Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Knickers to the Generals!

Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 20th October, 2007

burma-monks-protest.jpgEver since South Vietnamese monks set themselves alight in the streets of Saigon in the 1960s, in protest at their oppressive government and the Vietnam War, I’ve been impressed by the ways that the superficially powerless make their message heard in the face of totalitarianism. Four decades later, I’m astounded at the ongoing ingenuity of some non-violent action. The latest is the campaign by Lanna Action for Burma, encouraging women around the world to send their underwear — clean or dirty — to the generals in charge of the particularly nasty regime in power in Burma, which has recently cracked down hard on pro-democracy campaigners, including monks.

As Jackie Pollack, of Lanna Action, explains, the generals are not only brutal but also superstitious. ‘They believe that touching a woman’s pants or sarong will make them lose their strength… The junta is famous for its abuse of women : it is well documented that they use rape as a weapon of war against ethnic minorities. This is a way for women around the world to express their outrage.’

So, come on ladies! Post, deliver or hurl your knickers at your nearest Burmese Embassy, or send them to Chairman of the junta, Than Shwe, in Yangon, Myanmar.  



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