 50% of Myanmar’s foreign exchange now come from gas revenues. These revenues are likely to be crucial to the military’s ability to import fuel, weapons and equipment and its attempts to overcome the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) and assert control of the state.

All supporters of the Blood Money Campaign should pressure the companies involved!

1. Stop all revenue flows from international companies to the illegal military junta!
2. Freeze all payments designated for the Government of Myanmar until democracy is restored in Myanmar (keep payments in Escrow Accounts)!
3. International governments – implement sanctions against MOGE, whose accounts are now under the control of the military junta!


Materials

Short presentation:

Introduction in different languages:

#BloodMoneyMyanmar – Online Protest

An online protest for the suspension of blood money to the Military Junta will be conducted from 25 Sept. to 30 Sept. on all social media platforms especially facebook and twitter.

The following activities are recommended to participate in this online protest:

  • Posting the demands from Blood Money Campaign facebook page and/or using own statements relate to the campaign (see below)
  • Posting photos with “Three Finger Salute Sign” together with the statements/demands (for examples see below)
  • Wearing red dress/shirt (or) painting red on white clothing to visualize blood stains and take photos to post on social media
  • Using own creatives (arts, graphics, comics, cartoons, memes, etc) related to blood money campaign.

Together with above activities, please also tag/mention the social media channels of @TotalEnergiesMyanmar on fb/ @TotalEnergies on twitter and @Chevron in your social media post.

Here are the recommended statements/demands to use in this protest:

  • Total and Chevron Corporations are responsible for all war crimes in Myanmar.
  • Total and Chevron, Stop accessories to murder.
  • Total and Chevron – Freeze all payment to MOGE until the power is restored by civilian government, NUG.

Please also use the following hashtags in your posts as much as possible:

#BloodMoneyMyanmar | #FreezePaymentsToJunta | #Total_StopSponsoringSAC | #Chevron_StopSponsoringSAC | #SanctionMOGE | #StopFundingCrimesAgainstHumanity | #ဖက်ဆစ်စစ်တပ်အမြစ်ဖျက်ဖို့_သွေးစွန်းငွေဖြတ်တောက်စို့

Some details on the involvement of TotalEnergies and Chevron can be found in the section of Blacklisted Companies.

#BloodMoneyMyanmar – Global Week of Action (Sept. 11- 18th)

Activists on the ground as well as the grassroot labour unions in the Federation of General Workers Myanmar (FGWM) have initiated the Blood Money Campaign. The campaign aims to pressure companies that keep doing business in Myanmar to freeze all payments there immediately in order to cut off financial resources for the military junta.

Every month a common day or week of action will be coordinated. The working group Asia of the International Confederation of Labour (ICL) together with the individuals and organisations who initiated the Blood Money Campaign and the IWW Ireland call on all emancipatory groups and organisations to join the Global Week of Action in September!

What you can do:

  • Show your solidarity and support on social media with the hashtags #BloodMoneyMyanmar #StopPayingToJunta #FreezeDollarToJunta
  • Plan direct actions in front of offices, branches and headquarters of companies active in Myanmar (e.g. Primark or Adidas stores, offices of Volkswagen or branches of DHL Deutsche Post Group). You will find a complete list and more material for a protest here). In line with the campaign theme of blood money, you can use visual elements like bloody dolls or hands soaked in red color to create a “shock effect”.
  • Send a letter of protest to the corporations that continue to do business with the military.
  • Support fundraiser such as We Resist – Burma: firefund.net/weresistburma

If you have questions or are planning actions, please let us know. Here you will find suggestions for flyer texts, sample letters of protest and image material.
Don’t forget to send a report of your activities: asia@icl-cit.org | bloodmoneycampaign21@gmail.com.

Show our comrades in Myanmar that they are not alone, show your worldwide solidarity!

#BloodMoneyMyanmar
#UnitedAgainstTheJunta


A next open online meeting for common coordinations in October 2021 is scheduled for
Sept. 19th2:30 pm UTCmeet.jit.si/BMCnetworking !

Sri Lanka: Appeal by Labour Unions

The situation in Free Trade Zones (FTZ) is very grave, with workers working through lockdowns, at great risk to their lives. A group of civil society organisations and labour unions working with FTZ workers are sending out an urgent appeal to the international community including international brands and embassies in Sri Lanka, to apply pressure on the Government of Sri Lanka to take immediate action to manage this crisis and vaccinate workers with immediate effect.
Currently comrades of the Global Garment Workers’ Solidarity Network (GGW SoliNet) are discussing specific actions with the Dabindu Collective in support. Stay tuned for updates in the coming weeks!

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Online-Meeting: Introducing Global Garment Workers’ Solidarity Network

May 30th (Sunday)

Following the #UnitedAgainstTheDragon movement the syndicates Free Workers’ Union (FAU) Hamburg and Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Hamburg as well as the activist group in/progress Braunschweig initiated the Global Garment Workers’ Solidarity Network (GGW SoliNet). It sees itself as part of the Global May Day network.

We, the working group Global Garment Workers’ Solidarity Network (GGW SoliNet), are an alliance of (grassroot) labor unions, initiatives and politically interested individuals, wanting to support labor struggles in the textile industry. […]
The excessive consumption of clothing can only take place to this extend because workers in the textile industry are exploited. Wage gaps and precarious working conditions only too clearly show the system of class society beyond national borders. Our goal must therefore be to critically question the modes of production with a global and anti-capitalist orientation and, in turn, to actively fight them on the ground together.

GGW SoliNet self-conception

We, as initiators of the GGW SoliNet, invite to a first online meeting to introduce this newly formed network and kick-off the networking process creating a broader basis for the GGW SoliNet.
For this meeting an online video conferencing tool will be used. Details below.

Self-organized. Anti-capitalist. In solidarity with struggling textile workers worldwide. GGW SoliNet!

event page on facebook


Suggested Agenda:

  • TOP1: Round of introduction
  • TOP2: Introducing GGW SoliNet
  • TOP3: Clarifying questions
  • TOP4: Open exchange of ideas
  • TOP5: Next steps

How to join the meeting

May 30th (Sunday) — noon EST, 4pm UTC, 6pm CET, 9:30pm IST
!! this time converter can help you find out what time 4pm UTC will be at your location !!

Virtual room: bbb001hz.makeutopia.de

Please enter your name (preferably incl. your location) when entering the room.
You can access the room on your computer, tablet or smartphone. You should accept access to your microphone. Activating your webcam is optional.

Students in Dhaka support CDM in Myanmar

Cultural activists as well as students organized with the Bangladesh Student Union (BSU) rallied today in Shahbag, a district of Dhaka. The protest was held against the military junta and its attacks on the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM). A particular focus was on the recent killing of poet Khet Thi.
The action also took place in the context of Call for International CDM Solidarity.

Myanmar poet Khet Thi, whose works declare resistance to the ruling junta, has died in detention and his body was returned with the organs removed, his family said.

A spokesperson for the junta did not answer calls to request comment on the death of Khet Thi, who had penned the line “They shoot in the head, but they don’t know the revolution is in the heart.” His Facebook page said he was 45.

source: theguardian.com

Among others the following speech was held in Bangla:

The people of Myanmar continue to fight for democracy in the face of intense repression. Those fighting against the dictatorship are killed in the streets every day. At least 750 people have been killed so far in the protests. But still the movement continues. They died for democracy. The military junta is not stopping and keeps using lethal violence in the streets. Every day organizers and activists of the movement disappear, including journalists, intellectuals, poets and writers who inspire the struggle for freedom. One of the latest victims is Khet Thi, a poet dedicated to the democratic movement in Myanmar.
The barbaric acts of the military junta is captured in the media emerging from various sources, both reliable and unofficial, in the midst of extreme repression. Nowhere in the recent past has there been so much loss of life for democracy in the world – as right now in Myanmar. However, the movement against the barbaric position of Myanmar’s military junta and the killing of people is far from over. Regional politics, regional interests, diplomacy is actually for whom? For the people or for the oppressive regime? If the rulers have the last word; if the issue of man and his freedom becomes secondary, then what are the United Nations good for? 
The Civil Disobedience Movement in Myanmar is also a motivating force against fascism and dictatorship in Bangladesh. The martyred poet Khet Thi of this movement is our nephew. Let us make clear our position against the brutal repression in Myanmar by demanding justice for Khet Thi’s murder. We sympathize with the struggle of the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar. At the same time, we unite our forces against all kinds of undemocratic, fascist forces at home and abroad.

#Call4InternationalCDMsolidarity
#WhatsHappeninginMyanmar
#1world1struggle

#GlobalMayDay2021: Rally in Stuttgart

The following report was shared with the Global May Day list:

On this year’s Workers’ Struggle Day, the FAU Stuttgart participated in the rally “#Solidarity – for a solidary togetherness” in Stuttgart East and contributed an online lecture to the May Day festival of the Gasparitsch neighborhood center.

More than 100 people came to the rally at Lukasplatz. Several speeches alternated with the atmospheric musical program of the saxophonist Moni Ramoni and provided for a varied atmosphere.

The speech of the FAU Stuttgart made the connection from the historical origin of May Day as a day of struggle of the workers’ movement for the 8-hour day to the present under the motto “30-hour week for all!”, which means working less but earning the same amount to limit our exploitation by the capitalist class. In times of the Corona pandemic, our working time conditions tightened, according to the speaker of the FAU Stuttgart: “Almost en masse, the bosses jumped at the opportunity to send workers home temporarily. For this, there was money from the employment agency, i.e. from the state. Those of us who were at work during this time often had to work double time. This is class struggle, but this is the class struggle from above, this is the class struggle against us: the bosses make us work harder in less time and get our money stuffed in their mouths through the state. What comes out of it? Correct! Fat profits at the turn of the year – like at Daimler here in Stuttgart, for example. That’s not what we want!”

But he also made it clear that we don’t have to just accept this and that there are alternatives to these methods of the bosses:

“What we have to do together at work is stick together. What we have to do together is to resist the class struggle of the bosses! What we want to achieve is that all of us together, you, me, us here and everyone else from our class finally turn the tables. Let’s attack! We want less work pressure! We want the rich to pay for the crisis! We want to work less! We want full wage compensation! We want full staff compensation! We want more free time and all that for everyone! We workers need militant unions! Organize with us in the FAU, let’s fight side by side, shoulder to shoulder!”

At the information table of the FAU, the numerous interested people could take, among other things, the current May Day newspaper of Direkte Aktion. We had many conversations that day about current labor conflicts of the FAU and how we are active locally as a union. Visitors to our information table took away about 100 protest postcards about the labor conflict at the Bookstore Walther König.

At the end of the rally, we sent solidarity greetings to all struggling workers worldwide under the motto #1world1struggle – global mayday – and thus also made the international reference of May Day clear.

Report in German: stuttgart.fau.org
The left (white) banner reads: Onto the barricades for a dignified life!
The (blue) banner in the Background: 30 hour week for all! Less working hours. More free time. Full compensation.
And the (wheat-colored) banner in the center reads: Solidarity with the fighting colleagues/comrades!

Hamburg: Starbucks, stop funding #TigrayGenocide!

As part of the Global Week of Action in solidarity with the population in the Tigray region shared by the collective Horn Anarchists and originally published by the Indigenous Anarchist Federation comrades of the Free Workers’ Union (FAU) Hamburg and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Hamburg rallied at a Starbucks in the city center.

Leaflets (see .pdf below) were distributed to passers-by and customers. The branch manager was not present, therefore workers inside confirmed to forward a copy of the leaflet to the manager.

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Online-Meeting: What’s next after #GlobalMayDay2021?

May 9th (Sunday)

Global May Day 2021 is over. Let’s reflect on the Global May Day coordinations this year and consider next steps, for example coordinations related to the Call for International CDM Solidarity and the call for Starbucks to stop funding #TigrayGenocide.

Don’t worry about joining for the first time. Everyone sympathizing with the Global May Day self-conception is invited to join the meeting!

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