Opponents to the military government in Myanmar protested in a grand show of unity on Friday – a national “silent strike” that emptied streets and businesses across the country on international Human Rights Day.
The strike was the largest nationally coordinated protest effort in Myanmar in months. Those who participated by staying home and closing their businesses did so to reject the military coup in February that removed the civilian government.
Organizers said the aim of the strike was to support a movement in Myanmar to return the government to civilian control.
The demonstration was expected to last for several hours.
Opponents to the junta rule held a similar strike in March when streets in Yangon and other urban centers were deserted.
The military seized power in Myanmar on Feb. 1 and arrested civilian leaders like Aung San Suu Kyi, claiming that the election a year ago that kept them in power was fraudulent.
Suu Kyi was sentenced this week to four years in prison on charges of inciting dissent and violating Covid-19 protocols.
Over the past 10 months, the junta have been quick to crack down on dissenting activity, which has resulted in a number of deaths. Last week, troops rammed a vehicle into a crowd of protestors, killing five.