As we have been reporting in the Trends Journal, tens of thousands of protesters, ranging from students to government workers, have been taking to the streets in Myanmar, demanding the military release leader Aung San Suu Kyi and hand back power it seized in a coup earlier this month. (“Burma” is the name of this country that is recognized diplomatically by the U.S.) We had also noted that when the pro-democracy protests began, they were led by social-media-savvy Generation Z. 
Last week, Myanmar’s military arrested about 500 protesters and issued arrest warrants for six celebrities, as rallies continued across the country in response to the illegal coup earlier this month.
Reuters reported the six celebrities are accused of encouraging strikes that have jeopardized the country’s economic system. Most recently, a railway worker strike prompted a police crackdown. The Associated Press reported that some citizens have gathered on railroad tracks to stop trains that have been commandeered by the military.
The generals in charge have declared a year-long state of emergency and ousted Myanmar’s leadership, accusing Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy Party (NLD) of rigging last November’s election. The generals claim there was widespread fraud.
Reports stated two people accused of being involved in protests have already been handed two-year prison sentences.
Hundreds of thousands took to the streets on Wednesday in Yangon, the country’s largest city, according to the South China Morning Post. Protesters reportedly chanted, “Don’t attend the office, leave it. Join the civil disobedience movement. We need the U.S. Army to save our situation.”
Ship workers in Mandalay, the country’s second-largest city, went on strike Saturday and were joined by other residents. The AP reported that police chased demonstrators and said one man died after he was shot in the head. The report noted another protester died after being struck in the chest.
Hackers have targeted the Myanmar Central Bank, its military, and its state-run broadcaster, according to reports.
Minorities Join Protests
Minority groups in Myanmar have staged protests despite critics who blame Aung San Suu Kyi for failing to do enough to stop the killings and rapes of the country’s mostly Muslim Rohingya minority in 2017.
Ke Jung, a youth leader from the Naga minority in the country, told Al Jazeera some minority groups are sitting it out on the sidelines, but his group is not one of them.
“We must win this fight,” he said. “We stand together with the people. We will fight until the end of the dictatorship.”
Another protester told the news outlet that his goal is to end the dictatorship, destroy the constitution, create a federal system, and release those who had been imprisoned after the coup.
Blowing Up
In a signal to the military that the people will not fall under their control, yesterday, several hundred people took to the streets across Myanmar in response to calls by activists for a general strike. 
TREND FORECAST: Despite the peaceful protests, as we continually note, there will be violence, whether by agents provocateurs or just those who want to loot, burn, and steal what they can.
While the violent actions will represent a small fraction of the total protesters, the ruling powers will use it to criminalize the peaceful movement and as an excuse to bring in military force to quash the protests.
Despite the U.S. and its allies condemning the Myanmar military for the coup and actions taken against protesters, the sanctions being imposed and threats made will have a minor impact on a nation that has strong economic and geopolitical bonds with neighboring China.

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