UK and global Burma action to continue on internet and on streets

By staff writers
2 Oct 2007

With reports of hundreds of people killed by the junta in Burma, international solidarity with the pro-democracy protesters is set to continue this week in spite of the crackdown and what looks like a logjam in UN diplomacy.

The web-based social networking tool Facebook was cited as an influence in galvanising public protests and boycotts against companies investing in Burma over the weekend.

Now on 4 October 2007, bloggers are urged to put up a 'Free Burma' message and logo on their sites, and to dedicate their pages to the struggle. And on 6 October there will be an international day of action.

The military dictatorship in Burma has blocked internet access and is keen to stop news of international solidarity reaching people inside the country, as monks remain in detention and troops force ordinary people off the streets on pain of death.

Betwen 1,000 and 3,000 people joined a pro-democracy protest in London on Sunday 30 September 2007, the biggest demonstration for Burma in the UK so far say organisers.

As with the protests in Burma, the internet played a key role in the London protest. Inspiration for the march came from Mike Stone, who called for a solidarity walk in Central London on the website Facebook.

The march was organised the Burmese Democratic Movement Association, a Burmese community organisation, with the support of Burma Campaign UK.

“Something urgently had to be done to support the monks,” said Mike Stone. “We need to show our support to the people on the streets of Burma.”

Protestors marched from Trafalgar Sqaure to Downing Street, then past the Foreign Office and British Parliament to the Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park, next to the River Thames.

“People in Burma are suffering and dying,” said Ko Aung of the Burmese Democratic Movement Association. “The international community should take action. We have been suffering for more than four decades, we cannot keep suffering, we need action.”

On Monday 01 October converged on the German Embassy, calling on Germany to stop blocking EU economic sanctions.

On Saturday 6 October the international day of action will be marked with marches and protests. A non-stop vigil is also being held outside the UK Parliament.

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