Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Why Myanmar matters

Emma Goldman, America's preeminent anarchist, believed the less organized a movement is the more violent it becomes. In Burma, the monks looked back at nonviolent movements from South Africa, India and Serbia to learn how they succeeded. The monks split into waves the first taking to the street and demonstrating, expecting to either be murdered or beaten and arrested, then sending out the second wave and then the third and so on and so forth. Also, by the Buddhist monks flipping their bowls over, one of the few possessions they have, they disconnect a military regime which gains its authenticity from identifying itself with the monks, who are considered sacred in Burma. This is why the Saffron Revolution matters. America needs this kind of organization, right now there is a lot of talk but little action. The internet is a terrific tool for talk, however, with shrinking numbers in the streets, I feel it is detracting from people's feeling of helplessness. Are blogs like mine doing more harm than good by allowing people to vent from their armchairs and not from the pavement? It is time to learn from Myanmar and organize.

For this news special, Al Jazeera’s Tony Birtley went undercover in Myanmar to report exclusively on the people’s protests and resulting bloody crackdown by Myanmar’s military government.

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