Monday, October 01, 2007

The Saffron Revolution

You would have to be living under a rock (or a mountain of books for your senior thesis) not to know that there are massive anti-government demonstrations taking place in Myanmar as we speak write.

To demystify the events and people surrounding these protests, it might be helpful to read MSNBC's Q&A Backgrounder on Myanmar Protests.

In an e-mail that all students received this morning, Yan Oak '09 wrote, "As you might know, staging this kind of protest in Burma is a life-risking activity, as was seen in similar uprising in 1988 when the military brought in the troops and opened fire on the peaceful unarmed protestors, killing more than 3000 of them and plunging the country into another two decades of brutal oppression. The people of Burma have been gritting their teeth and taking it all in….. until now… We are in the midst of a true revolution, against the harshest form of tyranny and injustice, and the world needs to know….. we will make sure that they do."

Tonight, MiddBlog caught up with Yan, who is from Yangon in Burma, in the main entrance of the library to learn more about what Middlebury College is doing and can do to help the situation. You'll be happy to know that Yan's family is not in any danger because they are not participating in the protests. Phew.

All Day

Wear Red: Yan encourages everyone to wear red, as that is the color of the robes which the Buddhist monks in Burma wear. Don't own red clothing? Pick up a free t-shirt in the main entrance of the library. The group sold/gave away 68 t-shirts today and they hope to have more for Tuesday. T-shirts are, of course, free, but there is a $5 suggested donation. All proceeds to go to aid Burma.

Fast: Yan has been fasting since 7 a.m. this morning. And he will continue to do so until 7 a.m. on Wednesday. You, too, can fast. Yan recommends 12, 24, or 48 hour intervals.

4:30 p.m. Robert A. Jones House

Faculty and student panel: Professor David Rosenberg of the Political Science Dept., Professor Cameron Warner of the Religion Dept., Yan, Htar Htar Yu '08, and others will come together to discuss the events in Burma and help us to make sense of it all.

Any day

Join a Facebook Group: "Support the Monks' protest in Burma" has, as of 9:28 p.m., 254,779 members! More importantly, it has 3 gajillion bits of information about the protests in Burma and what cities around the globe are doing to show support.

Sign a Petition: With 500,000 signatures, Avaaz will start a global advertising campaign and deliver the petition to UN Secretary-General.


Hallie said...

pardon my ignorance, but what does saffron have to do with this?

Sarah Franco said...

Saffron is the "official" name of the shade of red that the monks in Burma wear. I know. I always thought Saffron was yellow.

on the books...