Monday, 15 October 2007

From the "Hands Off Iraqi Oil" newsletter

Speaking tour: contact or call 020 7403 3738 to invite a speaker. Deadline for invitations: 6pm, Friday 19th October.

In September, Iraqi civil society and the global anti-war movement scored a major victory against the occupation’s oil privatisation agenda, when Iraq's Parliament failed to pass a draft oil law in time for General Petraeus' report to Congress.

If passed, the law - which was written in secret under intense pressure from the US/UK governments, the IMF, and Big Oil - would have allowed multinational oil companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon to take the primary role in developing Iraq's oilfields, under contracts of up to 30 years.

Passing the law was one of Bush's "benchmarks". However, despite massive the military and political violence of the occupation, and relentless pressure from Washington, a combination of grassroots opposition (from the Iraqi oil unions) and internal conflict (within the Iraqi Government) has derailed the law, at least temporarily. Nonetheless, Iraq's oil ministry is now saying that it hopes to sign contracts with foreign firms, law or no law, and with Iraq still under foreign occupation.


Big Oil - with US/UK assistance - is, in effect, trying to force privatisation on the Iraqi people. Indeed, according to a recent poll, 63% of Iraqis believe that Iraq's oil should be developed and produced by Iraqi public sector companies, rather than foreign companies.
To build the campaign to stop the theft - including a national day of action early next year - Hands Off Iraqi Oil is organising a whirlwind UK speaking tour, to take place during the last two weeks in November.

Speakers include GREG MUTTITT (Platform) - author of 'Crude Designs: The Rip-off of Iraq's Oil Wealth' (, and one of the world's leading experts on oil and Iraq - and renowned activist and journalist EWA JASIEWICZ, recently returned from the 'Iraq Petroleum 2007' conference in Dubai [...] In 2003 Ewa spent 9 months living in occupied Iraq, working with the Iraqi oil workers union and she is the co-founder of the union's UK support committee Naftana (see


To invite a speaker to come and talk to your group, please e-mail or telephone 020 7403 3738.

Please specify:
* which group you are from
* the likely size of the meeting etc.
* any date preferences / dates to avoid during 14 - 28 November
* your e-mail and phone number

Deadline for invitations: 6pm, Friday 19th October.

For more information and background see

"We call on all people who want peace and organisations which opposed the war to help us in our struggle" - Hassan Juma'a Awad al-Asadi, President of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions

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