The mostly young protesters held placards calling for freedom for Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, who were put under house arrest and charged with minor offenses, seen by many as providing a legal veneer for their detention.
“We just want to show this current generation how the older generation fights this crisis, by heeding the guideline of Mother Suu, which is to be honest, transparent and peaceful,” said 46-year-old protester Htain Linn Aung. “We don’t want a military dictator. Let the dictator fail.”
Reports on social media and by some Myanmar news services said demonstrations were taking place in other parts of the country as well, with a particularly large crowd in the central city of Mandalay, where there was also a motorbike procession in which hundreds took part, constantly beeping their horns.
Saturday had seen the size of street protests grow from the hundreds to the thousands, but it also saw the authorities cut most access to the internet. Holes in the military’s firewall allowed some news to trickle out, but also fanned fears of a complete information blackout.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter were earlier ordered blocked, but had remained partially accessible. Social media platforms have been major sources of independent news as well as organizing tools for protests.
Netblocks, a London-based service that tracks internet disruptions and shutdowns, confirmed that there had been a partial restoration of internet connectivity on Sunday, but noted that it might be temporary and social media remined blocked.
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