Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Free Burma's Political Prisoners

I tried to write an impassioned plea for you to yet again raise your voices against the oppressive regime in Burma, and its illegal imprisonment of people whose only crime is refusing to acknowledge the authority of the tyrannical junta.  

However, I don't think it is necessary. Most people are familiar with the situation, most people know that the status quo is unacceptable.

However, as you will see in this email from, there is the slightest possibility that things may change:

"Burmese pro democracy leader and Nobel peace prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, has spent 13 years detained by the Burmese military junta. She and thousands of fellow monks and students have been imprisoned for bravely challenging their brutal regime with calls for democracy. This week a glimmer of hope has risen for their release, and it's time for us to stand with them.

Risking danger to speak out for their jailed friends, 
Burmese activists this week demanded the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners and called on the world to help. As the global economic crisis makes aid flows more essential, Burma's generals are becoming more vulnerable to international pressure, but we need a flood of petition signatures to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to make this a top priority. Follow the link to sign the petition, and forward this email on to make sure she and her fellow prisoners are freed: 

The Burmese organizers have set a goal of 888,888 signatures. The number 8 is powerful in Burmese culture, and the ruling junta is extremely superstitious - such a large and significant number might have a special influence on them. But this issue isn't in the headlines, so to build our numbers we need to forward this email and persuade our friends to help.

Aung San Suu Kyi is the international face of the struggle for democracy in Burma. She has been detained over and over again since 1988. She is now under house arrest and is allowed no contact with the outside world. 

But growing international 
pressure is working -- In December, 112 former Presidents and Prime Ministers from 50 countries sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urging him to press for the release of all political prisoners, and 20 political prisoners were released in February after a United Nations envoy visited the country.

Sources now say that the military regime is fearful of this unified and massive online call to the UN -- over 160 Burma exile and solidarity groups in 24 countries are participating in the campaign. But it will take all of us and all our friends signing this petition to get Mr Ban’s attention. Avaaz has done it before for Burma – we can do it again. 

This is one of those times where if enough of us act we can truly make a difference. Let’s join the courageous Burmese democracy activists in jail and in hiding and help end this violent repression."

If you agree, go to this link, or this one, and tell UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon that the time has come to put the pressure on and to make sure the Burmese political prisoners are released.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Omar al-Bashir is a c*nt

Last week, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President al-Bashir. In response, Bashir ordered 13 humanitarian aid organisation to leave Sudan.

I think we can all agree that he is an unmitigated arsehole.

What can we do?
  1. Sign a petition urging US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to lead an urgent, intense and sustained diplomatic push to ensure the continued flow of humanitarian aid and end the genocide in Darfur here
  2. Make a donation to Oxfam America to pick up where Oxfam UK was forced to leave off here.
Any other suggestions are welcomed.