• IWW Ireland

BLOOD MONEY CAMPAIGN: Solidarity with Workers in Myanmar


JOIN THE BLOOD MONEY CAMPAIGN, SUPPORT MYANMAR WORKERS IN STRUGGLE


On 1st February 2021 Myanmar military general Min Aung Hlaing staged a coup, which has sparked a strong wave of civil disobedience in the country.  Days after the military junta took over the government and declared a state of emergency, textile workers, together with students, doctors, teachers, and railway workers, went on strike against the army takeover, and have continued to bravely resist the military junta by organising into what is known as the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM). Since then the military have ruthlessly repressed the movement, killing 960 people, many young people and children,  and more than 5500 people are still imprisoned (Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) - Home | Facebook). Atrocities have become increasingly difficult to record because of the regime’s shutdown of mobile data and wireless broadband that has blocked internet access for most of the population.


Since the military coup in February, trade union and civil disobedience activists have been staging mass strikes against the local economy, such as work stoppages, non-payment of household bills, no attendance to schools or universities, as a weapon to fight against injustice, against the military. With a remarkable high participation in both the private and public sectors, the strikes have plummeted the country’s economy, effectively cutting off part of the military regime’s revenue.


Activists in the CDM have said: “we are enduring many challenges, threats and coercions from the military who wants the strikes to end. They want the appearance of everything as business as usual, and our strike is hindering that. Workers are facing various forms of repression. Not only is the military shooting at us in the streets, but factory managements are often collaborating with the military, calling them to crack-down on protests and strikes”.

Today, marking thirty- three years of the student’s led uprising against the military government in 8/8/1988, known as the "8888 Uprising", which was also brutally repressed by the military at the time, activists and trade unions in Myanmar have officially launched the Blood Money Campaign, which aims to pressure companies that keep doing business with the military junta – be it directly or indirectly.


Various labour unions such as the Federation of General Workers Myanmar (FGWM) as well as the Confederation of Trade Unions of Myanmar (CTUM) as a whole call on all companies to halt investments in Myanmar, to ensure respect for human and labour rights in their supply chains in Myanmar. With any business done the military and its repressive regime benefits – through taxes, fees or direct co-operations.


The labour movement of Myanmar is calling for comprehensive economic sanctions and a boycott of the country to starve the regime of resources, and urge the international community to support their struggle for justice, as their resistance is very much dependent on undivided international solidarity.


The Industrial Workers of the World Ireland as part of the International Confederation of Labour (ICL) supports the Blood Money Campaign led by workers in Myanmar and will engage in the next forthcoming weeks in solidarity actions locally to help supporting their struggle for justice and human rights.


“Our battle is between the light and the darkness. It is between dictatorship and democracy. This is the last revolution for us. We need to put an end to this reign of terror in our generation, so that our children’s children do not suffer the same fate. We are not going to give up”. CDM activist, Myanmar,2021.




Sources:

Workers Are Still Launching Nationwide Strikes Against Myanmar’s Military Coup (jacobinmag.com)


Striking Myanmar miners hurt military revenue | IndustriALL (industriall-union.org)

Blood Money Campaign | Global May Day


WHAT YOU CAN DO TO SUPPORT THE BLOOD MONEY CAMPAIGN:


Pressure corporations collaborating with the military Junta, such as Deutsche Post DHL Group (source: justiceformyanmar.org), Total SE (source: asianews.it) and Sinotruk/MAN (source: justiceformyanmar.org), TotalEnergies, \Chevron Corporation, POSCO, PETRONAS, Development bank of Singapore, Oversea Chinese Banking Corporation.


Put pressure on international apparel brands to freeze trading and payment of tax revenue to military and ensure that all workers in their supply factories are guaranteed the right to take unpaid leave without dismissal. Follow the actions of international brands on Myanmar coup such as: Zara, H&M, Adidas, OBS, Mango, Sioen, Volkswagen, Primark/Penneys.


Support workers participating in CDM movements with financial donations:


Support the Resistance Movement in Myanmar: https://www.firefund.net/weresistburma?fbclid=IwAR0GvKV_tda0Caz7qmgVOBeMIAElVcokcvGvtFmljoj9ht9JhbWdb2kNnoE


An overview of other different channels can be found here: isupportmyanmar.com


In case you want to support mutual aid efforts by Food not Bombs Myanmar, please contact asia@icl-cit.org for details.


Pressure the Singaporean government! “The wealthy island city-state is Myanmar’s biggest foreign investor, overtaking China in 2019 to bring in more than $24 billion of capital through lucrative real estate projects, banking, shipping, sand exports and construction, as well as arms sales.“ (source: vice.com) The governmet owns Temasek Holdings, which combines capital worth more than $230 billion. Temasek Holdings again has the majority of shares of many corporations like Singapore Airlines (56%). Pressuring Singapore Airlines would therefore also put pressure on the government of Singapore.


Support the National Unity Government initiative! “Opponents of Myanmar’s junta announced a National Unity Government including ousted members of parliament and leaders of anti-coup protests and ethnic minorities, saying their aim was to end military rule and restore democracy.” (source: reuters.com)


Use the Twitter hashtags to share information on the Blood Money Campaign and against the military repression in Myanmar:


#Bloodmoneymyanmar

#StopPayingToJunta

#FreezeDollarToJunta


Use these slogans to make posters to share as pictures in your social media


-Cut off the Junta’s access to international business

-Stop Paying to crime against humanity

-Freeze the Terrorist Junta Income


Three fingers in the air – for freedom, for unity, for solidarity!



For latest updates on the Blood Money campaign and What You Can Do, please visit:


#BloodMoneyMyanmar: What YOU can do! | Global May Day


#BloodMoneyMyanmar: Materials | Global May Day


To announce your activities please email: bloodmoneycampaign21@gmail.com | asia@icl-cit.org

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