Session 4: Saturday, June 2nd: 4:00 - 5:50pm
In Burma/Myanmar, the mass displacement of the Rohingya minority in late 2017 along with the atrocities, mass graves, and mass rapes followed a protracted period of marginalization of this Muslim minority. In the face of government intransigence and denial, diplomatic logjams and double standards regarding international human rights norms, how can activists build alliances that challenge the rise of authoritarianism both in Southeast Asia, and in the USA? How can such movements scale up a response to the rise of Islamophobia around the globe? The promotion of Islamophobia in Myanmar, using facebook as an effective tool for propaganda and mobilization, has served the Burmese military's preferred "Divide and Conquer" approach to ethnic diversity in Myanmar. China and other international investors are now constructing massive oil and gas pipelines through the smoking ruins of the Rohingya homeland. Therefore the destabilizing effects of globalization, with its drive to exploit raw materials and new markets, mirror the destructive effects of the British Empire that imposed borders on Burma that have divided communities and help create communities and classes in conflict. The Rohingya crisis affects the entire Southeast Asian region. To scale up both crisis response and our collective ability to promote long term solutions to statelessness and disenfranchisement, roundtable facilitators will engage attendees in strategic planning, including conversation of tools and technologies, stakeholders and models of mobilization. For the over one million displaced Rohingya, how will it be possible to empower the impacted community, and to build support within the Burmese diaspora itself? Participants will include Rohingya, Bangladeshis, Muslims and Buddhists.