Freedom to Lead in Burma

Aung San Suu Kyi, the woman who has been held under house arrest in Burma for the past thirteen years, is portrayed as a symbol of hope in this poster designed by American artist Shepard Fairey. The poster, released in June 2009, serves as a public support of the work of the Human Rights Action Center and the U.S. Campaign for Burma to engage the international community in the struggle to free Aung San Suu Kyi, and establish democracy in her nation.

Freedom to Lead


“This Human Rights cause is something I believe in strongly,” said Fairey. “I created this portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi to raise awareness of her on-going house arrest and the oppressive nature of the military regime ruling Burma.”

Using the striking color palette of the Campaign, the image depicts Aung San Suu Kyi’s hopeful face, with dove imagery at her heart. With “FREEDOM TO LEAD” as her banner, the portrait incites a bold movement, to ensure that the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient will soon be released from prison and usher in an era of human rights and democracy that her people desire.

”In a world in which we all too often focus on differences, Aung San Suu Kyi is a unifying figure that people of all political persuasions can work to support. Shepard’s image encapsulates that very point beautifully,” said Jeremy Woodrum, director of the U.S. Campaign for Burma. “The Burmese people have appealed for our help – let’s give it to them.”

The “Freedom To Lead” campaign has partnered with Causecast, an online global community and social action network; a leader for online cause marketing campaigns, for all social media development and offline grassroots building campaigns. In effort to get more people aware of Aung San Suu Kyi and the situation in Burma and keep people connected, Causecast will be providing easy to read daily updates on Causecast.org and through Twitter (@Causecast) about Aung San Suu Kyi by aggregating all related content.

Causecast is running a website, freedomtolead.causecast.org, designed as a hub for information and facts, exclusive articles, graphical assets, and ideas for coalition members to show their support on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Bebo, and personal blogs, empowering anyone with a presence online to make a difference.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who turned 64 on June 19th, is not just a human rights leader. She led her political party, the National League for Democracy, to win 82% of parliamentary seats in Burma’s last nationwide election. The NLD’s elected members, including Aung San Suu Kyi, were never permitted to take their rightful position as leaders of the country, and 2,100 political prisoners – including members of parliament — remain locked up in prison.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s has been held under house arrest for 13 of the past 19 years, but her detention was set to expire in late May. However, she was removed from her home and placed in Burma’s Insein prison in advance of that date after an American broke into her home. She is currently back in house arrest waiting for the results of the appeal against her sentence.

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