Members of Utica's Burmese population have organized a rally to be held Friday from 3 until 6 p.m. protesting the military coup on February 1st, and the inhumane treatment of the people there.

Utica is home to more than 2,000 refugees from Burma, also known as Myanmar, and the military coup and violence has affected many of them as family members still remain there.

"I'm one of the organizers and one of the members from the Utica Karen community. I am originally from Burma, also known as Myanmar, and those of you who are following international news, there was a military coup in Burma on Feb. 1, 2021," said Daniel Cribb. "There are significant number of refugees from Burma right here in Utica and the coup has a significant impact on our lives even though we're halfway around the world."

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The rally to be held near the traffic circle in Oneida Square is being held to "denounce the military coup in Burma," Cribb said. He's asking community members aware of what is really going on in Burma to come out in support of his community. Organizers are asking demonstrators to show up with signs and pictures, to show support in solidarity with democracy protests that are happening in Burma, to denounce the military coup and to raise awareness about on-going ethnic cleansing by the Burma Army towards the ethnic Karen, Kachin, Rohingyas and other minorities in Burma.

Cribb says it's important for the community to understand "how the events there are impacting our community here in Utica."

Demonstrations have been held around the world in support of the Burmese population. Demonstrations which involve banging utensils and other objects, began to spread around the world after starting in Myanmar in the aftermath of a military junta coup that took place last week.

Organizers are asking that participants to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as attendees are strongly encourage to follow CDC & State Dept. of Health guidelines.

Additional details on the Burmese community and Friday's event can be found on the Utica Burma (Myanmar) Ethnics Community Facebook page.

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