Follow the Golden Rule but protect your rights, too

Ed. Note – Good article about common courtesy for those that are “activists”. Remember, in an altercation of any sort, non-violence is always the answer. One thing I do when I am pulled over for whatever reason by a police officer is to wait and not move erratically toward the glove box, right off the bat it gives a sense of “shadiness” and the officer will more than likely be more lenient if you wait until he/she arrives at your car window. And at the same time, I never forget to ask them the reason I was pulled over, it is your right to know and they have to give you a reason. But that’s off topic from this article really, I enjoyed what it said. Read on grasshopper…

From The Rocky Mountain Collegian
By Kathleen Harward

Two weeks ago, this column gave you Student Legal Services’ “golden rule” when it comes to your behavior during a police confrontation: “Be Smart, Be Nice and Be Quiet.”

We’ve been challenged that our advice — to stay quiet, to not incriminate yourself and to not consent to warrantless searches — encourages you to be irresponsible, to violate others’ rights and to be uncooperative with authority in order to get away with it.

First, our advice applies to behavior during a police confrontation. It does not conflict with another golden rule, which is the Golden Rule that we also advise for your daily dealings with people. We all know this rule. It appears to exist in every religion and culture. For example:

Confucianism: “Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.”

Buddhism: “… a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another?”

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Undeterred: The people’s desire

From Mizzima News

In an effort to prevent yet another peoples’ uprising, Burma’s military government has stepped up security measures, ordering police forces to remain overnight at local ward administrative offices, sources said.

A Secretary of a Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC) office in Mandalay, Burma’s second largest city, said at least two policemen have been ordered to stay overnight at every local ward administrative office since the beginning of September.

“In our township there are several ward offices, and at every office at least two policemen have been kept overnight to keep watch since September 4,” the Secretary told Mizzima on Saturday.

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Breaking News: Buddhist monks begin a new demonstration in Burma

From Now Public
by mettacara

About 50 Buddhist monks gathered to begin a new demonstration in Sittwe , Rakkhine State r at around 2 pm on September 13th. But they were broke up by the security forces while they were gathering at Way Thar Lee stadium. I could not confirm how many were arrested. Buddhist monks led a massive pro-democracy demonstrations on 18th of September 2007. The military opened fire on the demonstrators on 26th of September and many monks and people were killed.

Boot print on his back: Photographs, video of 17-year-old RNC protester after run-in with police

From Minnesota Independent
By Paul Schmelzer

Melissa Smith-Tourville says her 17-year-old son Keith is a pacifist and “he’d never hurt anyone.” But yesterday he was the target of violence by police, she says: Trying to leave Monday’s march on the Republican National Convention, Keith was wrestled to the ground by five officers, according to his mother, who were “repeatedly kicking, beating, dragging and hitting him.” [Read Smith-Tourville’s account of what happened.] Bloody, he was taken into custody by police for two hours and, his mom says, his release by St. Paul police was in violation of Minnesota law.

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Helping Burma’s nonviolent struggle

From Miami Herald
By Frida Ghitis

Once again, the news from Burma rings with echoes of despair.

The latest mission from the international community has ended in embarrassment — not for the despotic generals who rule Burma (renamed Myanmar by its illegitimate regime) — but for the United Nations and its ineffectual efforts. It seems no one who matters wants to waste any more time meeting with the U.N. envoy. Now, unconfirmed reports say the iconic leader of the pro-democracy opposition, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, may have started a hunger strike. Once again, Burma stands like a conscience-searing mirage on the Asian horizon, reminding us of our failure to help the most desperate.

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Suu Kyi ‘on hunger strike’

From The Independent
By Andrew Buncombe

Supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi believe the imprisoned Burmese democracy leader may have launched a hunger strike over the military regime’s refusal to hold talks about democratic reforms.

Members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) said the 63-year-old had last accepted a weekly delivery of food on 15 August and told the young party members who delivered it not to bring any more. An NLD spokesman in Burma said he could not confirm whether she had stopped eating but that bags of food delivered to a checkpoint outside her house in Rangoon had not been picked up.

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Happy 63rd Birthday Aung San Suu Kyi!

Brief Biography of Aung San Suu Kyi (from US Campaign For Burma)

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (pronounced Daw Aung Sawn Sue Chee) is one of the world’s most renown freedom fighters and advocates of nonviolence, having served as the figurehead for Burma’s struggle for democracy since 1988. Born on June 19th, 1945 to Burma’s independence hero, Aung San, Aung San Suu Kyi was educated in Burma, India, and the United Kingdom. Her father was assassinated when she was only two years old.

In 1988, while living in London, she returned to Burma to nurse her dying mother, and was plunged into the country’s nationwide uprising that had just begun. Joining the newly-forming National League for Democracy political party, Suu Kyi gave numerous speeches calling for freedom and democracy. The military regime responded to the uprising with brute force, shooting and otherwise killing up to 10,000 demonstrators — student, women, children, and others — in a mater of months. Unable to maintain its grip on power, the regime was forced to call for a general election in 1990.

As Suu Kyi began to campaign for the NLD, she and many others were detained by the regime. Despite being held under house arrest, the NLD went on to win a staggering 82% of the seats in parliament. The regime never recognized the results.

Suu Kyi has been in and out of arrest ever since. She was held from 1989-1995, and again from 2000-2002. She was again arrested and placed behind bars in May 2003 after the Depayin massacre, during which up to 100 of her supporters were beaten to death by the regime’s cronies. She has moved from prison back into house arrest in late 2003 and has been held there ever since.

She has won numerous international awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize, Sakharov Prize from the European Parliament, United States Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Jawaharlal Nehru Award from India. She has called on people around the world to join the struggle for freedom in Burma, saying “Please use your liberty to promote ours.”

June 14th, Under “House Arrest” for Aung San Suu Kyi

You may or may not know, but the US Campaign for Burma is calling people to action on June 14th-15th. The idea is to help raise awareness for Aung San Suu Kyi and the fact she has been under house arrest, illegally, for the past 12 years.

From US CAMPAIGN FOR BURMA – Usually we ask people to “arrest themselves” – placing themselves under house arrest for 24 hours and during that time invite family and friends over and talk about Burma. We will provide you with supplies – video, info sheets etc. If the house party idea doesn’t work for you, then feel free to get creative. The global action days will be for June 13-14th, but you can do it whenever in the month of June.

I am going to take part in this and will be under “house arrest” on June 14th. I hope to have a 2-3 hour window where some people I’ve invited can come over, watch a video and learn about the situation in Burma, and maybe, just maybe raise some money.

I’m asking you, yes you, if you would help support me under “house arrest”. How can you do this? Well just e-mail me, tell me you are willing to help, I will e-mail back my mailing address (not going to put it online as I don’t have a po box). I will be accepting checks and money orders written out to the US Campaign for Burma and than mailing them together as one package. I am hoping with some of you helping out, and people coming out to my house that day, to raise a minimum of $300. Can you help?

Just e-mail me at natedemontigny@gmail.com

While the “house arrest” idea may seem like a minor dent, any little bit helps right? So please help!

You can also help by posting to this blog article on your blog, so please pass this along!!!