Myanmar protesters manned roadblocks with women’s underwear strung across the street to deter soldiers today (March 13).
Footage shows the ‘Mad Max’ style fortresses built with railings, scrap metal and pieces of wood in the Tamwe township in the former capital Yangon. Demonstrators bang on them and chant anti-military slogans.
Members of the resistance against the military coup are also hanging items of women’s clothing called ‘longyi’ and underwear across the street.
Local superstition is that it is bad luck to walk under and emasculating – a belief that many soldiers still hold.
Those involved in the protest say the clothing prevents soldiers from passing under it and gives them more time to escape if troops arrive during crackdown patrol marches.
One 20-year-old protester said that there is a belief that ‘if we pass underneath a longyi, we might lose our luck’.
While the protesters do not follow the superstition, military and security forces tend to believe it.
The clotheslines of women’s garments have now become a familiar sight across the city, which has been devastated by protests which began when military chiefs ousted former leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February.
Unrest has spread across Myanmar with hundreds feared dead amid violent crackdowns from the army, which has used tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds on crowds of people.
International pressure on Myanmar, still also known as Burma, has escalated with the U.S. government putting sanctions on the country to strengthen its response to the military coup.
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 and Aung San Suu Kyi later took over as leader before introducing democratic reforms.