Friday, April 13, 2012
BERSIH 3.0 going GLOBAL!
The Malaysian diaspora is all set to stand up for electoral reform, but this time, by sitting down.
Those in 33 cities have confirmed that they will organise solidarity sit-ins on April 28, in support of that organised by the clean and fair elections NGO Bersih 2.0 in Kuala Lumpur on the same day.
Out of that, at least 20 cities have settled on the time and venues for the events and started promoting their respective events on social media and local event listings.
The New Zealand group will kick off the global sit in at Aotea Square, Auckland at 1pm.
“Due to the time zone, Bersih 3.0 in Auckland will be the first one to kick off Bersih 3.0!” organiser Lydia Chai said in an email to Malaysiakini.
Neighbouring Australia would follow suit with gatherings in all seven capital cities, from Hobart to Perth.
Perth organisers got in the spirit early through a ‘yellow barbecue’ earlier this week, in keeping with Bersih’s theme colour.
In Asia, Bersih 2.0 steering committee confirms that Malaysians in the cities of Guangzhou, Shenzen, Hong Kong and Taipei will hold solidarity sit-ins.
In Singapore, organisers are waiting for authorities to reply to an application to use the Hong Lim Park speakers’ corner for their sit-in. It this fails, supporters plan to carpool to Kuala Lumpur.
Those in Osaka are also confirming the venue with authorities alongside those in Tokyo, who can confirm that it will be held at a venue along the Yamamoto train line.
Over in Europe, a sit-in is planned in front of the Malaysian High Commission in London while those in Edinburgh should head to the Meadow Park for a protest picnic.
Other venues in the region include Graz, Stockholm, Geneva and Newcastle.
Across the Atlantic Ocean, Malaysians in up to 11 US cities, too, will put on yellow shirts for electoral reform.
Sit-ins are confirmed to take place in Houston, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Portland and Columbus, with Canadian city Toronto, too, set to see some action.
Concurrent sit-ins in Malaysia
Back at home, up to nine other Malaysian cities will get their share of the excitement including Kuantan, Alor Setar, Miri, Sibu, Kuching, Penang and Ipoh.
However, only organisers in two cities have confirmed the venue - Dataran Pahlawan in Malacca and Padang Merdeka in Kota Kinabalu.
“The others will be announcing the venues at a later date,” said Bersih steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah.
Also joining the rally would be anti-Lynas group Himpunan Hijau, which successfully held a rally attended by thousands in Kuantan earlier this year.
The Himpunan Hijau group plan to meet at KLCC before making their way to Dataran Merdeka, where the Bersih sit-in will take place, and have urged Kuantan folk to join the events in Kuala Lumpur.
Supporting them will be the Bukit Merah residents who protested the Asia Rare Earth plant there in the 1980s. Their April 28 sit-in will be held at the former plant site at the Perak town.