Boycott Kos until Chevron Ad is Dropped – *UPDATE*

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Everyone has seen it and marveled at the disconnect between progressive ideas
and taking money from a evil petrocorp.  Its been rationalized and
poo-poo’ed.  I saw the ad myself just a couple of days ago. In the past
week it has taken on a new significance as the situation in Burma has gone from
bad to worse. It is especially significant today since this is
International Blogger’s Day for

Several kosnics have brought it up the past week
.  And the usual
suspects just say something sarcastic about how this has "been discussed before"
so shut your fucking pie hole and don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

here we go
. . (31+ / 0-)
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by andgarden on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 11:14:51 AM PDT

The Kos junta can not be moved by the pleas of of the people in the
people-powered movement. But the greater blogosphere is a buzz with Anti-Chevron fervor

Amy Goodman poked a stick in their eye

The image was stunning: tens of thousands of saffron-robed Buddhist monks
marching through the streets of Rangoon [also known as Yangon], protesting
the military dictatorship of Burma. The monks marched in front of the home
of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who was seen weeping and
praying quietly as they passed. She hadn’t been seen for years. The
democratically elected leader of Burma, Suu Kyi has been under house arrest
since 2003. She is considered the Nelson Mandela of Burma, the Southeast
Asian nation renamed Myanmar by the regime.

After almost two weeks of
protest, the monks have disappeared. The monasteries have been emptied. One
report says thousands of monks are imprisoned in the north of the country.

No one believes that this is
the end of the protests, dubbed “The Saffron Revolution.” Nor do they
believe the official body count of 10 dead. The trickle of video, photos and
oral accounts of the violence that leaked out on Burma’s cellular phone and
Internet lines has been largely stifled by government censorship. Still,
gruesome images of murdered monks and other activists and accounts of
executions make it out to the global public. At the time of this writing,
several unconfirmed accounts of prisoners being burned alive have been
posted to Burma-solidarity Web sites.

The Bush administration is
making headlines with its strong language against the Burmese regime.
President Bush declared increased sanctions in his U.N. General Assembly
speech. First lady Laura Bush has come out with perhaps the strongest
statements. Explaining that she has a cousin who is a Burma activist, Laura
Bush said, “The deplorable acts of violence being perpetrated against
Buddhist monks and peaceful Burmese demonstrators shame the military

Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice, at the meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, said,
“The United States is determined to keep an international focus on the
travesty that is taking place.” Keeping an international focus is essential,
but should not distract from one of the most powerful supporters of the
junta, one that is much closer to home. Rice knows it well: Chevron.

Fueling the military junta that
has ruled for decades are Burma’s natural gas reserves, controlled by the
Burmese regime in partnership with the U.S. multinational oil giant Chevron,
the French oil company Total and a Thai oil firm. Offshore natural gas
facilities deliver their extracted gas to Thailand through Burma’s Yadana
pipeline. The pipeline was built with slave labor, forced into servitude by
the Burmese military.

The original pipeline partner,
Unocal, was sued by EarthRights International for the use of
slave labor
. As soon as
the suit was settled out of court, Chevron bought Unocal.

Chevron’s role in propping up the
brutal regime in Burma is clear
. According to Marco Simons, U.S.
legal director at EarthRights International: “Sanctions haven’t worked
because gas is the lifeline of the regime. Before Yadana went online,
Burma’s regime was facing severe shortages of currency. It’s really Yadana
and gas projects that kept the military regime afloat to buy arms and
ammunition and pay its soldiers.”

The U.S. government has had
sanctions in place against Burma since 1997. A loophole exists, though, for
companies grandfathered in. Unocal’s exemption from the Burma sanctions has
been passed on to its new owner, Chevron.

Rice served on the Chevron
board of directors for a decade. She even had a Chevron oil tanker named
after her. While she served on the board, Chevron was sued for involvement
in the killing of nonviolent protesters in the Niger Delta region of
Nigeria. Like the Burmese, Nigerians suffer political repression and
pollution where oil and gas are extracted and they live in dire poverty. The
protests in Burma were actually triggered by a government-imposed increase
in fuel prices.

Human-rights groups around the
world have called for a global day of action on Saturday, Oct. 6, in
solidarity with the people of Burma. Like the brave activists and citizen
journalists sending news and photos out of the country, the organizers of
the Oct. 6 protest are using the Internet to pull together what will
probably be the largest demonstration ever in support of Burma. Among the
demands are calls for companies to stop doing business with Burma’s brutal



EarthRights continues to pound Chevron

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.”

For example, Chevron, through
its takeover of Unocal, is a partner with the junta in the notorious Yadana
natural gas pipeline project. Unocal’s construction of that project involved
mass forced labor and other human rights abuses, committed by the army on
Unocal’s behalf. Moreover, Chevron Corporation is one of the largest foreign
investors in Burma. Their Yadana project funnels tens of millions of dollars
to the regime, money the military desperately needs to retain its
stranglehold on power.  Despite Chevron’s material support for the regime,
and direct complicity in extensive human rights abuses, Chevron claims that
it can play a positive role in contributing to the protection of human
rights. Empty rhetoric is not a substitute for action, however, and now
is the time for action. Given Unocal/Chevron’s shameful behavior thus far,
Chevron owes the people of Burma a moral obligation to immediately use its
influence with the regime to help prevent the mass slaughter of peaceful


Other bloggers are joining in. 

Here is what was on the Huffington Post – The most widely read lefty blog

had to say on the ads and the Burma situation.

Chevron’s green wash of an ad campaign could shape its global policy
. My
colleague, Judy Dugan, at makes a great argument in calling on
Chevron CEO David O’Reilly to "immediately sever Chevron’s ties to Myanmar’s
brutal government and personally speak out against its violent suppression of
peaceful protest."

Judy really socks it to O’Reilly on the hypocrisy front. Her letter:

"Dear Mr. O’Reilly,

"Chevron’s lavish new image-advertising campaign makes your 65,000
employees look like the Peace Corps, sowing harmony and good feeling
across the world. Yet as you well know, the smiling families, poets and
sports coaches shown in your 2.5-minute debut television ad, "Human
Energy," don’t make corporate policy.

"Chevron’s continued lucrative investment in the natural gas fields of
Myanmar fuels a despotic regime that has focused its "human energy" on
violently suppressing its citizens — including the murder of Buddhist
monks and the apparent point-blank killing of a Japanese news

"You could have divested the Myanmar fields when Chevron bought their
operator, Unocal, in 2005. Chevron said last year that it was considering
such action, but failed to take it.

"You and your corporation have been silent as Myanmar troops fired on
democracy proponents, beat them and incarcerated them. You have been
silent about the continued imprisonment and intimidation of Aung San Suu
Kyi, whose overwhelming 1990 election to lead the nation was overturned by

"Your ad campaign, which a Chevron official said would cost ‘in the high
tens of millions’ of dollars, portrays a company that deeply cares about
the world and its future. Given your investment in Myanmar alone, that is
a gauzy, gorgeous lie.

"We urge you to immediately sever Chevron’s ties to Myanmar’s brutal
government and personally speak out against its violent suppression of
peaceful protest."

Now let’s see if Chevron finds any truth in its advertising.


Human Energy.  Is that like people-powered? Even Kos sister Firedoglake nipped at Chevron

Brave bloggers and their friends outside Burma
are trying to keep
information flowing to the outside world. Firepup Bob in HI sent me a set of
great links he found in the

– including Mizzima News,
Irawaddy News which reminds us
of the international oil companies including Chevron still doing business in
Burma, and Democratic Voice of Burma.


Many Blogs will be staging more protests in the upcoming days. Docudharma is onboard too. Kisses Budda CORRECTION: 
Buhdy and DocuDharma just support posting images and not doing much else. 
fully support Kos running the ad


We will be holding the CHEVRON PROTEST through FAX and PHONE calls on TUESDAY
October 9th from 1:00pm-3:00pm Pacific Time (9:00pm-11pm GMT).

Chevron pays millions of dollars in oil and gas royalties to the current
military junta. We will demand that they put these royalties in escrow for the
legitimate, elected government of Burma headed by Aung San Suu Kyi. These monies
are being pocketed by the military leaders – it is not their money.

Below is the contact info for each
Chevron office throughout the world.


Will Kos just stop running the Chevron ad once and for all.  Or at least run this as

Free Burma!

But we all know when it comes to
MAMZ, its all about
the money.


*** UPDATE ****

Kos blinks. 
Sort of.
Bending to the Pressure HERE and by a brave martyr at DocuDharma
they sent out Meteor Blades since he is their Trojan caring liberal to post on
Burma.  Day is nearly over but still its something.  NO OFFICIAL
WORD THE AD HAS BEEN DROPPED.  Or for that matter that they even have the
ad.  I found Meteor’s post ironically funny.  Once again special
thanks to Big Tent Dharmacrat for building a fire under the poseurs. Had Budhy joined in the boycott maybe they would have trotted out MB sooner.

*** UPDATE 2****

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This is NOT a photoshop. This is the page I got not one minute ago. Is this supposed to be Kos sticking it to the man? A bad joke? Or just sloppy webmastering. I will leave it to the blogosphere to decide. So very Crass. Will you join us now Buhdy?

*** UPDATE 3****

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As of 11:15 AM this morning the ad is STILL running. They just dont care. Or like other petty dicators MAMZ will just keep running it to prove how macho he is. Fuck you dirty hippies.

PRAISE THE MARTYR carlos oaxaca!!


Skip to comment form

    • Armando on October 5, 2007 at 3:07 am

    good for you dude.

    I admire you on this one.

    I have to admit I was wrong on your intent. You have convinced (or fooled) at least me with this repost.

    This is an issue from the heart for you.

    Hats off. Recommended.

    I had some queries in the last thread.


  1. by pretending Big Tent Dharmacrat is not you.

  2. While I understand the point of boycotting a website that has an ad that is complicit in supporting the Burmese junta, I see that symbolic boycott as pretty ineffectual. My site visits to Dkos are way down anyway and no one would know or care whether my visits dropped to zero.

    Instead I’d rather boycott the actual company and its subsidiaries. There are also companies that operate in Burma that are on a clean list

    which include:


    Anheuser-Busch International Inc, Budweiser (thankfully, there are better tasting beers below)

    Apple Computer





    Levi Strauss Inc

    Liz Claiborne




    I think that pushing for a mass boycott of even a single oil/gas company would be a great way to get people focused on action. I’d like it if we could boycott and turn the tables on other corporations that are profitting massively on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well.

    For a long time I’ve felt my vote was essentially worthless, but my meager dollars still mean something. Our dollars together mean even more. Time to get organized and take a stand collectively, more than symbolically.

    The symbolic bills that happens in Congress are bullshit. Symbolic action from us at this point is bullshit. Time to start to push back for real.

    • pfiore8 on October 5, 2007 at 3:29 am

    by making it soooo much about kos or dKos… who cares?

    i’m not cynical as some who might think you’re just using this issue to show kos up as a hypocrite.

    i’m not as good an editor as some… who might see a simple list of the progressive sites running chevron ads (with a challenge to remove them) as more powerful than making it about kos… or is credible the word i’m looking for…

    but whatever the reasons, you got us talking about it and taking a look at ourselves… boycott kos… interesting dilemma… interesting question… and unexpected

    so thanks

  3. but i find it really difficult to understand how calling out a particular website helps burmese citizens at all. 

    it seems to be a manipulation of visible and tragic event to bolster what is basically a nonsensical argument

    • timber on October 5, 2007 at 3:40 am

    Before–it was intra DK blog civil war.

    Then now it is blog wars–between PFF and DD, PFF and DK.

    It is entertaining but sad.  It reminds me of  my 4,7, 8 year olds nephews and nieces quarreling.

  4. oh you mean that annoying Hillary fund raiser guy, he’s got his own site does he?

    • fatdave on October 5, 2007 at 4:08 am

  5. On May 20, 1997, in response to the Burmese Government’s large scale repression of, and violence against, the Democratic opposition, President Clinton issued Executive Order 13047 declaring a national emergency with
    respect to these actions and policies of the Government of Burma. The order, issued under the authority of section 570(b) of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1997 (Public Law 104-208) and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706)(IEEPA), prohibits new investment in Burma by U.S. persons and U.S. persons’ facilitation of new investment in Burma
    by foreign persons.

    On July 28, 2003, the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 (BFDA) was signed into law, to restrict the financial resources of Burma’s ruling military junta, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). The BFDA requires the President to ban the importation into the United States of products of Burma, beginning 30 days after the date of enactment of the BFDA, as well as to consider blocking the assets of certain SPDC members and taking steps to prevent further financial or technical
    assistance to Burma until certain conditions are met. source

    Here’s an interesting discussion of the embargo by someone in the gem trade Thoughts on the US Embargo Against Burma.

    An article about a proposal for the UN to impose an arms embargo Amnesty Presses UN For Burma Arms Embargo

  6. does that mean I get to meet Claude Rains?

  7. of International Blogger’s Day for Burma. 

    To continue to serve up the ad.

    Screenie taken just moments ago.

    They don’t appear to really care.

    But they had MB post to show they care. 

    Now they can get back to taking about polls and fundraising!

    And running that damn ad their own users have issue with.

    Is this any different than Victory coffee and his Penn state issues?  Is it too much to ask Kos to do the decent thing.  At least for appearenes.

    Everytime the ad is served up its a slap in the face anyone revved up about the issue.

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  8. I have a copy of The Nation from several years ago. On the back is a full page Fox News Channel ad. I’m quite sure they would have taken a similar ad from Chevron.

    • Armando on October 5, 2007 at 4:50 am

    in the end, I think this has turned into a very interesting and fruitful discussion.

    I want to thank the diarist again for reposting.

    good night all.

    • nocatz on October 5, 2007 at 4:56 am

    Just sharing here:

    I don’t know if they had an actual policy of who they would refuse money from.  I’m guessing it started with known illegal activities, but I’m not sure how much further it went, being only a dirt scratching grunt. I had to answer a lot of “How come you’re taking money from THEM?”
    My usual response was ,” ’cause that’s who’s got the money. We can’t do the stuff we do without it. I guess we could ask only honest working folk who can’t afford health insurance ….etc. ”  Various corporations used their donations as propaganda of course….and the BOD was at least as scary as corporate donors. I kept my nose in the dirt as long as I could.  I finally quit.  That wasn’t the only reason, but it did contribute to making it VERY difficult to get out of bed.

    • Twank on October 5, 2007 at 10:10 am

    I saw your title and got an instant erection.

    Fuck the kos!

    • snud on October 5, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Over at The Big O.

    • fisheye on October 5, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    the Chevron ad on Kos I thought it was a joke. Then the thought flashed throught my head that Chevron was actually establishing some tangible progressive resource management program. Then I just was confused. This was prior to the to Burmese crackdown (killings).
    I’ve participated in many a campaign to encourage advertisers to stop placing ads on sites of politically and socially offensive people and institutions, through the Kos community.
    I really would like to understand the logic and ethical argument behind the reversal of taking money from for ads by Chevron from progressive bloggers.
    I still watched nature shows despite their sponsorship by Mobile. I still attended the NAACP Democratic presidential debate, despite the litany of socially offensive corporate sponsors.
    They are good causes sponsored by sometimes bad companies.
    A current tenent of the progressive blogs is to stem or reduce our dependence on foriegn energy and reduce fossil fuel consumption.

    Does Chevron support the opinions of the Daily Kos community? Does Daily Kos support Chevron’s policy’s of propping up brutal repressive regimes to sustain our energy sources?

    • fisheye on October 5, 2007 at 3:03 pm
  9. but the add has always bothered me. The dkos site has grown to what it is mostly due to anti-war and anti-bush sentiment. The silent power- large coparate money has supported going in to Iraq and has shown no interest or effort in withdrawal from this war. So I have assumed that the big money has fully endorsed this effort. At the center of this war is oil and Chevron is big oil. So to build your movement on anti-war and then take money from big oil, the power behind the war seems a high price for a seat at the table. And now there are these human rights violations cited in your essay. In any case there appears less and less to believe in.

  10. after spending the time I have following the global money, it has been disappointing to not see similar inclinations on the orange.  Congress is in chains, utterly captive to the nascent national appeasements towards US creditors, but the fan mail still won’t stop, will it?  Someone over there nursing their own secret dreams of candidacy must like having Democratic corporate thugs eat from the palms of orange hands.

    Good for bringing this up.


    BTW I was already addicted to the higher oxygen levels over here anyway.

  11. But also boycott Kos simply because Kos is Kos. 

    And as far as energy goes.  Try researching a guy by the name of Nicola Tesla.  There are many stories but the one which sticks out in my head further illustrates the Satanic nature of “captains of capitalist industry”.

    Mr. Tesla being the scientist had this dream of free, cheap and easily distributable energy.  In order to continue his experiments however he needed funding from another (infamous) character named J.P. Morgan.  When Tesla made his presentation JP was less than impressed, instead JP wanted to know how Tesla could meter and therefore how JP could charge for the energy used.

  12. Dkos is not alone in this. I watch KO and end up screaming at the ads. I listen to Air America, and laugh and cry at the ads. I say to myself why do these corpse’s advertise here? Because they are clueless to the battle that rages, much like the pols. The dilemma seems to be do the voices that need to be heard have to take the money from those that are the problem? I think yes in the world gone mad we live in.

    Jeezus, I sound like the Major Danby of Dharmatists here but if Dkos needs money to keep going and grow then take it. No strings attached and the open forum to allow people to air their views about these fuckers. Didn’t some famous rad say something about selling ropes to hang ones self. Boycott the main source be it Chevron or Walmart but if these evil bastards advertise on progressive megaphones then they are the fools.

    Do we wish to become nothing more then the Peoples Judaen Front? or have a voice which reaches beyond? I came here because Dkos represents electing Democrats warts and all and I don’t feel this is the solution but to boycott? Don’t think so you need to speak to those who are at least aware of the battle and if Chevron or Dennis Hooper and some stinking fund wants to waste their money good on. 

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