date: 3 October 2007
embargo: For immediate release
A global day of action has been called by Burma campaigners for this Saturday (6 October), twenty days since the monks first took to the streets.
As thousands of monks and others remain under arrest and at risk of torture in Burma, campaigners are worried that the media spotlight that had helped keep the pressure on Burmese generals not to commit further atrocities is beginning to fade.
'This day of action is to show that this crisis has not gone away. Our friends, families and spiritual leaders are in jail cells today at risk of torture. The UN Security Council must act now to end the crackdown and must keep focussed on this crisis until we know the people of Burma are safe. The international community must not desert them now,' said Ko Aung, a Burmese refugee.
Protests are expected across the world at noon local time. They have already been scheduled in key locations including: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, India, Ireland, France, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, the UK and the US. In the UK, the protest is being organized by 25 organizations including Burma Campaign UK, Amnesty International and the TUC.
Around the world, campaigners will wear red headbands in solidarity with the monks under arrest and tie these onto government buildings, religious shrines or key landmarks to signify the thousands of lives currently hanging in the balance.
In London, the day of action will start at 11am with monks leading a march from Tate Britain over Westminster Bridge where they will drop petals into the Thames. They will then stop and tie their headbands onto the Downing Street gates before proceeding to a rally at Trafalgar Square.
'The events in London are designed to show the people of Burma that we stand with them and the generals that we are watching their every move. We also hope the protests will force the UK Government to do more to demand an end to the military crackdown and get the UN Security Council to act,' said Myo Thein of the Burma Campaign UK which is organising the London events.
Timings for Saturday:
11am Assemble at Tate Britain
12.05pm Monks will drop petals over Westminster Bridge to symbolise the lives at threat in Burma
12.20pm The march will come to a stop outside Downing Street where campaigners will tie their headbands onto the Downing Street gates
12.45pm Rally in Trafalgar Square
For a map of the route, please visit:
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- Organisations supporting this march: Amnesty International, Avaaz, British Muslim Forum, Burma Campaign UK, BDMA UK, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Crescent Network UK, Federation of Student Islamic Societies, GMB, GNNSJ UK, Hindu Council UK, Human Rights Watch, Muslim Council of Britain, NUS, Prospect, Sikh Aid, Sufi Muslim Council, Support the Monks Protest in Burma (Facebook), the TUC, Union of Jewish Students, United Nations Association of the UK, Unison, Unite the Union, Waging Peace.
Media enquiries: Elly Brenchley T: 020 7467 1337; M: 07900 910624;
E: [email protected]
Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248; M: 07778 158175; E: [email protected]
Issued: 3 October, 2007