Report and photo from yesterday’s Aung San Suu Kyi action in Birmingham can be found at http://www.thestirrer.co.uk/?p=629
Seems all went well. Lets hope the local media pick up on it. Maybe also an inspiration for future campaigning too?
Well done to David Nicholl for organising it and others in the West Midlands.
On Saturday 19th June, human rights activists will join together to mark the birthday of Aung San Suu Kyi.
Aung San Suu Kyi led the National League of Democracy to victory in the last elections in Burma back in 1990 with just under 60 per cent of the vote. However, the ruling military junta ignored the result and she has spent 14 of the last 20 years under house arrest. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and has been described by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as “Burma’s Nelson Mandela”
In Burma, any political meeting of more than 5 people is considered an illegal act. Such a small act of defiance is impossible to do in Burma without severe consequences. Stirrer blogger, Dr David Nicholl said “In Burma, the harsh reality is that anyone brave enough to speak up against the regime can be monitored, harassed, discriminated against, detained, imprisoned, tortured and even killed. We felt that we could acknowledge solidarity with Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese people by meeting at 1pm on Saturday next to the Bull at the Bull Ring. We will all wear masks of Aung San’s face and a photograph taken. All the photos uploaded onto Facebook will be passed onto Aung San’s supporters In Burma. This will be a tremendous way to show that the people of Birmingham are literally ‘at one’ with the people of Burma”
This is part of a national initiative from Amnesty International to simultaneously ‘flash mob’ photos of Aung San supporters at 1pm via Facebook. Other demonstrations are taking place in Hagley, Manchester, Bath and overseas. Dr Nicholl is encouraging others to add their support and photographs via the Foreign Office Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/fcoburma?ref=ts
On Friday, Radio 4 will be broadcasting a special programme on Aung San Suu Kyi. The following day (Aung San Suu Kyi’s actual birthday) the programme will be broadcast by BBC World Service into Burma.
Dr David Nicholl
David Nicholl’s eighth trick is to have a sense of humour. When he ran the London Marathon for Amnesty in an orange jumpsuit to raise awareness of Guantanamo he met a few surprised fellow runners. To realise how others see you and use humour to relax them and you can be important in order to get on a level with others. If you want to persuade others to your cause you often need to make a human connection before your arguments can make an impact and humour can help with this. To consider the effectiveness of humour in campaigning see how David Nicholl used the London Gorilla race to raise awareness of Guantanamo by running as ‘George the Guantanmo Guerilla’ at http://www.thestirrer.co.uk/george-the-guantanamo-gorilla-1706081.html
It is important for successful campaigning to use your imagination. David Nicholl, in order to highlight the abuses at Guantanamo Bay ran the London Marathon in 2005 in an orange jumpsuit with a ball and chain attached. This was high profile and several weeks before the general election that year. His feat raised cash and awareness which was a double whammy.
In 2003 David Nicholl, a resident blogger on The Stirrer, www.thestirrer.com decided to voice his concerns about Guantanamo Bay. As a consultant neurologist and more importantly as a human being he was concerned about the treatment of detainees. He therefore decided to take action. Over the coming weeks I will be revealing his 15 tips for successful campaigning based on his presentation to our regional conference. Keep an eye on this blog for more info.
His latest post on The Stirrer is on where the bodies were sourced for the Bodies Revealed exhibition in Birmingham challenges the organisers to guarantee they aren’t sourced from executions in China. See http://www.thestirrer.co.uk/january09/bodies-not-revealed-0101101.html