This blog's latest online action was with the Bloggers Unite campaign in support of refugees. Another group that has had a number of worthwhile campaigns has been Avaaz. Here are some past campaigns supported by this blog Using the Web to take action is Change, Adding your voice to a cause is Change and What the world including me is saying to Obama. Burma has also been a topic for this blog with Refugees Across the Globe - A Millennium Problem, Open Architecture Network - Making a difference with the Web and Triangular Scale and with my other blog, Pathways to New Paradigms Even In A Digital World It Takes Real Heart To Make Change, Revisiting The Past Creating the Future and Burma Burning. Below is the latest action from Avaaz concerning Burma.Dear friends, Myanmar
Burma is far from the headlines - but we've found a real pressure point, the insurers who prop up the junta's economic interests. Read the email and take action now!
A year after their crackdown, Burma's military dictators remain entrenched, propped up by dealings with Western companies. But the Burmese democracy movement has found a powerful pressure point -- many of the Generals' West-linked business ventures depend on one insurer: Lloyd's of London.
Lloyd's is the world's oldest, most respected insurer, and cares a great deal about its global reputation -- by pointing out Lloyd's blameworthiness as key insurance deals come up for renewal, we can shift their cost-benefit calculations on support to the Burmese regime.
If enough of us email and call key decision-makers at Lloyd's this week, we could shame them into pulling out of this dirty trade, undermining the hardliners and creating pressure for human rights and the release of political prisoners like democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Follow this link to lend a hand to the Burmese people.
Lloyd's of London is the umbrella and overseer for hundreds of specialist insurance syndicates, and it can stop their dirty trade if it so chooses. Already many big global insurers have stopped insuring junta-linked businesses – after Lloyd's, the generals will start to run out of options. We'll ramp up the pressure by alerting the media to our campaign, specialist insurance publications included. Even the British government has begun to ask Lloyd's to cease its business with the Burmese military junta.
If we win, the regime will be thrown onto the back foot, Burma's people will be immensely heartened, and the UN Secretary-General will have a greater chance of securing the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other prisoners this December. Together, our individual small acts are becoming irresistible. We can't forget Burma.
With hope and determination,
Paul, Alice, Iain, Graziela, Ricken, Pascal, Paula, Brett, Veronique, Milena -- the entire Avaaz team
1. The Observer: "The baron who holds Burma's purse strings", 2 November 2008
Reinsurance Magazine: Big insurers including Marsh, Swiss Re, AON pull out:
Arab Insurance Group and XL also pull out
2. "Foreign Office warns Lloyd's over Burma"
3. As Ban Ki-Moon prepares to visit, Asia-Europe summit in Beijing calls for release of political prisoners:
Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in Ottawa, London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Sydney and Geneva.
Click here to learn more about Avaaz's largest campaigns.