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Social Justice Yangon
$1,002 raised
100% of $1k goal
27 contributors
0 days left
Ended Jun 27, 2017
We are a collective team of students, activists, and humanists. We are holding a conference with all grassroots activists and working class members to brainstorm on how to fight against social issues such as racism in Burma.

Short form (1 min read)


Despite the recent transition from a military dictatorship to a quasi democratic government, the struggle against oppression and exploitation persists, and in many cases, even intensified, throughout Burma. Issues such as homophobia and transphobia are still everyday realities. Bigoted organizations are aggressively targeting minorities and marginalized communities.

We -- a diverse collective group of students, anti-war activists, humanists, atheists, humanitarian activists, civil rights activists, LGBT activists, secularists, and feminists -- are trying to hold our ground against the tide of bigotry as well as the violent impact they bring about.

In Social Justice Yangon 2017, we will be inviting all grassroots activists and comrades from all walks of life to come together as a dynamic assemblage and brainstorm creative and effective ways to challenge, counter, and neutralize totalitarian extremism.

We will be up against the structured dogma and self-righteous rhetoric of incredibly well-funded organizations. But from our event, we hope to gain invaluable community input that will help us make significant progress towards finding realistic and effective bottom-up solutions.

We need to raise funds to pay for rent of the venue, decoration, transportation costs for some speakers who live away from Yangon, publication of pamphlets and refreshments for participants of the forums. We ask for your kind donations to make this event possible, and pledge to try our utmost to allocate every cent of your donations as efficiently as we can, to further our struggle against oppression in their various guises in Burma, according to action plans that we set among the participants.

Long form (6 min read) 


Did you know that Muslims are second-class citizens in Myanmar? 

This Muslim man was harassed and beaten by the Buddhist monks and his goods were seized in April 2016. (This Muslim man was harassed and beaten by the Buddhist monks and his goods were seized in April 2016.)

He had no choice but to beg for mercy in the face of oppression and discrimination. His crime? Selling belts, pots and mobile phone accessories near the pagoda to support his family. The government did not do take any actions and chose the side of the oppressor.

Not just that….

These fascist monks did it again in 2017.

(These racist monks did it again in 2017.)

A Muslim man selling sunglasses near the Shwedagon pagoda was interrogated by the Buddhist monks and his sunglasses, worth 100,000 kyats, were seized by the monks.

 

Physical violence? Of course…. 


Muslims houses and mosques were burned down.

(Muslim houses and mosques were burned in Meikhtila in 2013.)

The riot in Meikhtila left more than 40 people dead and over 6,000 displaced. Burmese Muslims live in constant fear of physical violence and verbal abuses.   

Not just racial and/or religious bigotry. The misogyny is also rampant.  

A pagoda in Burma manifests misogyny by prohibiting the women from entering the sacred area. Men can go there of course.

(The most visible form of misogyny is expressed in cultural norms such as the one that prohibits women from entering the sacred area in pagoda. Men can enter and leave as they please.)

Male chauvinism is omnipresent. It is generally frowned upon when girls and women wear shorts and skirts but it is okay for boys in street to catcall them.

Universities in Myanmar have the different scoring systems for boys and girls. As a result, girls with the same grades in high school as boys cannot be enrolled in good universities. For most parents, the only goal of raising a girl is to find a good husband for her. There is no marital rape law.

You might wonder what if you raise your voice ....

 

A screenshot from The New Yorker.

(A screenshot from The New Yorker.)

There is no freedom of speech, press and assembly in Burma. People went to jail for liking, commenting, posting and sharing on Facebook (yes, as silly as that). The Section 66 (d) of the Telecommunications Law threatens writers (like Maung Saungkha) and journalists from writing the stories our Big Brothers do not like. 

Multitasking at its best: A Kachin mother seen cooking meals for her family while breastfeeding her child.

(Multitasking at best: A Kachin mother seen cooking meals for her family while breastfeeding her child.) 

As of September 2016, there are 103,366 refugees fleeing from the clashes and conflict between the government forces and ethnic armed forces. Most of them are ethnic minorities. The women and children constitute to be the majority of the Internally Displaced Population in the country and are subject to threat of violence.

 

 

People were not just killed by war. They also lost their limbs. 

A disabled veteran

(A disabled verteran)

The conflicts that have gone on for 60 years left many people including soldiers and civilians disabled due to mines. To make the matter worse, 50 percent of children with physical or mental disabilities cannot go to school according to the government survey. Once you are a disabled person, your chances of education and employment stops. 

 

 

And…. our gay comrades do not have the same rights as we do. 

(There is no gay pride parade or anything like that. So we have no photo for this one. Sorry.)

The homosexual sex is punishable by law and the general public dislike what two adult men do in their bed. The homophobic police routinely harassed gays when seen in public places and even tortured gays and trans in custody.

 

So…….

 

What do we want?

 

We want to build a society where all the members are granted equality and protection without any forms of prejudices and injustices such as

   Abelism

   Anti-free speech laws

   Nationalism

   Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

   Jingoism

   Racism

   Religious fundamentalism

   Sexism

   Any other restrictions on liberty and expression of one’s identity 

 

We believe the social issues are best solved when people from different sectors come together to achieve a common objective. With this in mind, we want to

  1. encourage the ordinary working class people especially those from the younger generations to partake in the discussion to challenge the deep-seated irrational beliefs, brainstorm to generate an array of creative ideas to transform the society to be cosmopolitan and multicultural, and make bottom-up solutions to solve the current social issues during the forum;
  2. maintain the dialogue and collaboration with each other through an online presence while driving grassroot movement(s) by utilizing the collective political and social power to effect changes at the local, regional and national levels.

 

Our conference consists of seven mini-forums focusing on civil rights, disability issues, ethnics’ rights, freedom of belief and freedom from belief, gender discriminations, LGBT rights and racism. After discussing the issues with the grassroots activists, the solutions reached in individual forums will be released to the public by various means  including but not limited to the Facebook page, press statement to the media creating a base for activism. 

The solutions reached democratically by the participants will be released to the media and the public through press statement on our Facebook page. The connection and collaboration made during the conference will be maintained through emails, Facebook page and personal contact in order to ensure the grassroots movement for social justice in the future.

 

As said, we accept no corporate funding to stay on the right side of the issues. Our conference needs support from people like you. Please help us make this happen!

 

Meet our members

Aung Kaung Myat, a journalism student at University of Hong KongCommunications Team

Bo Bo Thaw Zin , a member of Myanmar Non-believer Youths Coordination and Planning Team 

Minn Banyar , an instructor at Doh Kyaung Thar Free Education Centre Logistics Support Team

Theo Maung , a master student in Public Administration (Yangon Institute of Economics)  Logistics Support Team   

Thint Myat , a student activist, an English major student at Dagon University Communications Team  

Ye Lwin Maung Maung , an instructor at Doh Kyaung Thar Free Education Centre  Logistics Support Team

Ze Naw Bamvo , a peace and humanitarian activist, Kachin Peace Network

Zin Linn , a student activist and anti-war campaigner  Logistical Support Team

If you don't use PayPal or credit/debit cards, we can accept bitcoin donation. This is our public key of our btc wallet. 1Ev1bLUhzEuRkGm3b3CkdhB7cFWpJoD3rM

 
Disclaimer: We do not own the photos used on this page in any way. 

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