Freedom Memoirs – Day 22

Hi folks, remember how we reported last night that it was going to be epic today? It was epic. Before we get into that, let’s talk about how the junta planned to disperse the 22222 General Strike. 

Last night, the rumor about extended Internet shutdown time until 12 noon in Yangon was confirmed by the service providers. At the same time, we saw images of extra barricades put up near the embassies where protests took place such as U.S, Russia etc. Netizens got worried about using forces the next day and discussions were made whether protesters should go out only at noon when the connection was restored for the sake of safety. 

Regardless of varying views, the streets of Yangon was filled with protesters around 10 am this morning. Similarly, protesters showed up to the streets nationwide. It looks like the junta’s desperate attempts to mess up the 22222 strike did not work at all. Despite the Internet shutdown, several groups of marchers gathered at major rally areas and demonstrated peacefully in Yangon until around 2 pm where the police/military showed up with trucks and water tanks, and barricaded protesters in front of the UN office. Smart protesters of 2021 decided to break up the crowd, said goodbye to the police and called it a day when that happened. 

However in Naypyidaw, news reported that police used forces and tried to arrest protesters and even journalists. More than 150 young protesters were taken and still not released. The number could be much bigger if it weren’t for residents and local shops who managed to hide some protesters inside their homes according to the netizens. We demand immediate and unconditional release of those detained. 

As planned for a general strike, almost all businesses such as offices, convenient stores, supermarkets and shophouses were shutdown today in order to enhance the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM). It was heartwarming to witness volunteer groups prepared and distributed lunchboxes, snacks, water, and masks for protesters since many shops closed. 

Meanwhile, the dictator & co also try to level up their game to halt the CDM. In addition to brutal crackdowns on railway workers last week, we heard that healthcare workers now received ultimatum to go back to work in two days, or else, actions will be taken according to the civil servants law. In order to ultimately take down the dictator & co, we must not lose the number of CDM staffers and stop the functioning administration. While we understand the risks that they have taken, we’d like to encourage the CDM staffers to keep resisting and CDM supporting groups to try any possible way to efficiently support the staffers. 

As we fight for our democracy out in the streets, the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (a group of MPs who we voted for) has also been taking important steps. The CRPH has opened an office for international relations in Maryland, United States, and appointed two representatives. Dr Sasa, prominent Chin social worker, will represent the CRPH at the UN, and U Htin Lin Aung, a former student activist/political prisoner under military regime who is now working as a network engineer in Maryland, for international relations. The committee also ordered the public to organize self-administration committees in township/ward/village levels to provide security for the public and CDM staffers until the civil government was restored. This means that we can officially reject ward/village administrators appointed by the coup leaders, and rely on our own administration committees. 

This is Mohinga Matters reporting on Day 22 of the military coup. Let’s recharge tonight and resist stronger tomorrow. 

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