Gray Panthers of San Francisco
June 2007 Newsletter

Hands Off Iraqi Oil!


Gray Panthers joined other progressives in a demonstration May 14th called by U.S. Labor Against the War and the Bay Area Labor Committee for Peace & Justice. The rally was called to show solidarity with the striking union members of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions.

We united internationally in opposition to the proposed oil law in the Iraqi parliament, and the inclusion of a privatizing oil measure into the supplemental war funding bill in U.S. Congress. The adoption of the oil law is being agreed upon as a “benchmark” by the Democratic leadership in Congress. This “law” would allow foreign oil corporations to gain contracts exploiting 2/3 of Iraqi oil for up to 30 years. Iraqi Oil workers are united against this privatization, as Iraqi trade unionist Hassan Juma states, “Oil must stay in the hands of Iraqis, because oil is the only natural resource that we have of great value, and our economy depends on it.”

At the rally, Clarence Thomas, ILWU Local 10, spoke of his trip to Iraq with David Bacon. Since the occupation wages have dropped drastically. Clarence saw children of oil workers having to sell gasoline in order to support families. An Iraqi Labor Ministry 2006 report showed 2 million families living below poverty level, or an income of less than $2 a day. Currently, over half of the world’s population lives on less than $2 a day.

Just before the 2003 invasion, U.S. ConocoPhillips stated, “we know where the best {Iraqi} reserves are {and} we covet the opportunity to get those some day.” It is progressives united who will make certain that day never comes.

Take Action

Call House Speaker Pelosi (415-556-4862, or toll-free, 1-877-331-1223, ask for Pelosi’s office) and demand the elimination of any privatizing oil law as a benchmark in a supplemental funding bill. And call to bring the troops home now!

(Facts from the book, “A Game As Old As Empire”)

More on Iraq Oil Law:

Oil Draft Law Would Open Doors To Allow Multinationals To Move In

Iraq Could Have Twice As Much Oil As Thought

Wall Street Drools Over Prospect of Capturing Iraq Oil Wealth

(back to June 2007 Newsletter front page)