Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The hour when the ship comes in

Sometimes things happen which makes all the tomfoolery of this blog appear irrelevant. What's going on right now in Myanmar, previously known as Burma, is one of those occassions.

I'll leave it to others to comment, this is not supposed to be a political blog, but you get the feeling that a militaristic regime as odious as that in power would have been tackled by the international communty a long time ago, had it had vast amounts of oil reserves (see also Mugabe in Zimbabwe).

However, perhaps we could be on the brink of change anyway with the Monks, students and civilians deciding to take to the streets to protest. What sparked this all off was an increase in fuel duty. So oil is still tied into this all anyway. The country has been getting poorer and poorer and is adrift from the international community with only China as a real friend, meanwhile thousands of refugees are fleeing the country on a daily basis.

One feels a little bit helpless really, looking at this through a computer, but it may well be the first popular revolution broadcast via the internet. This could become a moment of history in the same way that fall of Eastern Europe was, or Tianamen Square. But this time the net is giving people their information and allowing people a say, and we're not watching it through TV sets. This could be a moment in history for us too.

As of time of writing the facebook group to show support to the people of Burma has over 13,000 members. Websites such as the Guardian and BBC are focusing on this issue with a rolling blog and extensive reporting and videos. The Irrawaddy News is covering this extensively too (a South East Asian based news service/blog). Other videos have been posted over at YouTube. The Burnese based blogs reporting this protest are being blocked at the moment, mobile phone coverage has been disabled and internet cafes have been forcefully closed but as the Prime Minister said at the Labour Party Conference today, "The whole world is now watching Burma". You can petition the PM to keep up his actions on Burma, by visiting this website and signing the petition.

Finally, the anarchist in me loves this - you can annoy these companies who do business with the regime. Fuckers. They have no soul.

I hope that a peaceful outcome will arise where members of the military decide not to shoot their own people and turn their guns on the corrupt tyrants running this country. Whatever the outcome the whole world will be watching, blogging and discussing it via the internet.

And you readers will know me well enough now... I couldn't help but think about 'When the Ship Comes In', Bob Dylan's song from The Times They Are A-Changin'... Everything with me comes back to Bob, but it's worth listening to this song, I know I will be tonight..

"Oh the foes will rise
With the sleep still in their eyes
And they'll jerk from their beds and think they're dreamin'.
But they'll pinch themselves and squeal
And know that it's for real,
The hour when the ship comes in.

Then they'll raise their hands,
Sayin' we'll meet all your demands,
But we'll shout from the bow your days are numbered.
And like Pharaoh's tribe,
They'll be drownded in the tide,
And like Goliath, they'll be conquered."


Paolo Vites said...

great post and great to see all the Internet moving in support of this brave people

let's hope this not going to end like last time, june 1989, tienamen square

* (asterisk) said...

Nice one, James. Well put.

Check me out, if you dare