On Tuesday, Feb.1, a nationwide “silent strike” took over the streets of Myanmar to honor the one-year anniversary of the fight against the military takeover of Feb. 1, 2021. The fight broke out a year ago after a coup d’état that deposed Aung San Suu Kyi, head of the government, who had won a second term in office. A year later protest leaders asked the population to stay home and stop all economic activity for 6 hours. The streets, so filled with blood during the past months, were filled by the silence of millions. People dared to stay home in spite of leaflets circulated by the junta warning that those who participated would be charged with terrorism.
Following the coup that ousted Aung San Suu Ky, workers and other residents of the city of Yangon demonstrated and many were killed. In the weeks that followed, there were widespread protests and strikes, eventually uniting healthcare workers, teachers, copper miners and transportation workers in one single fight. In return, the government unleashed a violent repression effort but this didn’t stop the fight. For the following weeks, more street barricades and general strikes swept across the country. Three months later, soldiers refused to join the repression and were severely punished.
Although today the uprising does not have the same strength as a year ago, the silent protest of this Tuesday is a reminder that people of Myanmar have not given up. The fight continues.