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Myanmar residents use trash to protest as death toll climbs to over 500


Residents are using trash to block streets as a form of protest in Thaketa township, Yangon, Myanmar, in this image obtained by Reuters on March 30, 2021. via REUTERS

  • More than 500 people have been killed since the Myanmar military staged a February 1 coup.

  • Security and military forces have killed hundreds of people in pro-democracy protests and protests.

  • Protesters staged a new campaign of civil disobedience, leaving their garbage in the streets.

  • Visit the Insider home page for more stories.

Anti-coup protesters in Myanmar launched a new campaign of civil disobedience this week as the country’s death toll surpasses 500, nearly two months after a military coup.

Garbage was piled on the streets of Myanmar’s main city, Yangon on Tuesday, as protesters continued a series of strikes in an attempt to cripple the economy, according to Reuters. Participants launched a new tactic this week, asking residents to leave their trash at intersections in Yangon.

“This garbage strike is a strike to oppose the junta,” a poster said on social media. “Anyone can join.”

Protests and protests continue across the country as the military junta has escalated violence in recent days, launching airstrikes in eastern Myanmar that have led thousands to seek refuge across the country. the Thai border, according to the Associated Press.

Amid escalating violence, the United States ordered the departure of non-emergency personnel and families from the U.S. mission in Myanmar, ABC News’ Conor Finnegan reported Tuesday evening.

The move comes just hours after Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged international companies to cut ties with companies that support the Burmese military. He also denounced the junta’s violent crackdown on protesters across the country.

The United States has repeatedly condemned the February coup and imposed several rounds of sanctions against the country, but Myanmar’s generals do not appear to be affected by the international action.

On February 1, Myanmar’s military announced it would take control of the country for at least a year after the detention of several senior politicians. The military cited unsubstantiated allegations of massive electoral fraud to justify the coup just hours before the new parliament met for the first time since the November elections.

Internet access across Myanmar was cut off immediately after the coup, and cybersecurity watchdog NetBlocks confirmed that the internet was shut down again in the country at 1:00 a.m. local time, Wednesday 45th consecutive night the closure imposed by the army.

Mass protests and acts of civil disobedience erupted across the country in the aftermath of the coup and have yet to abate for nearly two months.

2021 03 30T081508Z_1133420230_RC2KLM9VIYTA_RTRMADP_3_MYANMAR POLITICS PROTESTS.JPG

Residents are using trash to block streets as a form of protest in Thaketa township, Yangon, Myanmar, in this image obtained by Reuters on March 30, 2021. via REUTERS

Two weeks ago, 138 peaceful protesters were killed in Myanmar since the coup. That number now stands at 521, according to the advocacy group of the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners.

The military junta killed dozens of people across the country on Saturday on the bloodiest day of protests yet, as the military celebrated the annual Armed Forces Day with a parade through Myanmar’s capital .

The Associated Press reported that 93 people were killed on Saturday in more than two dozen towns and villages. Fourteen civilians were killed on Monday, and a Yangon resident told Reuters the violence did not end on Tuesday.

“There was shooting all night,” the unnamed resident told the outlet.

Among those killed since the start of the violence are a 7-year-old girl who died in her father’s arms after being shot dead by security forces in her own home; a teenager who was shot dead by soldiers on Saturday while riding his motorbike with friends; a teenage girl named Angel who was shot in the head during a protest earlier this month; and a 20-year-old student whose funeral escalated into violence when Myanmar police opened fire on mourners, arresting and injuring several attendees.

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