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A petition to FIFA – no slavery in our World Cup!

I’m not a soccer fan as such, but my father in law, husband and son all are. We are sure to be watching the World Cup in Brazil this year.
But can you believe that “Since 2012, roughly 900 workers have already been killed working on infrastructure for the World Cup [in Qatar], astronomically more than have died in any construction project in recent history. ” And that by 2022, thousands more may have died? And that many of these workers are effectively enslaved (passports removed and so forth)? And that FIFA have said nothing about this outrage?

We all think that if we had lived back in the days of slavery, we’d have sided with William Wilberforce (or insert a suitable abolitionist for your nationality here) and worked hard and campaigned to have slavery eradicated. But it hasn’t been eradicated yet – it’s still, shamefully, going on among us today – this is just one example. It shouldn’t be happening, but since it is, here’s our chance to stand with anti-slavery campaigners such as Stop the Traffik and make a difference.

If you have a minute, please sign the petition at this link. It states:

PETITION TO FIFA: Speak out against the atrocious labor abuses and needless deaths of migrant workers in Qatar, and call on the World Cup organizers there to improve conditions and compensate the victims’ families if they want the tournament to go forward.

Please also consider sharing the link with your followers, retweeting it and so on.

If you have more than a minute, you can read the Guardian article on the subject, or Amnesty International’s documents about Qatar. Or what FIFA itself has said about it… which isn’t much at all but still, in the interests of fairness…

Here’s the petition link again:
And there’s also a different one here.

No slavery in our World Cup!

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Hi all,

Just dropping by to say I’ve just read and signed an online petition asking Chevron to use its influence to stop the violence in Burma, and thought some/all of you might be interested.

The petition can be found here:

I was going to put this behind a cut but I think it’s too important. For background on what’s going on, here’s what the petition’s author sent me (ERI = EarthRights international):

As peaceful protestors are being shot down ERI is urgently requesting that the oil and gas industry (especially companies such as Chevron and Daewoo) – the industry that sparked the protests — to use its influence with the Burmese military to respect human rights.

The protests began weeks ago in part due to spiking domestic gas prices, and protestors, led by Buddhist monks, are demanding democratic reforms. Nonetheless, the multinational corporations involved in Burma’s natural gas industry, such as Chevron and Daewoo, have shown no sign of using their influence to protect human rights and prevent further violence.

The current protests, in which up to 100,000 people have thronged the streets of Rangoon and 26 other cities, are the largest challenge to the military since 1988, when thousands were killed after mass protests were brutally suppressed. According to Ka Hsaw Wa, ERI’s Executive Director, who was a student leader in those protests:

“As someone who experienced this regime’s brutality in 1988, I am glad that this time around, the world is watching. But that is not enough. The international community, including multinational corporations, must act now to prevent further bloodshed in Burma. The people have suffered profoundly for too long—they have already sacrificed so much, and they will not stop.”

The protests began on August 19th, when the military’s decision to sharply increase the price of natural gas and other fuels sent shockwaves through the economy. The military has recently responded with violence, killing at least several protestors (including monks) and arresting hundreds more. But the oil and gas corporations themselves, who are partnered with the military government in gas export projects, have shown no sign of trying to prevent further bloodshed. Instead, Daewoo International and the Thai gas company PTTEP initially announced plans to export more of Burma’s natural gas, and on September 25 PTTEP issued a statement assuring the public that their investment was not jeopardized by the unrest. A third company, India’s ONGC Videsh, along with India’s Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, traveled to Burma amidst the protests to sign three new deals to extract and export natural gas. And Chevron Corporation, the largest remaining U.S. company in Burma, has simply remained silent.

“The corporations who can influence the military junta know who they are. They must pressure the regime to maintain peace, and respect the rights to speech and association of the people of Burma. Instead, however, they are pursuing their business interests while people’s lives are at stake,” added Chana Maung, Director of ERI Southeast Asia. “The regime has resorted to violence against the peaceful protestors, and the companies now also have blood on their hands, but it is not too late for them to act.”

According to ERI Burma Program Coordinator Naing Htoo, “Whether they like it or not, the companies are not socially or politically neutral in the current unrest in Burma. They say that their presence in Burma helps, not hurts, our people. It’s time for them to put their money where their mouth is.”

DO YOUR PART – Sign our petition urging Chevron to use its influence to help stop the crackdown!
Read the Burma Project’s op-ed in the Bangkok Post:

Read ERI’s Background Paper on Chinese Investments in Burma:
(referenced by BBC News in their coverage of China’s role):

LISTEN to Public Radio International’s interview of ERI’s Southeast Asia Director:

Related News:
The UK Telegraph – Burmese Military Murders Kenji Nagai, Agence-France Press Photographer:
(the telegraph is a right-wing paper so this is not leftie-liberalism)

Total Denial continues – CNN Money Reports on French oil giant, Total SA

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Yay Supreme Court!

And yay for the White House agreeing to bring their policy in line… now they just need to actually hold some trials.
Can you say pleased?

(A side note – CNN’s take on the matter this morning: “Detainees to receive Geneva Convention privileges”. Eh?)

Here’s the BBC article:

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Time for action

So you all know what I think on legal stuff in Guantanamo – here’s the action to go with it. A petition to the EU Council leader Chancellor Schlussel, run by Amnesty International, requesting him to discuss Guantanamo Bay (and renditions) with George Bush this week when they meet. See:

(There are also other petitions on Amnesty as usual, including one involving Sudan, as I know some of you are interested in the situation there).

Break over, back to your scheduled service of muddy skipping Swiss cows with bells to a backdrop of Argentina beating Serbia at footie, complete with accompanying dramatic fallings-over, naturally.

ETA: Baby just crawled for the first time! Yay! Investing in a large rug was worth it. 🙂

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Prostitution at World Cup

I don’t quite know how I feel about legalised prostitution, but it appears that Germany are going to be importing a whole bunch of (possibly unwilling) prostitutes for the World Cup – that’s today. I don’t know what they plan on doing with them once the WC is over, but anyway…

Please consider signing the petition at:

More info

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