On Monday, the protestors gathered in Myanmar’s biggest city despite the junta’s thinly veiled threat to use lethal force if the people answered a call for a general strike opposing the military takeover three weeks ago.
Despite the roadblocks around the U.S. Embassy in Yangon, more than a thousand protestors have gathered there, while twenty military trucks with riot police had arrived somewhere nearby.
The crowds started gathering after the supporters of the Civil Disobedience Movement, a loosely organized group, leafing the resistance had called for the people to unite on Monday’s date for a Spring Revolution.
The junta had warned against the general strike in a public announcement that had been carried last Sunday on the State Television broadcaster MRTV.
Replicating the spoken announcement in Burmese, the onscreen text said in English that it is found that the protestors have raised their incitement towards the riot and anarchy mob on the day of 22nd February. The protestors are now inciting the people, and especially the emotional teenagers and the youths to a confrontation path where they shall suffer the loss of life.
Moreover, the junta’s statement has also0 blamed the criminals for their past protest violence with the result being that the security force members had to be fire back. A total of three protestors have been shot dead so far.
The protest movement has supported nonviolence and only occasionally it had got into shoving matches with the police and has thrown bottles at them when being provoked.
In Yangon, the trucks tripped the streets on Sunday night while honking warnings against the gatherings of five or more people. A ban on such gatherings has been issued shortly after the coup but had not been widely enforced as cities witnesses’ large daily demonstrations.
Overnight the authorities have also tried to block off the key streets with barriers that included tractor-trailers with flattened tires but they were however swept aside by the protestors.
The threatening signs of the potential conflict drew attention outside Myanmar with the U.S. reiterating that it had stood with the people of Myanmar.
The Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated on Twitter that the U.S. would take firm action against those who would commit violence against the people of Burma as they demand the restoration of their democratically elected government.
Spokesman Ned Price said on Twitter that they have called on the military to stop violence, release all those who have been detained and cease the attacks on the journalists and the activists, and also, respect the will of the people.
Earlier on Sunday, the crowds in Myanmar’s capital had attended a funeral for the young woman, who was the first person to be confirmed to have been killed in the protests, while the demonstrators also mourned the death of two other protestors who were reportedly shot dead.
Under the junta, 640 people have been arrested, sentenced, or charged with 593, including Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, still in detention.