The protest consisted of banners, placards, leaflets and a petition. One protestor wore shackles to signify the oppression of the Burmese people.
Within 10 minutes of the protest beginning staff closed the station, blocking off the forecourt and switching off the lights. Even the accompanying shop was shut. When it became apparent that the protest was continuing the police were contacted. One officer arrived and after consulting the staff told the demonstrators that there were not allowed onto the forecourt and risked arrest if they "interfered" with the business's trade by blocking the entrance or locking onto any of the pumps. (It should be noted that none of the protestors had entered the forecourt or caused any "interference".)
After an hour the station re-opened. The protest continued until 7.00pm.
MacGregor, who played Jedi knight Obi Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels, stars in 'Long Way Down' (BBC2, Sunday evenings), which logs the actor's epic journey by motorbike with childhood friend Charlie Boorman from John O' Groats to Cape Town. The project has UNICEF as one of its partners. Unfortunately, the show is also sponsored by Total Oil, which provided its Excellium fuel for all vehicles for the entire trip. It would seem that MacGregor and the BBC have a lot to answer for.
A worldwide day of action against French oil giant Total's investment in Burma has been called for Wednesday 7th November, the day the company's quarterly results are published. Total's continued involvement in the operation of the Yadana gas pipeline in the south of the country, in partnership with Chevron-Texaco, is opposed by the country's democratically-elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest or detention for 12 years. The pipeline earns the regime hundreds of millions of pounds in revenue every year, with only a tiny fraction reaching the Burmese people. The main customer for the pipeline is Thailand.
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