Demonstrate at the Middle East Energy 2008 conference attended by Iraqi Oil Minister Dr Hussein al Shahristani
When? Tuesday 5th February 2008
Where? Royal Institute of International Affairs
10 St James's Square, London SW1Y 4LE (map: tinyurl.com/38gajj)
What time? From 8.30am
Called by the Hands Off Iraqi Oil campaign, www.handsoffiraqioil.org
Tell Iraq's Oil Minister:
No Oil for Occupation! - privatisation laws and contracts signed under occupation can have no validity. The vast majority of Iraqis want an immediate end to the military and economic occupation of their country. Most Iraqis also want their resources to stay in the public sector.
Trade Union Recognition Now! - stop using dictatorship laws to repress trade unionism
Dr Shahristani also refuses to recognise trade unions in Iraq. He has issued decrees for the national oil company not to negotiate with unions and ordered the shut-down of union offices.
Iraq's economic future and potential independence hangs in the balance. Iraqi oil accounts for approximately 90% of government revenue. Whoever control's Iraq's oil development has a controlling stake in the country's overall development. Since 2003, the British and US governments, and international oil companies have been pushing for an oil law which will hand over control of Iraq's oil to foreign companies.
In spite of massive military, political and economic pressure, from Britain and the US, opposition at every level of Iraqi society has meant that this law cannot be passed in its present form.
Despite mass opposition to the draft Oil Law, Oil Minister Dr Hussein al Shahristani has declared Iraq 'open for business' and invited oil companies to invest under existing Baath regime legislation.
Trade Union Recognition Now!
Dr Shahristani is also applying Saddam Hussein's anti-union laws, re-imposed by the occupation authorities and now kept on the law books by the Iraqi authorities. This is clearly unacceptable and ironic given Shahristani's imprisonment by the Ba'ath regime for over 10 years.
Iraq's trade unions have called the contracts pushed by the foreign companies and the Oil Law - Production Sharing Agreements - a 'red line'. PSAs will allow foreign companies to control the development and depletion of oil reserves for 25 years. Once signed, PSAs will not be re-negotiable. Iraq's sovereignty will be surrendered and its economic future effectively mortgaged to the agendas of oil companies.
End the military and economic occupation
We are asking the Minister of Oil to listen to the Iraqi people, particularly those who work in the oil sector, in their demands for a democratic process for deciding how and by whom Iraqi oil will be controlled.
We are calling for an immediate end to economic and military occupation by foreign interests.
No to PSAs, No Oil for Occupation!
All Troops and Occupation Institutions Out Now!
Union Recognition and Resource Democracy Now!