Burmese LBGT followers join protest march against military coup

Video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/kjonmiok3rsx0pc/VRP12878.mp4?dl=0

Burmese LGBT followers joined the protest march in Yangon, Myanmar, on Friday (Feb 19) amid anger at the military coup.

Footage shows the colourful scenes as large crowds gathered in the centre of the city holding banners showing their support for ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Many of the supporters wore makeup and colourful dresses as well as rainbow flags, a symbol of the LGBT movement, an extravagant contrast to the strait-laced no-nonsense military presence.

The rally came a day after a mass protest where thousands of drivers blocked roads as part of the Civil Disobedience Movement’ attempt to cripple infrastructure and force army chiefs to back down, after they seized power on February 1.

One protester said: ‘People have realised that the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) is the only way to defeat the military government.’

Protests have erupted across Myanmar, or Burma, following the brutal military coup on February 1, which saw the well-like Nobel Peace Prize Laurette Aung Sang Suu Kyi detained alongside other civilian politicians.

Villagers in Mawlamyine, formerly Moulmein, held up a passing train. Villagers in Moulmein, 300km southeast of Rangoon, now called Yangon, said the blockade was part of the ‘Civil Disobedience Movement’ which has spread amid calls for Aung San Suu Kyi to be released.

Protesters are now urging government employees to strike and bring the country to a halt to prevent the army from consolidating power.

Hard-line military chiefs seized power with force on February 1 and have reacted with brutal crackdowns, blasting locals with water cannon, firing gunshots, closing communications and enforcing curfews.

Army chiefs last week reacted to the mass protests by closing Internet and phone connections across the capital. They then blasted protesters with water cannon and fired warning gunshots.

International pressure on Myanmar has grown, with U.S. Democrat politicians warning of sanctions on the country.

Burma was governed by Britain from 1824 to 1948, during which time it became the second-wealthiest country in Southeast Asia but following independence was ruled by the military until 2011 when democratic reforms began. It changed its name to Myanmar.