Friday, October 29, 2004

Double The Pleasure

In a few hours, I fly to Chicago for an Amnesty USA Corporate Action Network training of trainers.

I'm pleased that I'll miss all the palava of the Red Socks victory march tomorrow. (Last year, I was able to escape the Patriots victory jig too.) Where I work around Park Street, the city has already set up barriers and big message boards.

I'm also very pleased that Ann and I have secured May 8th as our wedding date. It will be at the Arlington Street Church, with our minister, Rev. Kim Crawford Harvie, presiding.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Buy This CD!

Here's a good holiday present.

Twenty seven music stars including U2, R.E.M., Eric Clapton, Avril Lavigne, Peter Gabriel, Coldplay, and Pearl Jam have released "For the Lady," a brand-new double CD set dedicated to freeing the world's only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Aung San Suu Kyi and the 50 million people of Burma.

"For The Lady" features unreleased material by R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Tom Morello's The Nightwatchman, Damien Rice, Lili Hadyn and Better Than Ezra.

The album also features a song in Burmese written by a jailed student democracy activist. Like the leaders of former communist states, Burma's military regime is fearful of the power of rock and roll, and singing a freedom song can result in a seven-year prison sentence.

Proceeds from the CD go to the U.S. Campaign for Burma. Buy the CD from the USCB website.

About Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma

Since 1988 Aung San Suu Kyi has led the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Burma campaigning for democracy and human rights against one of the world's most brutal military regimes. Known to many as "Asia's Nelson Mandela", she is a symbol of hope for those struggling for freedom around the world, and received the Nobel Peace Prize for her nonviolent work to restore human rights to a country ravaged by military rule.

She has spent the majority of the past 14 years placed under house arrest by Burma's repressive junta, and thousands of her supporters have been arrested, tortured and killed. Yet she is more than an activist — she's elected. She led her political party the National League for Democracy to an 82% victory in Burma's last election — the military regime annulled the results.

Bill Clinton, John McCain, Madeline Albright, Colin Powell, Bono, Desmond Tutu and Vaclav Havel have all expressed their support for Aung San Suu Kyi and her cause. In July 2004, Damien Rice and Ani DiFranco traveled to Thailand and Burma to visit refugee camps and meet with pro-democracy activists (view photos). Their trip was organized by the U.S. Campaign for Burma to raise international awareness about the struggle for freedom in Burma.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Ending Radio Silence

Is it really a month since I last blogged?

In the past few weeks, my travel schedule has been brutal. I've flown to Mexico City and Denver for conferences and to Austin, Texas, for a wedding. After two more quick trips to Chicago and New York City, I'm done for the year. I'm grateful that I won't see the inside of an airport throughout the entire month of December.

In the interim, I have also been nominated as a candidate for the board of Amnesty International USA. I had been asked last year but I turned it down. This year I decided that I was crazy enough to accept. I face an election next year where I will be one of 12-15 candidates for seven board seats. You will all hear much more about this in the coming months.

In the meantime, here's a photo of the scenery outside the conference center in Colorado. What little I saw of the outdoors was in snatches as I shuttled from hotel to conference center. Next time I must remember to take a few extra days after the conference to relax and explore.