Yangon clamors with protests demanding military stand down (Photos)

Scenes from the anti-military protests on Sunday and Monday in Yangon. Photos: Coconuts Yangon
Scenes from the anti-military protests on Sunday and Monday in Yangon. Photos: Coconuts Yangon

Massive crowds shouting “We want democracy!” rang out across Yangon for the third straight day today.

An estimated 700,000 protesters gathered [scope] to call for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint. At Sule, where the police blocked the crowd from reaching City Hall, anti-coup protesters sang a 1988 revolutionary anthem while others tried to win over the “People’s Police,” treating them with drinks, flowers, snacks, facemasks and meals.

“We won’t give up till they give back our democracy,” a 26-year-old student from Yangon’s Kamayut Township who did not want to be identified by name told Coconuts.

 

Young and old, people of all backgrounds – lawyers, doctors, teachers, engineers, firemen, monks and students, from a 60 years-old with joints and a 3-year-old toddler were seen in the crowd. Even a platoon of defiant Foodpanda deliverymen cycled through on their bicycles, flags flying.

Above all, the red flags of the National League for Democracy and photos of its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, were ubiquitous.

Six days after the military seized power, there is a sense that turning the military back was now or never to the young people leading the huge rally, many holding signs in English and Burmese.

People held signs in both English and Burmese:

“Free our Mother Suu,” “May the dictatorship fall,” and “Respect our votes.”

The No. 1 sign of defiance in Yangon? “You fucked with the wrong generation,” many read.

It’s become normal for people to trade the signature Hunger Games-inspired salute of three fingers. People seeing one another on the road show their mutual support by raising the same gesture back.

Weekend internet blackouts failed to keep people at home, with protests against the army held at 1pm today throughout the city at places including City Hall and the Sule Pagoda. There have been no reports of arrests as yet, and the military has not intervened.

Government workers were seen among those joining the #CivilDisobedienceMovement across in cities across the nation including Naypyidaw, Mandalay, Monywa and Pathein.

In Naypyidaw, today, police fired water cannons at protesters, one of whom was reportedly injured.

The hammering of pots and pans, a traditional means of exorcising ill spirits, have intensified to thrice daily at 8am, 2pm and 8pm.

On Sunday, NLD party spokesperson Kyi Toe told reporters that Aung San Suu Kyi, who so far faces prosecution for the bizarre charge of importing walkie-talkies and is being held against her will in Naypyidaw, was in good health and received her first coronavirus vaccination.

The spokesman also said another party elder held by the ministry, 79-year-old Win Htein, was “also in good health” but denied knowing his whereabouts.

 

Read more Coconuts Yangon

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