|The Burma Act of 2021 is here! |
Congressman Gregory Meeks formally – and finally! – will introduce the Burma Act of 2021 (aka the #BurmaBill) in the House of Representatives. Even if you’ve sent a message before, click here today to urge your Members of Congress to co-sponsor the Burma Act of 2021.
The introduction of this bill is a tribute to your hard work. Over the past few months, we have ramped up our email, phone calls, and Zoom meetings with our Members of Congress. Now, let’s ensure that our Members of Congress sign up as original co-sponsors the Burma Act of 2021. Lead sponsored by Senator Ben Cardin and Rep. Gregory Meeks, the new #Burmabills will, not only sanction and hold accountable the Myanmar military but also provide support to Burmese civil society and much-needed humanitarian assistance directly to the Myanmar people. Click here today to urge your U.S. senators and representative co-sponsor the Burma Act of 2021.
Please follow up your message in these four easy – yet powerful – ways.
Follow up #1: email your U.S. representative
Find the name of your U.S. representative’s legislative director by simply searching under the name of your representative and the term “legislative director.” When you have the name, the staffer’s email will be simply [first name].[last name]@mail.house.gov (Don’t leave out the period between the first and last name.)
You may wish to use a succinct and direct subject line such as: “Please co-sponsor the Burma Act of 2021”
Start your message with a mention of where you live in the state. Feel free to include a sentence or two on why you care about Myanmar and provide your address to show you live in the district. Please use or adapt the following text in your email. Please blind copy (bcc) us on your email at firstname.lastname@example.org.I ask that my representative co-sponsor and support the Burma Act of 2021 introduced by Rep. Gregory Meeks.
To sign on as an original co-sponsor, please contact Anubhav Gupta in Rep. Meeks’s office at Anubhav.Gupta@mail.house.gov by 10am on Tuesday, September 28th.The US. Congress must show leadership in forcing the Burmese army to stand down from its coup d’etat and release all civilian government and civil society figures from detention. Please write back and tell me what actions my representative will take in response to the Myanmar military’s coup d’etat. Thank you. If you receive a reply, forward it to us at email@example.com.
Follow up #2: call your representative’s office. Search online for your U.S. representative’s Washington, DC, phone number or call through the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121
When you reach the office, ask to be connected directly to the staffer responsible for foreign policy either in person or on their voicemail. Simply tell the staffer – in person or on their voicemail – that you want your representative to co-sponsor the Burma Act of 2021.
Ask them to contact Anubhav Gupta in Rep. Meeks’s office at Anubhav.Gupta@mail.house.gov to sign up as a co-sponsor. Leave your name, number, and city of residence to indicate that you live in the congressional district. Follow up with an email to the staffer and blind copy (bcc) us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Email us at email@example.com and tell us how your calls went. And please tell us of any changes or additions to your representative’s staffers.
Follow up #3: Check out our training sessions. Our Manager of our Campaign for a New Manager, Mike Haack, leads training sessions for the best ways to communicate with Congress and other elected officials. They are held on Sundays at 6:00 pm US EDT and Tuesdays at 9:00 pm US EDT. Simply join the Zoom call using this short link: https://www.tinyurl.com/CallCongress4Burma. You can also email Mike with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow up #4: Join our lobbying efforts. We can support you with setting up Zoom meetings with the top staff of your Members of Congress. Again, contact Mike Haack, from the Campaign for a New Myanmar, to take part of that at email@example.com.
Just one meeting, email, or phone call from a constituent can make a difference. Your Members of Congress need to know that you want Congress to act. The people of Myanmar can’t wait any longer.
You may have heard of #BloodDiamonds, but how much do you know about #GenocideGems? Myanmar produces more than 90% of the world’s rubies and jade, and these stones command the highest prices on the international market. Because it dominates Burma’s gemstone industry, the Myanmar military profits when high-end jewelry retailers – like Harry Winston (owned by Swatch) – buy Burmese gems for their collections.
Today, let’s take four actions to hold Harry Winston – and its owner Swatch – to account. They need to stop profiting from the sale of #GenocideGems.
Action #1: Share our petition to Harry Winston
Since you’ve already signed our petition to Harry Winston, please share the petition with your friends and family. Use this link.
Action #2: Post on the social media of Harry Winston and Swatch
In addition to signing the petition, follow up by posting messages on the companies’ social media accounts.
Copy the message below and adapt it as you wish. Add it as a comment on posts showcasing jewelry or watches on the Facebook and Instagram pages of Harry Winston and Swatch.
I refuse to buy your brands while Harry Winston (owned by Swatch) buys #GenocideGems from Myanmar that profit the Burmese military and its atrocities against the peoples of Myanmar.
Read the truth about Harry Winston here. https://bit.ly/HarryWinston_NoGenocideGems
Use the links below to the jeweler’s social media.
Don’t neglect to post similar comments on the companies’ LinkedIn page. Join us in telling the companies on their job postings why you would never work for a company that supports the Myanmar military.
Action #3: Make an appointment to protest at your local Harry Winston store
In addition to signing the petition, would you follow up by visiting one of Harry Winston’s stores?
Click on this link to make an appointment at one of Harry Winston’s swanky stores. If you can turn up for the appointment, ask to see the jewelry with rubies. Then explain to the store manager why you would never buy from Harry Winston as long as it buys gems that profit the Myanmar military.
Breaking! One of our awesome activists in the UK just visited Harry Winston’s London store. Let’s make sure Harry Winston hears from us at every store worldwide!
Action #4: Attend our virtual comedy night.
On September 16 at 8:00 pm, some of the funniest people on the planet will come together to support our work on behalf of the Burmese people. You can learn more about the event here and you can buy your tickets here. This is a virtual event.
We can and must build our pressure on Myanmar’s military. Your actions have moved your governments to pass tough sanctions and successfully pressed companies, such as Western Union, online jeweler Angara, and Kirin brewery, to end their business partnerships with the Burmese military. We can stop the sale of #GenocideGems.
Your gifts will help us keep building the campaigns and tools that we need to take effective action together. Please click here to make a gift of $30, $60, $120, $250, or more. Learn more about our other actions for the Rohingya here.
Harry Winston item featuring Burmese gems
For Further Reading:
- “Jade and Conflict: Myanmar’s Vicious Cycle,” Global Witness, June 2021
- “Rare Jewels From Bulgari, Cartier and Harry Winston Take Center Stage at Phillips’ Next Auction,” Robb Report, 21 June 2021
- “Will Myanmar’s ‘Genocide Gems’ Become the New Blood Diamonds?,” BusinessWeek, October 17, 2018
- “No Genocide Gems! Burmese Military Takes a Hit From Citizens Sanctions,” International Campaign for the Rohingya blog
- “Sanction Myanmar Military, Not Myanmar People,” Justice For Myanmar and Burma Campaign UK, 5 February 2021
- Jade and the Generals, Global Witness, May 17, 2017
- “Dirty List” of companies doing business with the Myanmar military, Burma Campaign UK
- Subscribe to Frontier Myanmar’s excellent daily coverage from inside the country.
The third – and thus far most serious – wave of Covid is hitting Myanmar hard. Hospitals have reached maximum capacity. At military hospitals, staff are turning away civilians under orders to limit treatment to military personnel and their relatives. As Progressive Voice reports:
“Ultimately, the root cause of all these human rights and humanitarian catastrophes is the military junta’s insatiable lust for power at all costs, including letting the people of Myanmar perish from COVID-19 as collateral damage to their ends. This is another impasse which requires the international community’s emergency response.”
Again and again, the military junta has proved itself to be illegitimate, brutal, corrupt, and incompetent. We need the international communuty to not only to hold accountable the Myanmar military, but also to provide humanitarian assistance directly to the Myanmar people. It is also time for the world to recognize instead the National Unity Government of Myanmar.
Thank you for signing our petition to President Biden urging that the US recognize the National Unity Government of Myanmar. Would you share the petition with your friends and family?
To share the petition urging the US to recognize the NUG, you can simply copy and paste the following message. You can also personalise the message as you wish. Email, text, and post this message on your social media.
Please join me in signing this petition urging that President Biden recognize the civilian National Unity Goverment of Myanmar. It’s vital that we support democracy and human rights in Myanmar following the military coup. Just click this link to sign: https://bit.ly/usa4nug
The NUG is made up of elected representatives, ethnic minority leaders, and prominent members of civil society. It was created to formalize and continue to fight for the profound changes that are happening in Myanmar. The NUG has vowed to abolish the 1982 citizenship law that has been the basis for excluding the Rohingya. It has also promised to abolish the 2008 constitution which grants the military vast powers.
To succeed, the NUG, however, needs recognition and access to the resources. This is why recognition from the U.S. government is so crucial to its success. For the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) in Myanmar to be successful, the world must recognize the NUG as the legitimate representative of the Myanmar people.
So please share our petition widely. Let’s build the movement of people worldwide taking action to support democracy and human rights in Myanmar. Thank you so much,
ps. Your gifts will help us keep building the campaigns and tools that we need to take effective action together. Please click here to make a gift of $30, $60, $120, $250, or more.
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For Further Reading:
“Why the Biden administration should recognize Myanmar’s shadow government,”by Michael Haack and SiuSue Mark, Washington Post, 15 July 2021
National Unity Government– official website (English)
“Why the National Unity Government’s Statement on Myanmar’s Rohingya Is Important,” by Angshuman Choudhury, The Diplomat, 9 June 2021
Follow the up-to-the-minute news on Twitter using these hashags: #CivilDisobedienceMovement #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar #JusticeForMyanmar