Sunday, September 30, 2007

Burma Protest


Bloggers in Burma are under intense assault for the crime of reporting the truth. Reports have thousands of protesters dead. Out of sympathy and solidarity, this message is posted. How to participate:

1. Copy the following post to your blog, including this special number: 1081081081234ia

2. After a few days, you can search Google for the number 1081081081234ia to find all blogs that are participating in this protest and petition.

Text below the fold:

The situation in Burma is increasingly dangerous. Hundreds of thousands of unarmed peaceful protesters, including monks and nuns, are risking their lives to march for democracy against an unpopular but well-armed military dictatorship that will stop at nothing to continue its repressive rule. While the generals in power and their families are literally dripping in gold and diamonds, the people of Burma are impoverished, deprived of basic human rights, cut off from the rest of the world, and increasingly under threat of violence.

This week the people of Burma have risen up collectively in the largest public demonstrations against the ruling Junta in decades. It’s an amazing show of bravery, decency, and democracy in action. But although these protests are peaceful, the military rulers are starting to crack down with violence. Already there have been at least several reported deaths, and hundreds of critical injuries from soldiers beating unarmed civilians to the point of death.

The actual fatalities and injuries are probably far worse, but the only news we have is coming from individuals who are sneaking reports past the authorities. Unfortunately it looks like a large-scale blood-bath may ensue — and the victims will be mostly women, children, the elderly and unarmed monks and nuns.

Contrary to what the Burmese, Chinese and Russian governments have stated, this is not merely a local internal political issue, it is an issue of global importance and it affects the global community. As concerned citizens, we cannot allow any government anywhere in the world to use its military to attack and kill peacefully demonstrating, unarmed citizens.

In this modern day and age violence against unarmed civilians is unacceptable and if it is allowed to happen, without serious consequences for the perpetrators, it creates a precedent for it to happen again somewhere else. If we want a more peaceful world, it is up to each of us to make a personal stand on these fundamental issues whenever they arise.

Please join me in calling on the Burmese government to negotiate peacefully with its citizens, and on China to intervene to prevent further violence. And please help to raise awareness of the developing situation in Burma so that hopefully we can avert a large-scale human disaster there.

UPDATE: Now we know that footage of journalist Kenji Nagai's shooting death was first sent to Robert McMillen of Santa Monica College, California. Professor McMillen then uploaded the video to CNN.com, which allowed the world to see it. Bloggers can and have made a difference in the world. A friend's message has been added to this post.

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10 Comments:

Blogger alex kaplan said...

Louise,if I want to ask readers to distribute this post what number I should give to them?

8:26 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

HI Alex, and thank you for the comments.
They may just copy the same number: 1081081081234 Then a google search will show how many blogs carry the message.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Brian Dunbar said...

Please join me in calling on the Burmese government to negotiate peacefully with its citizens, and on China to intervene to prevent further violence

Well, sure. This is supposed to help ... how?

The junta running Burma has made it clear they don't care what their own citizens think. They sure won't care what a hundred - or a thousand - bloggers outside of Burma think.

2:52 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

It is frustrating that we can't be more involved. The government has shut down the local internet, so international bloggers may be the only way to get the story out.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Darnell Clayton said...

Asking China and Russia to get involved is a joke.

Russia has a history at persecuting their own people, and what China does to Christians and Muslims in their nation would make Iran look like a saint.

As Brian stated, Burma doesn't care about international attention from bloggers, although Japan seems to be pissed about their citizen being killed.

Perhaps the Japanese, along with American pressure can help lighten the load for citizens being oppressed.

I'll contact my congressman and see if they can do anything about this.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Brian Dunbar said...

The government has shut down the local internet, so international bloggers may be the only way to get the story out.

The story out to whom? We already know about it.

The petition states

Please join me in calling on the Burmese government to negotiate peacefully with its citizens, and on China to intervene to prevent further violence

How is THIS going to accomplish your goal? The junta doesn't give a damn about the people - if they DID they wouldn't be machine gunning them in the street.

7:06 PM  
Blogger alex kaplan said...

The goal is to aware international community in order to influence the situation in Burma.

9:19 PM  
Blogger El Ché said...

There's no "international community" -- just a bunch of ruling-class pirate régimes, their client states, and their victims and slaves. However there are certainly a whackload of western liberals who curiously do the work of these imperialist powers under the cover of humanitarian concern. The pattern is getting pretty clear -- and the suckers born every second, let alone every minute.

The burmese certainly need to deal with their rulers and usher in a fair and democratic society; but what they don't need is to be ripped out of the orbit of one set of exploiters by the other set of exploiters. Liberal humanitarian concern is just the latest propaganda scam.

People need to be a lot smarter about politix than most of them presently are.

9:02 AM  
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3:15 AM  

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