(19 October 2007)
It all begins here... due to forecasts of inclement weather, we moved everyone under the tent... so, already, it looks like it will be quite crowded.
A few of us arrived early to "set up". This year Amnesty played a big part in the nightmarket because there was a big push to support the situation in Burma. The situation in Burma, being linked to human rights... naturally connected the dots with us.
In any case, our relationship with the Burma 88 coalition is a friendly one and the intersection of our member sets is certainly a non-empty one (all that means is that there are members of the amnesty group who are ALSO members of the Burma 88 coalition).
Since the nightmarked it primarily organised by the Chinese Students group on campus, it seemed appropriate for us to open the night with a bit of a lion dance.
All the running abou and beating of the drums was sure to scare away any evil spirits (as well as the more timid passers-by)
There were three... I'm not sure why there were three, but there were. I was slightly surprised that the whole schmozzle didn't conclude with a small-scale firecracker release.
Various other performances followed incuding dances with bollywood music... because wolves could not be found at such short notice.
The sun set but people didn't go home...
In fact, I'd say that there were more people at the nightmarket after the sun went down... then it occurred to me - *night* market... aaaahhhh
There was a great deal of food at the market to tempt the masses into the tent.
...and most of the food was also very tasty, and relatively cheap.
The technology employed to ensure that the food was of tip-top quality was quite astounding.
The Burma 88 group's "Free Burma" t-shirts were in no short supply. While lacking the requisite Alberto Korda photograph, the look of a determined Aung San Suu Kyi was still more than enough to inspire many many t-shirt sales.
Despite every (yes, EVERY) table being given a stack of letters to sign and a donations cup, our table still received a very decent amount of traffic.
Even those who did not sign a letter would stop to have a look... and those who did... well, they often had a look anyway.
If you still want a shirt, I'm sure there are still some available. They're not official amnesty things per se... but I'm pretty sure Aung San Suu Kyi is in our "good books".
Kabita give us the low-down on the situation in Burma and does it far more engagingly and succinctly than I did at the area meeting just last week.
...and Geoff steps up to the plate and tells us a bit about the current happenings and the actions that people can participate in.
Not the most upmarket donation container I've ever seen... but it's the thought that counts, and many people's thoughts are with those leading the saffron revolution whose members have endured many decades of violent oppression.