Despite the junta’s threats of reprisals, the Civil Disobedience Movement keeps growing by the day and its members are set on a near-total shutdown of government.
Since the Myanmar military seized power from the elected government on 1 February, hundreds of thousands of people – perhaps millions – have taken to the streets under the banner of the Civil Disobedience Movement. Although the CDM has come to encompass street protests and public boycotts of military-owned products, at its core is a strike by tens of thousands of public servants, which began among medics two days after the coup.
Across the country, doctors, nurses, teachers, railway workers and staff from a range of government ministries and enterprises have been refusing to go to work, in order to make it impossible for the new junta to govern. They have been joined by private sector employees in sectors such as banking and transport that are considered crucial to the regime’s survival.
But although the campaign has widespread public support, some of those taking part are worried about how long it can last in an economy already decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic and amid increased threats and harassment from authorities.
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