Local Activism

Listen / Download

Ka Hsaw Wa and his wife, Katie Redford are the most patient of impatient activists. Over the past decade, they have worked in the jungles of Burma and Thailand, and in American law libraries, building what they hope will be a landmark legal case, aimed not at Burma’s military leaders, but rather at the American oil company Unocal.

These activists claim that a pipeline of which Unocal is part owner, is not only carrying natural gas to Thailand, but is bringing with it forced labor, rape, and environmental degradation to Burmese villagers. When Ka Hsaw Wa and Redford first filed their lawsuit seven years ago, most experts said it would never fly. Now, a decision is pending, and it’s sending shudders through American boardrooms.


Ka Hsaw Wa, Burmese activist and co-founder of EarthRights

Katie Redford, human rights attorney and co-founder of EarthRights

Thomas Niles, president of the United States Council for International Business

Unocal Attorney Dan Petrocelli, partner with O’Melveny and Myers.