Massive crowds of opponents of Myanmar’s military coup have defied gathering bans, protesting for the fourth day with police using water cannons to disperse the crowds, according to several reports.
State newspaper The Global New Light of Myanmar announced earlier that two townships in Yangon and others in Mandalay, Sagaing, and Kayah state would be under a curfew; however, some believed it would be nationwide.
Crowds gathered on a bridge near Sule Pagoda in downtown Yangon on Tuesday morning, The Guardian reports. There were tens of thousands on the streets by mid-morning, according to witnesses.
The protesters carried anti-coup placards, including, “We want our leader”, in reference to State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, accused by the military of fraud, and, “No dictatorship”.
In Yangon, there were also scores of teachers marching on the main road, waving a defiant three-finger salute. “We are not worried about their warning. That’s why we came out today. We cannot accept their excuse of vote fraud. We do not want any military dictatorship”, teacher Thein Win Soe told AFP.
Demonstrations broke out on Saturday morning after the country went into its second nationwide Internet shutdown since the military seized power and arrested civilian leaders last week.
According to the Mizzima News outlet, water cannons were repeatedly used to disperse protesters in the capital of Myanmar, the city of Nay Pyi Taw.
In Bago, police used water cannons harming the peaceful protesters. Protesters did not crossed any line. NO MORE SILENCE!#WhatishappeninginMyanmar #FightForDemocracy#RejectMilitaryCoup #SaveMyanmar pic.twitter.com/e7LKN7xSC1— Win Min Oo (@kespa223) February 9, 2021
Some of peaceful protesters who against the military coup are being detained by police this morning. @UN @ICJ_Asia@UNHumanRights Please see how the Myanmar ARMY and polices are breaking the rights.#WhatIsHappeningInMyanmar#HearTheVoiceOfMyanmar2021 #Feb9Coup pic.twitter.com/Yv7LTkNLvL— naychi myat soe (@ZoeyMyat) February 9, 2021
The Irrawaddy portal published photos and videos of mass protests that were also taking place in the country's largest city of Yangon. The demonstrations were joined by monks and young people.
Myanmar's military detained the democratically elected government last Monday and declared a year-long state of emergency after accusing State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi's party of fraud amid its recent election victory. The military blocked social media and shut down the Internet across the country. Internet and mobile service provider Telenor confirmed on Saturday that the Internet blackout was ordered by the army. NetBlocks, a service tracking Internet traffic, said connectivity was at 16 percent of the usual levels.
The blackout was likely aimed at stopping the protests that took place in Yangon on Saturday morning.