Citizens of Myanmar have taken to the streets or rather, they have taken the streets. Protesting the country’s ongoing military coup. On Wednesday, broken-down vehicles blockaded the streets and bridges of the city Yangon. In reality, it was an effort by those opposing the coup, attempting to halt the progress of police and military forces. This event is just one in a series of the public attempting to free themselves of the overwhelming militial grip.
The military’s overnight block on the internet initially hindered efforts to share the protests. Once lifted, word of the “broken-down car campaign” began circulating across social media, inspiring a widespread call to action.
Protesters are also targeting the military on a technological level. A hacktivist group known as “Myanmar Hackers” infiltrated websites such as the military-operated propaganda outlet “True News Information Team”, the state-run broadcast “MRTV”, and the central bank.
The group acknowledged their actions as “fighting for justice in Myanmar”.
Near 500 people were detained over the past few weeks. Others fled their homes to avoid arrest. 11 foreign ministry officials were arrested for their association with the events of the protests. Even celebrities are being targeted for utilizing their platforms and audiences to align with the movement.
The military justifies its seizing of power as being a necessary reaction to the results of the country’s November election. Aung San Suu Kyi, the candidate for the National League for Democracy won the election. However, the military denied the win. Citing voter fraud as an unfair influence affecting the results.
Aung San Suu Kyi faces two charges and is currently under house arrest, where she has been since the military first took power.
So far one protestor has been killed during the anti-coup demonstrations. Initially injured last week when the police attempted to disperse protestors, twenty-year-old Mya Thwe Thwe Khaing passed away on Friday morning due to her injuries.
In their attack, the police used a combination of live rounds, rubber bullets, and water cannons directly against citizens.