Beyonce: Side With Garment Workers in Myanmar

Beyonce

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Ask Beyonce to speak out in support of our sisters and brothers in Myanmar’s garment industry.

On February 1st, 2021, the Myanmar military executed a coup, illegally and violently overthrowing the elected civilian government and shattering the dreams of many across the country.

In response, citizens from all ethnicities and walks of life have joined together in the new Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM). At the forefront of the CDM resistance are the young, mostly female, garment workers. On March 8th, 2021, the women from Myanmar’s garment industry responded by leading strikes and protests, boldly decrying this theft of their freedom and their future.

Ma Moe Sandar Myint, Chairwoman of the Federation of General Workers of Myanmar (FGWM) has stated: “We are being shot in the streets during the day. Our homes are being raided at night. We have made the global apparel brands huge profits with our bare hands over the years, the very least they should do right now is ensure we are not fired simply for wishing not to live under a military dictatorship. Amidst such an undisputed human rights travesty, their silence thus far is appalling,”

But the apparel factory owners are intimidating and firing workers for going on strike and taking part in pro-democracy protests. Recently, a number of workers were shot and killed when they were lured back to their factory to collect their salaries. Major brands, like Adidas, whose garments are made in Myanmar factories, have been largely silent about the plight of their workers.

Beyonce has visited Myanmar and experienced the hospitality of its people. More importantly, Beyonce has a long-time business collaboration with Adidas, which makes and co-brands her Ivy Park fashion line of activewear. If Beyonce were to speak out publicly in support of Myanmar's garment workers and the Civil Disobedience Movement, Adidas would be under a lot of pressure to back up its apparel workers too.

Today, Myanmar’s peoples echo the song of the oppressed throughout history. They call out with one voice, “We must resist! We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

Please sign our petition urging Beyonce to support the workers on the front line of the struggle for democracy in Myanmar.

For More Information:

Speak Up For Myanmar - check out the website for a summary of this campaign and many images and resources that you can share with your friends







"Workers in Myanmar Are Launching General Strikes to Resist the Military Coup," Michael Haack and Nadi Hlaing, Jacobin, 9 March 2021

To: Beyonce
From: [Your Name]

Dear Beyonce,

We write to you on behalf of our sisters and brothers in Myanmar’s garment industry. We write on behalf of Myanmar.

In February 2021, the Myanmar military executed a coup, illegally and violently overthrowing the elected civilian government and shattering the dreams of many across the country.

The Myanmar military junta is deeply misogynist. Within a short time of the military takeover, women from Myanmar’s garment industry responded by leading strikes and protests, boldly decrying this theft of their freedom and their future.

Major brands sourcing garments from Myanmar factories have been largely silent about the plight of their workers. Some workers have been fired for protesting the military junta and its violence. Others were even locked inside a factory after protesting. Some were shot at and killed when they came to collect their salaries from factory managers.

Adidas sources garments from several factories in Myanmar. Garment workers are some of Myanmar’s most marginalized people yet they are courageously standing up against tyranny. As one woman put it, “This might end with my blood being spilled, but I won’t stop now.” Adidas and Myanmar could have a bright future together, but the garment factory workers of Myanmar need help to fight for that future. They need the international community to support them. It would mean so much if the people of Myanmar could hear your voice right now.

Here are our two requests:

1. Would you make a social media post or public comment in solidarity with the people of Myanmar? Myanmar needs all manner of external support to survive this dark night and reach their promised land. You have a powerful voice to support them.

2. Would you ask Adidas to work with the factory owners to publicly guarantee Myanmar garment workers that they will not lose their jobs or wages because they wish to protest this violent dictatorship?

Beyonce, you've visited Myanmar and experienced the hospitality of the people of Myanmar. More importantly, you have a deep business collaboration with Adidas, which makes and co-brands your Ivy Park fashion line of activewear. If you were to speak out publicly in support of Myanmar's garment workers and the Civil Disobedience Movement, Adidas would have little choice but to back up its apparel workers too.

It would be such an incredible gift to Myanmar and her people if you could offer an encouraging message during this scary time.

Today, Myanmar’s peoples echo the song of the oppressed throughout history. They call out with one voice, “We must resist! We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

Will you join us in speaking up for the freedom of Myanmar?

Thank you for reading our letter!

We’re standing with you for freedom,

The people of Myanmar and their allies