Ko Kyaw Htet is a frontline member of a protest group that has been gathering each day in Yangon’s Sanchaung Township for several weeks.
The 23-year-old, who like every other protester in this article has been given a pseudonym for their safety, uses a shield fashioned from a SkyNet satellite dish for protection against rubber bullets. The activist also wears a yellow plastic hardhat and goggles to protect his eyes from tear gas and smoke.
“We are frontliners. We know that we can be arrested or killed by live rounds when the soldiers shoot at us, but we have to protect our friends,” he said.
While the early street protests against the February 1 military takeover remained largely peaceful, attracting people from all strata of society, the police and army have violently broken up more recent demonstrations, killing more than 70 so far. This has whittled down protests to younger, more daring groups engaging in cat-and-mouse games with security forces: making tactical retreats and reassembling the moment forces move on. To avoid death, injury or arrest, they have had to quickly adopt new methods and tools.
Mayangone Township resident Ko Phyo Tin, 25, who joins the Kyun Taw protest group every day, uses a shield improvised from a piece of steel as protection against rubber bullets and live rounds, and dons a Chinese-made combat helmet.
“Most of us are using protective equipment made in China. We don’t trust its quality but we have no alternative,” he said, adding that the group would gladly accept donations of quality gas masks, hard hats and body armour.
Source >>> Frontier Myanmar ( https://www.frontiermyanmar.net/en/we-are-frontliners-youth-brave-bullets-and-arrest-to-keep-protests-alive/ )