Conflict and abuses against Burma’s ethnic minorities often gets looked over, not just by the international media, but also in Burma’s major cities like Rangoon. In central Burma, the fighting seems like a distant issue. Especially with such acute censorship of the media, the reality of the situation is often misunderstood and underestimated by people living outside the conflict areas.
Generation Wave, an activist group composed of hip hop singers, graffiti artists, poets and other hip urban youth, wants this mentality to change. Peace and an end to militarization not only concerns the Karen, Kachin, Shan, or other ethnic groups, it is something that affects all Burmese people. Last week they staged several actions in Rangoon as part of their new campaign “Let the Flowers Bloom, But Not Bullets.”
They received support from top activists such as the 88 Generation leaders, as well as some of Burma’s most popular rock stars. Rock singer Aung La and his band Reason supported the Peace Campaign by wearing T-shirts during their Valentine’s Day concert. Generation Wave also did a prayer action at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon on February 14 and passed out roses, stickers, and talked with visitors. They also worked with the singer Linnith to release a new song calling for peace in Kachin state. (Listen to it here.)
The campaign was received with much popularity, with lots of young and old Burmese sharing the news about the actions. The T-shirts are becoming a real hit with more people wanting to buy them. The Burmese authorities didn’t respond to the action. Instead they have chosen to wait and see what what the next part of the campaign will be like.
Read more at Waging Nonviolence Org