Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Support the democracy movement in Burma

Burmese Buddhist monks and students are once again at the forefront of democracy protests against the military junta in Burma, and they need our help.

What started out as a protest march by monks and nuns calling for controls on rising fuel prices snowballed over the week into an open protest march against the junta, with thousands of protesters reported to be marching through Rangoon.

Avaaz.org is running an international online petition to garner UN support for the Burmese democracy protests. They were concerned that the Burmese military would start cracking down on the monks' protest march, and wanted urgent international support and action:
After decades of military dictatorship, the people of Burma are rising – and they need our help. Marches begun by monks and nuns have snowballed, bringing hundreds of thousands to the streets. Now crackdown threatens.

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.
Now it appears the crackdown has started, with news breaking that 80 monks and protesters have been arrested as the military used teargas and beat protesters to break up the march.

Now, an online petition may be little succor to protesters being hit on the head with batons and tear-gassed, but I believe that international pressure against the Burmese military junta could stop the beatings from turning into an all-out massacre, but only if we also force our own governments to take a strong stance – rather than one of appeasement – against the junta.

You can sign Avaaz.org's petition and spread the word here.

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2 Comments:

At September 26, 2007 6:23 pm, Blogger phil said...

Mark - done and see my post on VVB yesterday.

 
At September 26, 2007 7:40 pm, Blogger Oz said...

There's also a rally by the Australian Coalition for Democracy in Burma tommorrow (Thursday) at 12:30pm near the fountains in Martin Place in Sydney

 

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