Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Burma Protest

Hello. I am still taking a break from personal blogging (because of recent family bereavement, and other commitments that take up time.) I am however keeping the blog going relating to campaigning causes that I feel strongly about. Unfortunately there's quite a few at the moment.

These are: Usamanov and his Schillings-crackdown on bloggers, the ongoing battle for an independent 7/7 Inquiry which has been going on for 2 years and is now a legal challenge, Iraqi employees at risk from deathsquads and now, Burma.

Last time this ended in a bloody massacre. By mediatising it this time around, making a fuss, doing things like getting 100,000 signatures in a few days, global pressure can be applied to try to stop it happening again. It's a signature. It's easy. It doesn't require you standing in the street and taking a beating, or getting stamped to death, or shot. It simply requires three minutes of your time.

(This next is cut and pasted. Please pass it around. Thank you. )

After decades of brutal dictatorship, the people of Burma are rising--and they need our help.
Clicking below will add your name to this petition to Chinese Premier Hu Jintao and the UN Security Council:

"We stand alongside the citizens of Burma in their peaceful protests. We urge you to oppose a violent crackdown on the demonstrators, and to support genuine reconciliation and democracy in Burma. We pledge to hold you accountable for any further bloodshed."
Click Here to Sign Now Today over 100,000 people are on the streets of Rangoon, more around the country. When protesters last marched in 1988, the military massacred thousands.But this time it can be different--if only the world stands with the marchers. The United Nations summit starts today in New York. Let's raise an emergency global campaign, demanding they press the Burmese generals to negotiate rather than crush the demonstrators. We'll deliver it to Security Council members--particularly China's Hu Jintao, until now the military junta's protector--and to media at the UN this week. Sign our emergency petition supporting the peaceful protests in Burma--click here, then spread the word:

For decades the Burmese dictatorship fought off pressure--imprisoning elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and democracy activists, wiping out thousands of villages in the provinces, bringing miseries from forced labour to refugee camps. One-third of children under 5 now suffer malnutrition; millions are down to one meal a day.

But last Tuesday Buddhist monks and nuns, overwhelmingly respected in Burma, began marching and chanting prayers. The protests spread--now they're growing by tens of thousands every day, as ordinary people, even celebrities and comedians join in. They've broken the chains of fear and given hope to 52 million Burmese.However, this hope is hanging by a thread. While hesitating to attack the respected monks, the regime is reported to be organising violence. Demonstrators have already been beaten, shots have been fired.This is one of those moments where the world can make the difference: standing shoulder to shoulder with the Burmese people, helping to shine a dissolving light on tyranny.

Let's call on powers at the UN--in particular, China (next year's Olympics host)--to warn the generals that violence will have the gravest consequences, and the time has come for change.People power is rising through the streets of Burma today. Let the demonstrators know the world is with them. Click here to sign the petition, then tell everyone you know:

In hope, Paul, Pascal, Graziela, Ricken and the whole Avaaz team
UPDATE: The government has just threatened the monks--here's an Associated Press article:
UPDATE:We've just heard this from the international Burma Campaign: the military has reportedly ordered a battalion of soldiers to shave their heads, pose as monks and operate as agents provocateurs. This might be the first first step towards a bloody crackdown.

See http://www.uscampaignforburma.org/ for more background.


Blogger John said...

The first monk has reportedly been killed today. Thank you for the avaaz petition link.

September 26, 2007 12:26 pm  
Blogger Pete Weaver said...

well said

September 27, 2007 10:57 am  
Blogger Leighton Cooke said...

I agree. This is something we must do. Burma deserves to be free and they need our support. Anyone who can get around their internet firewall should try.

September 27, 2007 9:57 pm  
Blogger USpace said...

Thanks for helping! FREE Burma!!!

Bush slammed the UN and the rulers of Myanmar in his UN speech last week. The only country that has any influence over Myanmar is China, and they can't and won't push too hard. There is too much Oil & Gas there that they need.

The UN must do something, but they never use military force to fight.
That is a huge problem.

Illegal drug and ruby fortunes are a BIG part of this too.

absurd thought -
God of the Universe wants
complete narco states

criminals in power
loving the corrupt drug war

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
shoot peaceful protesters

calling for democracy
which you must never allow

absurd thought -
God of the Universe thinks
keep trying communism

you can never KILL too much
pursuing Utopia...




October 06, 2007 8:17 am  
Blogger Mopsa said...


I have just finished reading your book which gave me nightmares last night. Strange comparison I know, but haymaking and handling straw bales means benign bits of these get everywhere - every orifice, in every cleft and in every bit of clothing. Your description of the glass falling out of your hair, clothes, ears and underwear impressed upon me just how awful a difference there is between the two experiences.

I'm an ex-Londoner, and now have to come up from time to time for work, but the ripples of your experience and those of hundreds of others lives on for those of us who were hundreds of miles away, but there with you all in spirit, hoping everything was going to be ok. The tube has turned from a wartime safe haven to a place of nerves and fear for many.
best wishes

October 07, 2007 6:32 pm  
Blogger Ian said...

Completely off topic, but this is just to say I've nominated Rachel for Best Blog of All Time and Best Political Blog.
You can vote for them at:

October 08, 2007 8:35 pm  

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