Friday, October 19, 2007

Panty Raid!

By Libby

I love this protest action against the Burmese government. Nothing like underwear to send a message.

Activists exasperated at the failure of diplomacy to apply pressure on Burma's military regime are resorting to a new means of protest against the regime's recent crackdown: sending female underwear to Burmese embassies. [...]

The manoeuvre is a calculated insult to the junta and its leader, General Than Shwe. Superstitious junta members believe that any contact with female undergarments - clean or dirty - will sap them of their power, said Jackie Pollack, a member of the Lanna Action for Burma Committee.

This reminds me of the The Great Prison Panty Rebellion of Alabama from back when I was mostly doing drug policy reform blogging. The protest was spontaneously launched back when my friend Loretta Nall was running for governor of 'Bama. It's a long story told in full at the link, including an extended exchange of emails between myself and the bureaucratic hack in charge of excuses at the prison.

Short version: Loretta took her elderly mother to see her brother in prison. It was a long drive and when they arrived they were denied visitation because they weren't wearing panties. I'd note they were wearing slacks. They were treated terribly and the upshot was they never got to see the brother. The story was eventually picked up by Blogtopians and the story so outraged so many women that they began sending panties to the jail. It wasn't organized in any way. They just started sending them. I understand the prison ended with hundreds of undies.

I doubt that it changed the policies at the prison anymore than it will instill a sense of humanity in the Burmese regime, but you know, sometimes it just feels good to do something tangible. At least they got the point.

No comments: