In Support of a Free Burma

I’ve been following the “Saffron Revolution” (a series of anti-government protests in Burma) and the response to it for days now with tremendous sympathy. The protests are a non-violent movement lead by Theravada monks, aimed at creating reforms in the fascist government that is currently in command of Burma. The response to the protests was bloody and heartbreaking, but not unexpected. This is what so often happens when absolutistic forces (fascists) collide with multiplistic defenders of freedom (democrats); emerging freedom is met with violence.

These monks represent a noble and progressive movement within religions that we should embrace and support when it faces off with harmful governance and other injustices. William at Integral Options Cafe shares this sentiment and expressed it beautifully in “More on Why the New Atheists Will Fail“.

[T]he Buddhist monks in Burma, they are the liberals — they are the voice of a progressive effort toward democracy. And they are not using violence — they marched with nothing more than upturned alms bowls.
In the tradition of Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr., the Burmese monks join their liberal faith with peaceful resistance. They are marching for the freedom of their nation, not to impose their beliefs upon those who do not share them. They merely seek an open and free nation.

One of the greatest values of religion is when it calls us to raise ourselves to higher wisdom, greater compassion and the very freedom and higher cognition that some claim religion as a whole limits.

Symbolic support for Burmese freedom may be limited in impact, but I feel compelled to take part both in this blog and likely in the flesh at local solidarity events that will come up. Beyond this, we can pressure our governments to act to limit the damage done by the Burmese government in ways that are swift and responsible. I’d love to know of other actions that we can take to help the people of Burma, so please do comment with those.

International bloggers are preparing an action to support the peaceful revolution in Burma. We want to set a sign for freedom and show our sympathy for these people who are fighting their cruel regime without weapons. These Bloggers are planning to refrain from posting to their blogs on October 4 and just put up one Banner then, underlined with the words “Free Burma!”.

Thanks to C4Chaos for the heads up on the first blogging action and John Craig for spreading the following one. For some background on Burma, check out William’s “A Brief History of Burma” post.

Note: This is a new kind of online protest that uses blogs to spread a petition globally. To participate, just add your blog by following the instructions in this blog post. This not an issue of partisan politics, this is an issue of basic human rights and democracy. Please help to prevent a human tragedy in Burma by adding your blog and asking others to do the same.

By passing this meme on through the blogosphere hopefully we can generate more awareness and avert a serious tragedy. As concerned world-citizens this something we bloggers can do to help.

How to participate:

1. Copy this entire post to your blog, including this special number: 1081081081234

2. After a few days, you can search Google for the number 1081081081234 to find all blogs that are participating in this protest and petition. Note: Google indexes blogs at different rates, so it could take longer for your blog to show up in the results.

3. If you know how to add tags to your blog posts, add the Technorati tag 1081081081234 to your post as well. This will make your post findable sooner in Technorati.

The situation in Burma and why it matters:

There is no press freedom in Burma and the government has started turning off the Internet and other means of communication, so it is difficult to get news out. Individuals on the ground have been sending their day-by-day reports to the BBC, and they are heartbreaking. I encourage you to read these accounts to see for yourself what is really going on in Burma. Please include this link in your own blog post.

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