American Friends Service Committee
Patrica Watson, Editor
Sara Burke, Assistant Editor
Pat Farren, Founding Editor
2161 Massachusetts Ave.
Peacework has been published monthly since 1972, intended to serve as a source of dependable information to those who strive for peace and justice and are committed to furthering the nonviolent social change necessary to achieve them. Rooted in Quaker values and informed by AFSC experience and initiatives, Peacework offers a forum for organizers, fostering coalition-building and teaching the methods and strategies that work in the global and local community. Peacework seeks to serve as an incubator for social transformation, introducing a younger generation to a deeper analysis of problems and issues, reminding and re-inspiring long-term activists, encouraging the generations to listen to each other, and creating space for the voices of the disenfranchised.
Views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily of the AFSC.
Appeals for Solidarity with Burma
"Until we have a system that guarantees rule of law and basic democratic institutions, no amount of aid or investment will benefit our people."
"I see my life...as part of a procession, a dynamic process, doing all that we can do to move toward more good and justice; a process that is not isolated from what has happened before or what will come after. And I do whatever I have to do along the path, whether it's sowing seeds or reaping the harvest or tending the plants half grown."
--Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's
democratically elected leader, under house arrest
"The people of Burma are struggling to reclaim their rights and their country from one of the world's cruelest and longest lasting dictatorships... The facts cannot be hidden, and we outside Burma cannot look away and ignore the plight of Burma's people. Our religious and philosophical teachings tell us that human suffering anywhere must be accepted as our own suffering.
"...In South Africa, we gratefully learned that the people's voices raised is indeed a most powerful tool. It is time we raised our voices together to demand that our governments and the world community take effective action to bring respect for human rights and democracy to Burma."
--The Most Reverend Desmond
M. Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town
Days of Prayer for Burma: March 10-12, 2000
March 10-12, 2000 represents the
three Days of Prayer for Burma. It is intended to support human
rights in Burma by raising awareness and generating action on
the issue in communities of faith. If you are interested in organizing
a Day of Prayer for Burma in your place of worship, please contact
Simon Billenness, New England Burma Roundtable, Trillium Asset
Management, 711 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02111; 617/423-6655,
x225; <firstname.lastname@example.org> for Massachusetts,
or the Days of Prayer; Burma Forum of Los Angeles, Heidi Quante
national organizer, 8124 W. 3rd Street, Suite 104, Los Angeles,
CA 90048; <email@example.com> for help in arranging speakers,
Supeme Court Rally March 22
On March 22 at 10am, the US Supreme
Court will hear oral arguments in the case against the Massachusetts
Burma selective purchasing law. There will be a rally in front
of the Supreme Court in support of the Massachusetts Burma Law
starting at 9 am that day. If you can attend the rally in Washington
DC. contact Dan Beeton <firstname.lastname@example.org> and Ted Hobart
<email@example.com> of DC-BAN for updates. If you're
from the Boston-area, contact Simon Billenness (address above)
regarding possible group travel arrangements
Conference for Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights in Burma
On April 1-3, 2000, people from around the world will join together in Washington, DC to promote freedom and democracy in Burma. We will invite members of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Sierra Club, Earthrights International, and students from over 100 universities in the United States, Canada, Thailand, Sweden, England, France, Ireland, Japan, and more.
We will also discuss the possible pending action at the World Trade Organization. A couple of years ago, Japan and the European Union filed suit against the State of Massachusetts for refusing to do business with companies that operate in Burma. The state law in Massachusetts would probably have been overturned by the WTO, simply because Massachusetts didn't want to support human rights abuses in Burma. However, a United States federal district court overturned the law and now we're appealing it to the US Supreme Court, which will hear the case on March 22nd. If the court agrees with us, then chances are the WTO will again try to force Massachusetts to go to bed with brutal dictators.
Former political prisoner Rachel Goldwyn has agreed to serve as a keynote speaker for the event. Goldwyn spent several weeks in prison in Burma during 1999 for singing a pro-democracy song in Burma. FBC launched a Free Rachel Goldwyn campaign in response to her arrest. In addition, FBC has obtained a video tape recently smuggled out of Burma by Aung San Suu Kyi, and we will premier it at the conference. Also attending will be four members of the Rangoon 18, students who were arrested in Burma in 1998 for handing out pro-democracy leaflets.