An small act of defiance: Silent protest march in Rangoon

August 20, 2007 protest in Rangoon

Led by the 8888 Generation Students Group, about 500 people marched in protest in Rangoon of increased gas prices, which have affected everything from going to school to buying rice. From

The Asian Tribune reports that 500 people marched from Kokkaing, located north of Rangoon’s downtown to the Kyaukmyone market in a matter of two hours. The purpose: to protest their dissatisfaction of sudden and drastic price hikes in the prices of fuel. The news article reports:

The Group demanded that the military regime tackle the problem of skyrocketing commodity prices and soaring inflation rates. The alleged that sudden unannounced hike of fuel prices also would contribute in a big way economic and social hardships to the people. They also pointed out in their statement that the increase in the price of natural gas, which is abundant in the country, is highly irrational.

A rare sign of civil disobedience, groups like this have been using new tactics to protest the military government’s actions, through prayer gatherings and the like despite constant harassment from civilians affiliated to the government’s Union Development and Solidarity Association (USDA, a ‘mass organization’ that is set to become a political party), soldiers and police.

Seeds of change? Not likely, though many have threatened to protest again on Wednesday if the prices of CNG, gasoline and diesel are now lowered.

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