Attendants at the Flower Strike at the United Nations Plaza/Civic Center on Saturday, April 10, 2021. The strike commemorated those who had died in the anti-coup protests. (Lucky Whitburn-Thomas / Golden Gate Xpress) (Lucky Whitburn-Thomas)
Attendants at the Flower Strike at the United Nations Plaza/Civic Center on Saturday, April 10, 2021. The strike commemorated those who had died in the anti-coup protests. (Lucky Whitburn-Thomas / Golden Gate Xpress)

Lucky Whitburn-Thomas

Myanmar protesters hold ‘flower strike’ at the United Nations Plaza in San Francisco

The Burmese gathered at the United Nations Plaza in San Francisco against the Burmese government‘s brutal killing in its own country

April 13, 2021

Members from the Free Burma Action Committee held a flower strike at the United Nations Plaza on Saturday. The protest’s purpose was to oppose the brutal killing of the Burmese people by their government. Protestors brought flowers to symbolize each death.

The Burmese military has killed citizens who openly opposed the coup since Feb. 1. So far, the death toll has reached 701 including at least 48 children, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners tracking. On April 9, the Burma military again killed more than 80 innocent citizens in Myanmar that day.

“The purpose of this event is to show our continual support and solidarity with our people with Burma people against the oppression and the dictatorship against its own people,” said Min Thwin Khant, a main leader of the protest for the FBAC.

“This protest for this week, specifically, we were actually doing a flowers strike, flower to signify that we are actually commemorating the fallen martyrs, which is brought 600 people here right now.”

To show the overseas Burma people stand in solidarity with the Myanmar in the mainland, we’re actually suffering the atrocities, to show that we actually stand with them with symbolism. ”

— Min Thwin Khant

Min Thwin Khant expressed the purpose of why their organization gathered so many people in downtown San Francisco.

“To show the overseas Burma people stand in solidarity with the Myanmar in the mainland, we’re actually suffering the atrocities, to show that we actually stand with them with symbolism,” Thwin Khant said. “San Francisco is very diverse for inclusive, you can see literally so many people from so many diverse backgrounds. So we want to let them know that these things are happening in Myanmar. They can also show their support with us in this protest.” 

Me Me Khant is another organizer for the Free Burma Action Committee.

“I think it’s really important for us to raise awareness about this particular issue, and especially in a big city like San Francisco,” Me Khant said. “ Another reason we have fundraising. Burma has a lot of people who are needing humanitarian assistance, also people are participating in a movement possibilities and disobedience movement, where they’re stopped going to work to protest against the illegitimate government. So they need financial support as well.”

Tanya Hamanaka is a volunteer who joined the Free Burma Action Committee specifically for this protest. Hamanaka brought her husband and children to join.

“San Francisco is the heart of freedom, right? So we are at the UN Plaza. The Free Burma Action’s protest has been here at least 11 times already, we want to bring up awareness of something,” Hamanaka said. “We want the world to know that the military coup dictatorship take-over the country is not acceptable. If we accept that, the country down as North Korea.”

“The option to help out is protest. Protesting is a way to say that what we don’t agree, it’s not accepted. So we protest when we feel that it’s not what the people want. That’s why we protest, peaceful protesting,” Hamanaka said.

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