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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Some notes from pro-Burma/pro-democracy protests in DC today :: Photos coming soon

Weather wise it was a lovely day for a protest & march. About 300 or so people gathered in front of the Burmese Embassy in Washington, DC today; Burmese people, various types of Americans, others, Buddhist monks, etc. There were signs expressing our concern for the peaceful protesters in Burma. We chanted & shouted about the need to free Burma, end the violence, free political protesters. Then the protest moved down to the Chinese Embassy, several blocks away, on Connecticut Ave. There were 300 - 500 protesters in front of the Chinese Embassy. A group of about 7 Buddhist monks (from various countries; Sri Lankan, perhaps Burmese, maybe Vietnamese or Thai also) addressed the crowd & chanted prayers. Then various speakers gave small speeches about the situation in Burma; the growing call for boycott of the '08 Olympics in China if China does not do anything positive & significant re: the situation in Burma, and plans for additional protests were announced. Protests against the junta in Burma, and world wide protests in support of the Burmese democracy movement are expected to go on until there is a desirable/pro-democratic resolution to the crisis in Burma. Next DC protest tomorrow (Sat 9/29) in front of the Burmese Embassy at 1 PM (see post below for directions). I took a lot of photos at the protest & march today, will have them up on the web later today. The protest today was a beautiful thing to witness & take part in. I now have more hope for the Burmese seeing how many people in America, in the DC area, are motivated about this cause and are supporting it, doing a lot of work for it. As we protested in front of the Chinese Embassy, several dozen cars that passed by us on Connecticut Ave. honked & showed their support. The police/uniformed secret service agents at the protest sites & the protesters got along well, there were no clashes or any difficulties with law enforcement at these protests (at least that was the case when I left the events, around 6:30 PM - protests started around 4 PM). Even though the major cities in Burma are occupied by the military, and many of the monks are being kept locked in their monasteries, a speaker at the protest said that in rest of Burma the people are on the move and they are ready for a long, hard struggle - and that they are well coordinated, optimistic and hopeful about victory.

Photos from the protest soon.

Candle light vigil for Burma (& collection of donations for US Campaign for Burma) at the International Buddhist Center in Wheaton, MD on Sunday October 7, starting at 7 PM. More info. on this event soon.

- Sujewa

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