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Blogging Burma

[Photo by Marxpix]

Like the Asian Tsunami (December 29, 2004),the The London Bombings (July 2005) and Hurricane Katrina’s Aftermath (September 2005), information about the current demonstrations and atrocities happening in Burma are flowing through user-generated channels as much (indeed, often more so than) through the traditional mainstream media. There is a great deal of activity both in blogs and throughout the broader sphere of citizen media, but some noteworthy places to look are:-

[X] The 2007 Burmese anti-government protests Wikipedia entry – Wikipedia is at its most useful during moments of crisis which have many sets of eyes watching. The collective intelligence of Wikipedia contributors continues to develop one of the best resources on the Burma protests.

[X] YouTube has a number of clips like this one which simply show the enormous scope of the protests [Via]. A very good source is the videostream from news6776 which collates a great deal of footage (both mainstream media-produced and from citizen journalists)

[X] The Support the Monks’ protest in Burma Facebook Group – To be honest, I’ve never really thought Facebook would provide a terribly useful platform for political activism as the ‘groups’ often seem a peripheral part of Facebook’s design. However, I happily stand corrected as the exponential growth of the Support the Monks’ protest in Burma Facebook Group has been amazing – over 170,000 members when I checked this morning – and the links, advice and descriptions of how members can actively support the Burmese demonstrations in that group seems quite robust to me, not just a tokenistic gesture. Indeed, I’d go so far as to say this Facebook group has probably done more to promote the ‘ Day of International Action for a Free Burma – Free Aung San Suu Kyi & Support the Monks in Burma’ on October 6th than any other single outlet online or offline.

[X] The SmartMobs blog notes that cameraphones and other mobile devices are one of the main tools allowing information and media to get out of Burma, but the government has moved from shutting down Internet Cafes to blocking the entire internet in order to try and stop knowledge about the situation in Burma being available internationally. Taking the massive step of blocking the entire internet speaks volumes to how widely the impact of citizen reportage is from inside Burma is disseminating to international viewers and readers.

[X] For a traditional media rundown of the impact of citizen media, see ‘Bloggers in Burma keep world informed during military crackdown’ in the San Francisco Chronicle and Dan Gillmor’s response at the Centre for Citizen Media where he points out, quite rightly, that there’s a lot more than just blogging going on!

[X] Finally, you should visit Free Burma (dot Org) which is a portal for international information on how to support the protestors and get involved in their struggle.

[Photo by Hugo*’s from protestors supporting the Burmese democratic protests, in front of the Myanmar embassy in Paris, with a portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi.]

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  1. Free Burma!
    International Bloggers’ Day for Burma on the 4th of October

    International bloggers are preparing an action to support the peaceful revolution in Burma. We want to set a sign for freedom and show our sympathy for these people who are fighting their cruel regime without weapons. These Bloggers are planning to refrain from posting to their blogs on October 4 and just put up one Banner then, underlined with the words „Free Burma!“.


  2. Dear all

    I hope that the protest can have succeed in changing Burma and avoid ending like in the tragic 1988.
    However, reading different posts and also articles in newspapers I have noticed that there is little or none information about the terrible conditions of the Burmese Muslim minority. I hope that this revolution can bring freedom and justice to them as well.
    I have written, if you are interested, a post on the topic
    Best wishes

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