Tens of thousands rally in protests against Myanmar coup

Despite state of emergency, tens of thousands joined biggest anti-coup rally yet

Updated - February 07, 2021 10:28 pm IST

Published - February 07, 2021 05:23 pm IST - Yangon

Showing little fear, protest crowds have grown bigger and bolder since Monday's coup, while remaining nonviolent in support of a call by Mr. Suu Kyi's party and its allies for civil disobedience.

Showing little fear, protest crowds have grown bigger and bolder since Monday's coup, while remaining nonviolent in support of a call by Mr. Suu Kyi's party and its allies for civil disobedience.

Tens of thousands of protesters poured onto the streets across Myanmar on Sunday in the biggest anti-coup rallies yet, as an Internet blackout failed to stifle growing outrage at the military's ouster of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Some estimates put the number of protesters in Yangon at 1,00,000 and there were reports of large demonstrations in other cities condemning the coup that brought Myanmar's 10-year experiment with democracy to a crashing halt.

Backed by a din of car horns, chanting protesters in Yangon held up banners saying “Justice for Myanmar”, while others waved the signature red flags of Ms. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party as they marched to City Hall.

Protests planned

“I completely despise the military coup and I am not afraid of a crackdown,” said Kyi Phyu Kyaw, a 20-year-old university student.

“I will join every day until Amay Suu (Mother Suu) is freed.”

Protesters announced that they would return to the streets at 10 a.m. local time on Monday, defying the state of emergency imposed by the military and indicating no let-up in their resistance to the coup.

They also called on civil servants and people employed in other industries to not go to work and join the protests.

Many flashed the three-finger salute inspired by the Hunger Games films, which became a symbol of resistance during the pro-democracy protests in Thailand last year.

“We will fight until the end,” said Ye Kyaw, an 18-year-old economics student.

There were also demonstrations in Mawlamyine city and the Magway region.

Monitoring service NetBlocks said Internet access was partially restored on some mobile networks in Myanmar Sunday afternoon, but social media platforms remained blocked and it was unclear how long the connectivity would last.

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