Tens of thousands of protesters gathered across Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, for the sixth consecutive day as mass demonstrations against the military junta gained momentum across the country.
Civil servants and police defectors have been seen joining the anti-junta rallies triggered by a coup that toppled the country’s civilian leadership earlier this month.
A video showing 49 policemen joining protesters in Loikaw, Kaya state, appeared on social media on Wednesday.
Footage showed demonstrators protecting the defectors from arrest, reports Arab News.
Two days earlier, the first officer to defect, Supt. Khun Aung Ko Ko, told a crowd in the capital, Naypyitaw, that he had sold his car to support other civil servants who risked their livelihoods by joining the strike.
The civil disobedience movement, initiated by health workers, has gained nationwide support, with staff in various ministries disrupting the government’s administrative mechanisms.
“It is going to be a people’s uprising,” Wai Yan Phyo Moe, All Burma Federation of Student Unions vice president, told Arab News on Wednesday as protesters returned to the streets despite a violent crackdown a day earlier.
He said that a nationwide strike originally planned for Friday was already underway.
“The protests are growing day by day. Even religious people such as Buddhist monks and nuns, and Christian preachers, are taking to streets.”
Most businesses in Yangon and other cities are unable to operate due to public transport disruptions, while workers at government-run gas stations are refusing to work.