Global Movement For Myanmar Democracy
Links to Resources
Below is a compiled list of resources for learning about Myanmar and what else you can do to help the movement. We will update this over time.
What's Happening in Myanmar?
Before February 1, 2021, Myanmar was in the slow process of transitioning from a military dictatorship to a fully democractic government. An election was held in November 2020 and was observed to be free and fair overall. The winning party was the national League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi. On the morning new parliamentarians were set to meet for their first session, Suu Kyi and other top party officials were detained, and a military coup went into effect. The military has been controlling Myanmar’s democratic transition from the beginning, having written a constitution that allowed them to “legally” take back power any time they wanted. Knowing the NLD would push to remove the military from parliaments completely, the military used brute force to take control.
People immediately started to resist the takeover. A pot and pan banging protest was the first action, as cities erupted in noise traditionally meant to drive out evil spirits. Within days, protests were organized, first in major cities, and quickly spreading to smaller cities and townships. While many protesters are avid supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi, there are many who simply see her as the lesser of two evils. The Myanmar military, known colloquially as the Tatmadaw, has terrorized ethnic minority groups in every part of the country for decades, and their return to absolute power represents violence, fear and trauma. A Civil Disobedience Movement was formed organically by different groups of professionals, including but not limited to healthcare professionals, educators, engineers, government administrators, truck drivers, banking staff, garment workers and students. This movement has effectively halted the normal functioning of life, and has damaged the Tatmadaw’s plan to portray themselves as the paternalistic benefactor of Myanmar while draining the country’s natural resources for personal gain.
The military has often used propaganda to distance themselves from their atrocities, but they have shown their true colors to all of Myanmar and the world in the last 2 months. At first, their response to protesters was tempered, using water cannons and rubber bullets, but since March their response has escalated to all out tactical assaults on unarmed protestors and civilians. They are use death, injury, arson, torture, disappearances, detention and even bombs to silence and intimidate civilians. And yet, the movement persists. People are risking everything to protect their freedom and their dreams for the future