California Classics

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Marshall La Plante says save the 76 ball! It’s a California classic, like my car!


You could apply that argument to most things and lots of corporations.

We cannot ignore things like murder and rape, but then we need to look at that in context. Most of us wear clothes which at some point have taken advantage of the poor. I see little difference in the exploitation of people in this context and that of using the Burmese Army. What about the actual oil we use in our cars? Can we say all of it comes from places which do not commit the exact same crimes as you list above? No we cannot so perhaps we should stick to the point.
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Icons and history

There is little doubt that the 76 ball is a California icon. However, while perserving icons is important, it crucial that we do so in a way that recognizes the history associated with those icons. In this way, we must not save the 76 ball without recognizing the horrific human rights abuses committed with the support of this company.

In the 1990s, Unocal contracted with the Burmese army to provide security during the construction of a new pipeline. Under the watch of Unocal and with Unocal's knowledge, the Burmese army systematically murdered, raped, and forced people to work. Unocal recently paid some victims for damages.

While one could conceivably argue that the 76 ball had nothing to do with murder, rape and slavery, it represents a company that was complicit in these atrocities. I urge you to consider this in your campaign.

Thank you,

Amber Norris
Washington, DC

For more informamtion:

The human rights group that brought suit against Unocal: