In response to the ongoing protests since the military coup in Myanmar on February 1st, members of the Burmese Chin community hosted and performed songs in a variety of styles, vendors sold traditional clothing, and an artist drew portraits of attendees to raise funds for CDM, the Civil Disobedience Movement Saturday night at the Chin Evangelical Baptist Church. Indiana is home to the largest Burmese community outside of Burma due to refugees being settled here after fleeing religious and ethnic persecution in their homeland.
Although the exact total toll of protester casualties is uncertain, reports by international media tallied 34 deaths in one day alone last week in street protests around the country. Many of the victims were teenagers shot in the head or beaten by police, military, and armed pro-military civilians. Portraits of those killed and their cause of death were projected on the church’s screens while the performers sang in their memory and made calls for justice. The evening ended in a prayer led by the church’s pastor.