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BurmaNet News: #283

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Date: Tue, 21 Nov 1995 07:59:37 -0800

------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"

The BurmaNet News: November 21, 1995

November 21, 1995



Several new colleges, universities, and high schools have either signed on
to our campaign or showed serious interest in doing so in the near future.

They include:
Cornell College in Iowa (not Cornell University)
Manhattan College
University of Minnesota
University of Arizona
Wellesley College

West High School (Madison, WI)
Shibaz High School (Msn, WI)
Unievrsity of Chicago's Lab School (Chicago)
Several schools in St. Louis, Missouri

2) U. of Michigan group is working on city-wide selective purchasing
ordiance in Ann Arbor, and so is New York City group.

3) Several individuals in Oklahoma and Montana indicated their interest in
getting on board our campaign.

4) Several groups are working closely on getting alumni tours cancelled at
U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, U. of Arizona, U. of Indiana at
Bloomington, Notre Dame, Yale, USC, Northwestern, and Virginia Tech.  If
you find out your school has planned an alumni tour to Burma , please let
us know.  The persons to contact on tourism issues are:

David Wolberg(email: freebrma@xxxxxxxxxxxxx),
 Liz ( Elizabeth.A.Trantowski.3@xxxxxx) ,
Brad (simpsonb@xxxxxxx),
Rachel (rachel.kleinfeld@xxxxxxxx)
Yuki (yuki@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx),
Ko Tun Myint (tmyint@xxxxxxxxxxx)
Paul at (pauglm@xxxxxx)
 Linda (lkwon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx)

3)  The Chronicle of Higher Education, a highly influential publication in
international academic circle  is writing a brief article on Yale group's
activities to block the alumni trip to Burma.

4)  We're doing a lot of outreach and forming larger coalition with other
groups.  The groups that have national and international networks and that
we work with or will work with in the future:

Students for a Free Tibet
East Timor Action Network
New York-based Interfaith Center for Social Responsibility

5) David Horne from Indiana have scanned in the list and email addresses of
all US Senators and Congressmen and -women.  


First, the current mode of communication, while efficient in terms of
disseminating info and coordinating the entire campaign, is not democratic
and hence undesirable and counterproductive in the long run.

Here is what we propose;

1) Form different focus groups.  And the tentative list of these groups are
as follows:

A) International Coordination and Outreach Group

In this, each coordinator from each Free Burma group should be in this
groups as we will all need to co-ordinate future activities.  While equal
amount of participation and input may not be possible, at least one person
from each Free Burma group should be well-informed about how things are
proceeding with our grassroots movement.  Also this group will be
responsible to do some outreach work so as to expand our network.   This
group will also be responsible for forming alliances with other national
and international political and social groups.

B) Media Group

This group will be in charge of PR things such as dealing with the press
(Print, Internet, TV and Radio).  All groups on board will post news about
their groups' activities to the entire group (we'll create a list-server
which will be used for discussions and postings.) and Media Group will pick
up these postings and use them as they deem appropriate for press purposes.

Also we'll be expanding the use of Netscape so as to create a data base for
universities' investment figures, break-down of the universities' budgets,
list of corporations and the info on corporate dirt such as their
involvement in human rights situations, graphic representations of SLORC's
attrocities, video-clips, etc.

All Free Burma WWWpages are to be linked so that we can easily access 
info on Burma and Burma campaigns around the world.  Here we will create a
comprehensive list of Free Burma groups and contact addresses on a

This group will also distribute campaign materials such as video- and
audio-tapes, post paper clippings, etc.

3) Oil Group

This group will focus on getting Unocal, Texaco, ARCO, UK's Primere Oil,
French Government-owned Total out of Burma.   They will collect and
disseminate all relevant info on the aforementioned oil corporations.

4) Tourism Group

This group will work together  to stop alumni tours to Burma.  Already
there is an informal grouping in this sub-campaign.  Please see "news" above.

5) Boycott Pepsi Group

This group will focus on Boycott Pepsi Campaign on university and college

6) Shareholder resolution/divestment/ selective purchasing Group

Simon Billenness is agreed to coordinate this campaign and has a lot of
experience in working in this area.  Simon is also head of Boston-based
Corporate Withdrawal from Burma.

7) Fund-raising Group

We need to find a way to raise fund for a variety of campaign purposes.  So
far a lot of people have used their pocket money and in the long run it's
going to drain their pockets.  If you have experience in fundraising or
interests in doing so, please sign up.  We might approach individually
wealthy potential donors, alternative foundations (Ford or McArthur or any
mainstream foundations is highly unlikely to fund our activities), or
popular rock stars/bands, artists, etc.

Groups 3, 4, 5 and 6 will be asked to manage both outgoing and incoming
flow of relevant info.  For instance, Pepsi group will not only compile
dirt on Pepsi but also distribute stickers, provide new groups with
relevant info, etc.

Finally, I will post the entire list of our Free Burma group contacts at
the earliest possible date.  In addition, I will try to get a Free Burma
Coalition server from the University here (if someone already has a
list-server he or she wishes us to use, that would be even better.)

These are just suggestions  and not meant to be exhaustive.  So please read
and help shape the movement.


We decided the following during last meeting:

1. We will mobilize the campus community including profs, staffs, and
students to be aware of Burmese government's tourist project and
atrocities that SLORC committed during their construction for tourist sites.

2. We will bring back the Beyond Rangoon to educate the campus community 
more about Burma.
-  Starting November 17 "Beyond Rangoon" will begin several showings at the 
Indiana University Fine Arts Auditorium and campus bar/restaurant theater 
"Bears Place".  CFB will have a table set up at the University showings and 
will be selling traditional Burmese food, Japanese food and American food 
to help raise funds.  The event is strictly educational.

3. We plan to approach local travel agents and companies to educate them 
about Burma. There are some agents here who agree with us and said that
they won't encourage or advertise the Visit Myanmar 96 Year  to people who
want to go to an exotic place.

4. We will collect petition signatures and  send those to the IU ALUMINI. We
have 700 student signatures so far.

5. We will distribute articles and media coverage about slave labor,
forced labor, porters, and other abuses committed by SLORC in order to
construct tourist sites. We have articles from NYTimes, The Wall St, the
Globe, and other sources including Keven Heppner's note on Tourist
project of Myanmar.

**On Nov. 14 there will be a leafletting of the Showing "Raise the Bamboo 
Curtain:Burma and Vietnam."  This is a Pro-SLORC film on the campus.  

**On Nov. 8 we showed the film, "The Burma Deception".  A small crowd 
attended.  Tun Myint answered questions after the show.



1. We should have all local activists combined and form International
Free Burma Campaign Group.  With this group in heading, we can back up
all local activities around the world.

2. Prof. Josef Silverstein is willing to give some sort of educational talks 
around campuses about UNOCAL, TOTAL, and Texaco pipeline projects. He
will be at UCLA in coming January. I am also planning to invite him to
Indiana University campus.

3. For PepsiCo project, we should try to get talk with PepsiCo head
quarters in order for us to clearly explain them about how PepsiCo is wrong
to run business in Burma corporating with SLORC. Indiana Free Burma
Campaign received call and letter from PepsiCo claiming that they are not
doing business with SLORC. They need more info on how much they are
wrong. If we approach them to get talk and hand them concrete documentation, 
they might consider something.

6. I disagree with the idea to approach PepsiCo, UNOCAL, and Texaco as
resources for scholarship fund for Burmese students in exile. This idea
originally come from. I would like to know other activists' opinions.

7. Tourism project, PepsiCo, Total, Unocal, and other corporations should
be approached based on humantarian reason rather than political reason.
These are all about killing and abusing human rights by SLORC. These
projects and corporations are supporting SLORC's activities by neglecting
them. International Free Burma Campaign should educate to both these
corporations and consumers of these corporations.


Penn State University held a rally with about 20-30 students there flyering
the homecoming parade (which coincidentally fell on the 27th!) and their fans.

The night before the action, students chalked up the sidewalks of the
campus with outlines of bodies and numerous slogans, some of which were 
exposing the $14 million monopoly contract between PSU and Pepsico.

We found out that 5 Alumni are going on the trip which stops in Burma.  We're
poised to get them info which they will use to reconsider their trip (we hope).


Our Burma movement is going well- we have collected close to 300 signatures
on a 2,000 student campus) in support of a free Burma which we will give to
our Board of Trustees and to Marriot (which contracts Pepsi for part of its 
meal service).  Texaco is next on the list, with what seems like hundreds of 
stations in our city. 


A small group of us  met with the  Director of Travel for the Alumni Association. 
She was very interested in what we had to say and would like to see what she 
could do. However, she made two points.  One, there are two people going on the
trip from Notre Dame.  I know that it's two too many, but she said that the
remainder of the group, some 88 people, come from various universities
around the country.  The second point was that the tour group, TCS
Expeditions, made a proposal to our Alumni Association and they accepted
it.  So we have less power in that matter.  Nonetheless, we have the names
of the alumni from Notre Dame going on the trip, and we are going to try to
contact them.
      The remaining universities going on the tour are:  University of Arizona, 
University of Southern California, University of Minnesota, University of 
Michigan, and University of Washington.  We will get in touch with the 
Amnesty groups at those universities.
      In the meantime, the Director of Travel here is going to fax our packet 
of information to the tour agency and relate our concerns to the Executive 
Director of the Alumni Associatio..  And then we'll take it from there.



On the 27th, we sabatoged the 'frat rock'.  UNCG has a large rock that the 
frats paint every so often with various slogans.  The Environmental Awareness 
Foundation painted Free Burma and Boycott Pepsi slogans on a menacing 
black background.  We also glued informational flyers on the rock face. 

We have also just launched a Kick-Pepsi-Off-Campus (Free Burma Campaign) 
and the core group there for our Free Burma campaign is Environmental Awareness 
Foundation (EAF).

their address:  EAF c/o Branden Gannon, Action Coordinator Box 3, EUC,
University of North Carolina, Greensnoro, NC 27412-50041  TEL: 910-334-5324


The Madison group is working with a number of activist groups on campus
including the following:

Community Action for Latin America	UW Greens
Students for a Free Tibet                               	 East Timor Action Network
Progressive Student Network		Student Labor Action Coalition
International Women's Rights Group		Amnesty International

We're going to be targeting dorms and residence halls to recruit
undergrads and getting petitions from the general student populace.

Also we have contacted the housing department  for permission for briefings at
dorms and residence hall meetings.  Food services are also being contacted
to get our Pepsi boycott message across and to dissuade them from signing
any contract with Pepsi in the near future.

We have talked with the umbrella organization, Associated Students of
Madison, and they will most likely get on board our Free Burma campaign.

Many Madison area schools (elementary, middle and high schools) want to get
involved in Burma campaign and we have been able to give talks at different
schools, thanks to teachers with activist-orientations.  They will begin mobilizing 
students to get rid of Pepsi and its products from the Madison school district.

We're also in the process of creating 1) a list-server where everyone of us can
post campaign related news (e.g. what other groups are pursuing).

Also a world-map with Free Burma Coalition contacts will be up on our
web-page fairly soon.  You can just click on, for instance, any state in
the US, and you will be provided with the contact's email address there, if
we have a contact in that region.  The same holds for other countries where
FBC is operating.

Any data you can dig up on universities' investment, dirt on
multinationals, etc. please send directly to Mike Ewall at Penn State. His
address: mxe115@xxxxxxx
He has created  a project called "Corporate Dirt Archive."

We will complete a list of organizers who have signed up (and are still
signing up) to different focus groups and make available to the entire FBC.

Please know one organizer from each group will be automatically listed as
part of the international and national coordination (and outreach) group,
unless he or she asks otherwise.


On October 26,1995, Edith T. Mirante, author of "Burmese Looking Glass" and
director of the independent Burma information project Project Maje, gave a slide
lecture at University of Montana , in Missoula. The topic was Burma's human
rights and environmental crisis, with a focus on corporate involvement with
the SLORC regime, especially the Unocal/Total's gas pipeline scheme. The 
lecture was arranged by environmental activists.  Students, concerned faculty, 
and members of groups including Amnesty International, attended. The following 
day, an action was organized to spotlight Pepsico's Burma involvement. 
Students and faculty distributed leaflets about Pepsi and Burma in the university 
cafeterias, calling for a boycott of Pepsi products. They met with the university 
food & beverage manager, who told them of the bid process for the Pepsi beverage 
supply contract, and informed then that they can participate in an upcoming meeting
about that contract. The action raised campus awareness of Burma and will
doubtless affect Pepsi consumption there. Future events, including films on
Burma, and activities are planned, and will expand to network other campuses
in Montana. For more information or networking, contact Athena at tel.
406-728-2757 or Bryce at 406-243-1753.


On October 27, Kent Sanmann gave a colloquium on his research on
Burma's ethnic issues.


Hi -
Just wanted to say to feel free to add Students for a Free Tibet to the
list of orgs. supporting the Burma campaign.  Lots in common, best of luck
- John Hocevar, Director, Students for a Free Tibet 
 (Their address is ustcsft@xxxxxxxxxxx)

Pacifica Radio Network aired a Burma campaign story in New York City
on Nov. 11