Freedom Memoirs – Day 38

As soon as we opened our eyes today, we were greeted with unwanted news. Except for the violence in the southern part of Myanmar in a town called Dawei, most parts of Yangon was eerily quiet. Our instincts said something was wrong; the military might be planning something. We wished we were wrong.

This morning as early as 4am, the armed forces started sneaking into Mahlwagon Locomotive Shed and Sat San railway housing compounds. Around 6am already, more than 10 trucks were deployed and the main roads to the housing compounds were all blocked in an early morning raid. Their main targets were senior staff who joined the CDM movement. With now shortened Internet shutdown, the residents in the housing compounds were able to receive the news of an early morning-raid in their phones and most senior staff managed to run in a few hours leaving their family members behind. However, people on the ground reported that the armed forces told that all the CDM railway strikers must leave the compound by the late afternoon. It seemed the terrorist group had stationed themselves inside the compound full of food donated by people to the CDM heroes (railway strikers). One staff said the soldiers were cooking with the food from the compounds and some were resting. Most of the workers from the compound managed to escape, but four of them are currently detained by the military.

Peaceful protesters across Myanmar faced continued violent crackdowns. Young protesters continued to use makeshift barriers and shields to protect themselves and others. The armed forces continued to demolish the makeshift barriers using bulldozers and setting fire in some places. People nearby suffer from the smoke coming out of fire they set. However, in the state-run newspaper and TV channel, they claimed that the protesters vandalized the city. In North-Okkalapa, the town that saw violent crackdowns and extreme bloodshed killing at least 10 people just last week, anti-coup protesters were again forcibly dispersed by the armed force using stun grenades, rubber bullets, and even live ammunition that hit one person. Luckily he escaped the dangerous condition. It is reported that around 100-150 young protesters were detained today from North-Okkalapa after being violently beaten up by blood-thirsty monsters. We saw images of dented helmets widely-shared on social media indicating the brutality of the armed forces.

As of writing this, Sanchaung which made headlines the other day for being blocked and trapped by armed forces met the same fate again today. Earlier in the evening, we heard that people seized the weapons from the two police. In revenge for this and to get their weapons back, the area was again forcibly blocked by around 200 armed forces personnels. The electricity was cut off in the area at the south of Sanchang’s MyintMo road, Mingalar road, Panchan road and Padonmar road and the residents in the area were told to open their houses. According to the netizens, the armed thugs said that they wouldn’t leave until the weapons were found. It looks like it is going to be another long night for Sanchaung.

On social media today, most of the people while asking for R2P from the UN seem to have given up on it and started talking about strategic tactics at least to defend ourselves. Some have also thought of non-violent attacks. However, this is also divided as there are people who think using violence for whatever purpose will only backfire our protest although some are thinking of non-violent but irritating tactics to attack the armed forces. In the coming weeks, we might see more violent crackdowns but people are not backing up risking their own lives for the future of the country and for the next generation. This is a battle of “They (military) die or they die”. Down with the coup! Viva la revolution!

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