An apparent record number of people demonstrated in Myanmar Wednesday against the military since it’s February 1 coup, despite a ban on gatherings of at least five people.
Protesters took to the streets in the capital of Naypyitaw, the country’s second-largest city of Mandalay and in Yangon, where the turnout appeared to be one of the biggest since the military takeover.
Scores of private and public sector employees and civil servants joined the mass demonstrations against the coup by walking off their jobs, despite a military order to return to work and threats of action against them.
There were no reports of significant violence, but protesters blocked police and military vehicles in Yangon by continuing the practice of blocking major thoroughfares with vehicles parked in mid-street with their hoods raised while using engine trouble as an excuse.
Protesters also streamed into the streets of Mandalay, where security forces two days earlier pointed guns at about 1,000 demonstrators and attacked them with sticks and slingshots. Local news accounts said police also fired rubber bullets into a crowd, injuring several people.
In Naypyitaw, engineers and bank employees joined thousands of people in a march down the city’s major streets, chanting for the release of de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint.
One motorist told VOA’s Burmese Service that he joined the “broken-down car campaign” to disrupt transportation.
An organiser of the civil disobedience movement said some government workers are reluctant to participate, leaving it to the youth to engage in tactics like the broken-down car campaign.
But one railway worker told VOA’s Burmese Service ”that he (she) and his (her) colleagues do not care about the consequences of joining the movement as they demand a return to the civilian government they voted into office”.
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