We Are Many: Home free

A young activist in Australia shows support for Burma's pro-democracy movement during in 2007. (Flickr / Rusty Stewart)

A young activist in Australia shows support for Burma’s pro-democracy movement in 2007. (Flickr / Rusty Stewart)

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In the Spring of 1988, Tim Aye-Hardy was just a normal college student, having a good time hanging out with his friends — until one day, a fellow student was shot and killed by the police. This was the spark that set off a nationwide pro-democracy movement in Burma, known as the 8888 Uprising.

Almost immediately, Aye-Hardy found himself in the middle of it, leading rallies and marches. But then the military dictatorship began to crack down on the student protesters and — virtually overnight — Aye-Hardy became a marked man, forced to live underground and eventually flee the country.

For the last 25 years, he has been living in the United States — separated from the life and people he left back in Burma. It wasn’t until a few years ago, when the country began opening up and transitioning toward a quasi-civilian government, that Aye-Hardy was able to return for a visit. But that visit reignited his drive to make Burma a more just and free society. Now, he is in the process of implementing a daring new project that will confront the country’s rampant child labor issues.

During this hour of We Are Many, you will not only hear the miraculous story of how Tim Aye-Hardy evaded and escaped a brutally repressive regime, but also the beginnings of his next adventure — one that, this time, will bring him closer to home.

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