Adventist grad student organizing pro-Burmese democracy protest

(system) #1

By Alexander Carpenter

An Adventist Forums member, Spectrum writer and USC political science doctoral student, Ron Osborn is organizing a Burma-supporting event in Los Angeles.

Ron Osborn writes: The news from Burma is grim. Unknown numbers of Buddhist monks have been killed. Thousands more are being sent to remote prison camps as a punishment for defying the generals. Shocked and dismayed, a group of us students at the University of Southern California have been struggling to think of how we in the United States can show our solidarity with these courageous individuals. Here is what we have decided:

We hope to stage an event on or before December 8 that will: 1) call attention to the ongoing crisis in Burma; 2) let the people of Burma know they are not forgotten; and 3) shame the Chinese government into taking a more serious stand on human rights atrocities in Burma before the Beijing Olympics.

●The event will be called “LA-88” in honor of those killed not only over the past two weeks but also during the pro-democracy demonstrations of August 8, 1988.

●We will meet in front of the Chinese Consulate General’s Office in Los Angeles since it was China that blocked UN action as the killings unfolded.

●A total of 88 of us will then publicly shave our heads in solidarity with Burma’s courageous monks.

We are inviting students from other universities, celebrities and public figures, and others from across the country to join us in any way they can, whether with their presence at the event, their support from afar, or their active participation.

We realize that LA-88 is not going to change the harsh facts on the ground in Burma, and we are daunted by the challenge of planning and organizing a consciousness-raising event of this kind. We are determined, though, to resist the temptation to despair and apathy and to do whatever we can to focus attention on Burma’s plight. Our hope is that news will leak through to Burmese monks even in remote prison cells that many hundreds of people, in at least one American city, took symbolic action in solidarity with them and are united with them in spirit.

If you are willing to be a part of this public event in Los Angeles in any way, please join the group. We need help from people with organizing skills and media connections. We need sponsors. We need hair. Please encourage your friends to join.To learn more/support the action:

The LA 88 Facebook page.

“The only real prison is fear and the only real freedom is freedom from fear” - Aung San Suu Kyi

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