My trip to Karenni Amidst Myanmar Civil War: Reporting about Democracy and self-determinism found within anti-junta rebels

Michael Sladnick New Updated Time for Event

Michael Sladnick is a former American Trotskyist previously located in Chicago and NYC. After the 2021 coup d’état and outbreak of the Spring Revolution, he decided to dedicate himself to building support for the revolutionary Myanmar proletariat – even if it meant leaving "the U.S. Left" behind. While supporting Myanmar diaspora activism in Chicago, his solidarity work during the first two-and-a-half years of the revolution was mainly as an individual online, in the course of which he made direct contact with grassroots revolutionary organizations and activists from across Myanmar; donating over $30,000 directly to comrades on the ground, focusing especially on the strike committees organizing public protests around the Yinmabin-Salingyi mines and in other rural areas, and the small groups who bravely continue to protest in the cities; learning Burmese in the course of that support work and daily conversations online.

Submitted by heinhtetkyaw on April 5, 2024

In July 2023, Michael moved to the Thai-Myanmar border to continue his solidarity work from there. Together with his wife, a former member of the Yinmabin PDF (married in September), he has worked to support PDFs fighting on the frontlines in Karen State. Michael recently returned from Karenni State, where he was on a trip he organized through local PDFs and on which he served as a translator for a foreign journalist. He will tell us about what he saw on the ground, the recently liberated areas and few remaining battles, the current state of the masses and the revolutionary organizations, in the Myanmar state which is closest to liberation but also devastated by regime repression and largely cut off from outside communication. Michael and his comrades are currently organizing a campaign, Final Step: Karenni to Naypyidaw, to raise much-needed support for Karenni’s revolutionary fighters and civilians, and is seeking to lead more journalists into Myanmar and to do more to raise international awareness about the continuing Spring Revolution.

My conception is that in Karenni and other areas of Myanmar, you have all these autonomous groups that nobody really controls. Yet they are able to collaborate together effectively to an amazing extent. The central government (the NUG) is mainly just a symbolic center without real administrative control. This is a new form of social organization, based on the public participation, consciousness and social-democratic principles of the masses. It is the real-world manifestation of the theoretical predictions of both anarchism and the classical Marxist concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat (the withering away of the state). It's also what makes revolution possible in a country like Myanmar, where traditional forms of organization are effectively suppressed by the modern capitalist police state.

The event will be held at "Saturday, 11 May 2024"
- 06:00 Brisbane Time (AEST)
via Zoom.

Zoom invitation link - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84874786908?pwd=bjVsTmFGbEl1dFhGZnhBS3dSbDlKdz09

Comments

heinhtetkyaw

3 months 2 weeks ago

Submitted by heinhtetkyaw on April 5, 2024

Michael Sladnick is a comrade who showed his solidarity to Burmese people since the early days of the coup. I have known him since 2021.

At first, he was active online, engaging with us (me and those comrades in Burma).

Then, he flew all the way from USA to Burma. He learnt Burmese. He settled in a grassroot village from a rural area and talked with poor working class Burmese people and peasants. He is now even married to a Burmese revolutionary lady.

He attended the meeting of "Democracy Movement Strike Committee-Dawei" around 2022 and reported the motion of the committee standing in solidarity with workers from China protesting at the time.

I, comrades from YAA, and other comrades from Burma will be assisting him with this event.