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[casi] Belgian "Boycott Bush" Campaign Closes U.S. Oil Stations

Belgian "Boycott Bush" Campaign Closes U.S. Oil Stations

One campaigner dressed in U.S. military uniform, while another lying supine
and covered with fake blood in an Esso station to protest the U.S. war for

Brussels, June 15 ( & News Agencies) - Belgium spearheaded an
international anti-U.S. boycott campaign to condemn the U.S. illegal war on
Iraq and the ongoing occupation of the war-scarred country, while U.S.
Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld hit out on June 13 at the anti-war
country over a law allowing lawsuits against foreigners for war crimes.

Boycott actions closed Esso and Texaco petrol stations in most Belgian

At an Esso petrol station in Gent a carpet of dead bodies, armed U.S.
marines and U.S. President George W. Bush, illustrated the link between
thousands of innocent victims, the important Iraqi oilfields and the
gasoline sold by U.S. oil-multinationals Esso and Texaco, ‘For Mother Earth’
human rights organization and one of the organizers of the "Boycott Bush
campaign" said Saturday, June 14 in a press release.

The boycott organizers (a coalition of NGOs including Attac, America
Watchers, For Mother Earth and Christian Movement for Peace) declare that
the U.S. has been acting as "a rogue state" ever since Bush was elected

With the boycott of certain U.S. products the growing coalition of NGOs
wants to force the U.S. government to once again join the international
community, complying with the rules of the United Nations and international

The Belgium-based For Mother Earth organization listed the U.S. products
along with other alternatives on its website.

It also listed the companies which were regarded as the largest donors to
the Republican Party election campaign 2000.

Using hazard warning tape and banners, the non-violent campaigners
successfully closed Esso and Texaco petrol stations in Antwerp, Arlon,
Bruges, Brussels, Gent, Hasselt and Namur.

"There is blood of thousands of innocent victims on the logos of Esso and
Texaco. Both U.S. multinationals -who together donated $2 million U.S. to
the 2000 Bush election campaign- are driving forces behind the policies of
the Bush administration," said Pol D’Huyvetter, spokesperson for ‘For Mother

"As Bush ignored the U.N. and the international public opinion, today the
boycott is the most effective model of action we can offer to any citizen.
Everybody can easily register his or her opposition to the U.S. foreign
policy by boycotting our list of U.S. products, or all U.S. products. Money
is the language which was used by the U.S. to coerce nations into their
coalition. The boycott is a language they understand in Washington," he

In most cases the employees of the petrol-stations understood the
motivations of the campaigners, and dialogue was possible. Motorists who
received flyers calling on them to boycott U.S. oil companies reacted most
of the time with a smile and a thumbs-up.

Why Boycott?

With the boycott of certain U.S. products, the NGOs wants to force the U.S.
to comply with the rules of the U.N. and the international law

With these new boycott actions, the organizers condemn the illegal war
against Iraq and ongoing occupation of the country.

These actions follow the statement of Paul Wolfowitz whose open
acknowledgement that oil was the main reason for the military operation in
Iraq, sparked anger with many people.

Wolfowitz admitted that although weapons of mass destruction were presented
as the main cause for war, they were only a “bureaucratic excuse” to get
support for the military campaign.

"For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass
destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on," he told
the Vanity Fair magazine.

The recent news coverage of falsified reports about Iraq’s of Weapons of
Mass Destruction undermine any last legal ground for the U.S. attack which
claimed thousands of civilian victims.

"By boycotting U.S. products, I want to put pressure on the U.S. government
to join the international community, complying with the rules of the United
Nations and international law. With the military attack and invasion of Iraq
in March 2003 the U.S. acted as a rogue state," the ‘For Earth Mother’
organization explained.

"With the attack, the U.S. violated the U.N. charter. Today more than ever
U.S. companies seem to have a major impact on the policy of the U.S.
administration. The U.S. government policy has increasingly been marked by
arrogance and self-interest," it said.

Therefore the boycott campaigners demand that the U.S. "allow the U.N. to
take over the civil administration in Iraq as soon as possible, end
'pre-emptive' attacks on other states, actively pursue a two-state solution
for Palestine & Israel and stop the use of double standards concerning
Weapons of Mass Destruction (e.g. those of Israel and the U.S.'s own

They also demand the U.S. "ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty,
adopt the Kyoto protocol to stop global warming, abandon National Missile
Defense & reinstates the ABM Treaty, recognize the competence of the
International Criminal Court to prosecute war criminals and cancel all
bilateral agreements, respect the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and
negotiate a Treaty for complete nuclear disarmament, ratify Biological
Weapons Convention, ratifies 1997 Landmine Treaty and strengthen the
Chemical Weapons Convention."

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