Burma Global Action Network (BGAN) is dedicated to the promotion of the struggle for justice and democracy in Burma, operating in conjunction with other, more established groups. Founded in the wake of the 2007 monk-led anti-government protests by creating the Facebook group “Support the Monks’ Protest in Burma”, BGAN has initiated and organized various actions designed to raise public awareness about the situation in Burma and put pressure governments and other stakeholders to take action on Burmese issues.
The core executive of BGAN is comprised of moderators from our highly successful Facebook group, “Support the Monks’ Protest in Burma.” This platform was established in late September, 2007, to raise awareness of the monk-led anti-government protests. It soon became an unqualified success: at its peak, it had nearly 500,000 members, and united disparate individuals and organizations around the globe working together for the goal of a free Burma. In conjunction with the Burma Campaign UK, Canadian Friends of Burma, the US Campaign for Burma and Avaaz.org, as well as countless local partners, a Global Day of Action for Burma was held on October 6, 2007, in cities worldwide. The London demonstration alone had more than 10,000 participants; tens of thousands participated in events worldwide. It remains one of the largest simultaneous events coordinated primarily over the internet, and can be a considered a significant milestone in the history of internet activism for its novel usage of social networking technology.
BGAN also coordinated a global day of action with the emphasis on freeing Burma’s political prisoners. “Aung San Suu Kyi Day” was held on October 24, 2007, which marked the date on which Aung San Suu Kyi had spent 12 years under house arrest.
Our most significant user-uploaded media campaign is the website Don’t Forget Burma. Designed to combat the lull in Burma-related coverage in the international media following the crackdown on demonstrators in October, Don’t Forget Burma was designed as a viral campaign where concerned citizens can upload messages of support for the Burmese cause and try to keep Burma in the media spotlight and public consciousness.
BGAN also launched a campaign urging consumers to boycott oil companies Chevron and Total, and encouraging those companies to divest of their substantial assets in the country, which provide a direct pipeline of support to the military dictatorship at the expense of the Burmese people.
Tim Aye Hardy