Warm Bodies Against Bullets in Myanmar


The protests in Myanmar resemble warfare, but only one side has guns.

Yangon, Myanmar: When the military seized power on February 1, 2021, ending the brief 9-year period of representative democracy rule and plunging Myanmar into chaos, it triggered mass demonstrations against the coup.

The demonstrations began with picket signs and chants of slogans by small groups of protesters against the newly imposed military junta of General Min Aung Hlaing. As the regime violence escalated and the demonstrations intensified and multiplied in numbers, protesters began engaging in brief disruptions, like stopping traffic for a few minutes, raising their hands to form the three-finger salute of the Myanmar resistance, while shouting anti-dictatorship slogans, before scattering. Faced with civil disobedience, the frustrated military regime escalated its violence and began attacking people with flash-bang grenades, rubber bullets and baton beatings. But it only strengthened the will of the people and the small demonstrations grew into mass gatherings across the whole country.


But on February 28, everything changed. It was early in the morning of that day when during a peaceful protest in Yangon’s “Hledan” neighbourhood, police suddenly opened fire against the demonstrators with live ammunition, killing 2 people. Two others were killed elsewhere in the city. Witnesses testify that there was no warning and no violence from the side of the protesters. The police, who were under the military’s direct control even before the coup, were now increasingly joined by soldiers. At least 18 people were killed on that day all over the country, marking a major turning point.


Faced with lethal violence by the military regime, the protesters were forced to change and upscale their tactics. They now carry metal shields, helmets, gas masks, and the occasional bulletproof vest, behind barricades, using fireworks, molotov, giant slingshots and fire extinguishers to confuse snipers. They flee into houses and shops to evade arrest when the armed forces arrive, only to reassemble as soon as they leave the area. The protests in Yangon resemble warfare, but only one side has guns.


But the protesters’creativity keeps changing in the most amazing way, like the erection of street barricades with clotheslines of women’s clothes and used sanitary pads, taking advantage of the misogyny and superstition of the armed security forces: Many in the military believe that passing under the female garments will reduce their masculine energy and virility. The junta has responded by outlawing the practice, and security forces have been photographed removing the clotheslines and even burning the female sarongs, known as htamein.


As the protests evolve, so does the brutality of the military junta regime. As of today, March 16, 2021, at least 149 people have been killed in Myanmar since the 1 February coup, including 5 people in custody, according to a UN human rights official, as mass funerals were held for dozens of those shot dead by the police and military regime in recent days. 74 protesters were killed on Sunday 14 March and 20 more on the next day.


Myanmar was plunged into chaos on February 1, 2021, when the military seized power, ending the short nine-year period parliamentary democracy. The military previously controlled Myanmar, a former British colony, for decades, ie. from 1962 until 2011.


The military alleged that the result of the recent country's elections was fraudulent, and detained elected government head Aung San Suu Kyi and her fellow party leaders.


#genocideinmyanmar #slaughterinburma #stopmurderinmyanmar



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Protest2020! 2020 is the year of protest, ushered in on the heels of 2019, which saw numerous social explosions in the last few months of the year. Climate change, in particular, is feeding a well-founded sense of fear, particularly among the vulnerable and their activist allies whose lives and futures are highly precarious. In fact, all of us are vulnerable, and awareness is growing of the way in which we are all in this together. While in most places, most notably Hong Kong, protests have turned violent and thousands of arrests have been made, there have not yet been large numbers of fatalities, although dozens of protestors have died and continue to die in South America. In other parts of the world, most notably the Middle East – home to warfare for decades – particularly in Iraq and its neighbor and former enemy Iran, hundreds of protestors have been killed with live, military-grade ammunition. After 5 years of civil war in Syria, protest has given way to military action hand in hand with death and destruction. The numbers of people murdered by the governments of the region are not fully known, and especially hard to verify in Iran, where a brutal religious dictatorship maintains a thick cloak of secrecy over such information.

Iran and its allies in Iraq are now moving precipitously towards war with the United States, in part because the mentally ill president of that country needs to wage war in order to win reelection. Large parts of the world that are the most vulnerable to the ravages of climate change are already suffering; places like the Philippines are experiencing devastating and lethal storms, one after the other, breaking all historical records.

Much of Australia has been on fire for months as we ring in 2020, accompanied by the hottest temperatures on record. This is changing Australian lives, politics, and the consciousness of the ordinary Australian who is now getting involved in the struggle to save their island, and coming to a better understanding of how their survival is linked to the rest of the world. In Japan, forces are growing in protest to push the Japanese government towards support for the Hong Kong protestors, confronting mainland China; also supporting the struggles of minority groups in mainland China, reporting on government abuses, etc. The US government has expressed its full support for the Hong Kong protestors, further escalating tensions between these two superpowers along with ally Russia. These tensions were already at their most aggravated moments as a result of the US/China trade war.

To make matters still worse, especially for SE Asia, the North Korean dictator is threatening the use of a new strategic weapon. Our world on the arrival first of 2020 and now 2021, is a tinderbox as never before. The 2020 presidential elections in the USA will be the single greatest determining factor for the survival of the planet. Given that the current president preaches a doctrine of conflict and confrontation rather than collaboration, and denies that climate change is even exacerbated by man-made actions, if he is re-elected, there will be little hope for our world in the short term.

Here at Protest2020.com, we invite you to protest, share your views, and help us all to march towards a more sustainable and peaceful world that will not totally implode, at least within our lifetimes, leaving hope for life to continue in more intelligent forms, better appreciating our planetary home. We ultimately seek harmony with nature so as to preserve life as we know it, as we dream it could be. Everything depends on how hard we are willing to fight to make it so.

 

Let’s get arrested, the more the merrier!

Protest2020!

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