Friday, September 28, 2007

A march for democracy by courageous Burmese people

It is apparently inconvenient for all of the world's people to enjoy freedom of expression, the right to associate with all members of a like-minded humanity, the right to participate in the political life of the country in which they live.

The world community would rather stand aside and allow repressive regimes to maintain their grip on power, so long as the oil keeps flowing, the price of labour remains low and the debt continues to produce profits for the major banks. They will do nothing to assist our brothers and sisters who are suffering at the hands of such regimes.

That is why governments that proclaim their democratic credentials conduct their foreign policies in secret, supply the Burmese junta and other client dictators with weapons and training and carry on business as usual. We must name and shame these governments and the corporations that work closely with them.

Those of us who do have the right to vote and still have some semblance of free expression must stand shoulder to shoulder with the courageous ones who have demanded an end to brutal, oppressive governments, where ever they might be.

What has been happening to the people of Burma and their resistance is frightening to all repressive regimes, and so it should be, as long as we do not let them down now.

In spite of efforts by the Burmese military junta to block internet sites and the mobile phone network, these images and thousands of others are getting out. We must not let these images die, even if the junta’s assassins kill the people in the pictures.

If you live in Australia get on the electoral roll immediately. Do not allow John Howard to disenfranchise you. Make sure you join us in seeing the purveyors of suffering out of office. Make sure that the opposition you vote into office is genuinely better than the Liberals. They might not be.

Make Australia a country that practices human rights, reconciles with indigenous people and accepts responsibility for protection of asylum seekers. Let our defence forces be famous for their peace keeping, not for illegal invasions and collusion in the war crimes of other nations.

"“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Enrol now

Willy Bach

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