Indiana Daily Student

IU students lead protest at Sample Gates to bring awareness to Myanmar coup

<p>Sophomore Em Em and sophomore Dawt Hlei Iang hold signs at the Sit-In for Myanmar on Saturday at the Sample Gates. Students protested Saturday against the coup that occurred in Myanmar on Feb. 1. </p>

Sophomore Em Em and sophomore Dawt Hlei Iang hold signs at the Sit-In for Myanmar on Saturday at the Sample Gates. Students protested Saturday against the coup that occurred in Myanmar on Feb. 1.

Around 60 protesters, with crowd sizes fluctuating, gathered at the Sample Gates Saturday afternoon to bring awareness to the recent military coup in Myanmar and ongoing violence. The protest was organized by the Myanmar Student Association at IU. 

Myanmar faced a violent military coup beginning on Feb. 1. IU students from the country, alongside other members of the Bloomington community, condemned the restated military regime in Myanmar and mourned the lives lost during subsequent violence. More than 30 protesters in Myanmar have been reported dead, according to the BBC.

Democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi reportedly won the Myanmar presidential election in 2020, but military leadership claimed the election was fraudulent. 

Sample Gates protesters watched as performances and speeches occurred in honor of the civilians who lost their lives in the violent coup. 

Ball State sophomore Feona Dabson sings "Blessings" by Laura Story at the Sit-In for Myanmar on Saturday outside of Sample Gates. Crowds of protesters participated in the sit-in organized by the Myanmar Student Association at Indiana University , MSA, and the Free Myanmar Campaign USA, FMCUSA, to bring attention to the military coup that occurred in Myanmar on Feb. 1. Katharine Khamhaengwong

Protest leader and Marian University student Yan Yan led chants for justice and peace.

“This protest is about wanting democracy, wanting human rights,” Yan said. “Right now, the power is being taken from the people, and that’s not OK.”

Related: [IU students from Myanmar concerned, advocate for families after violent coup]

Yan’s cousin, 25, was detained by the military for working at a poll during a Myanmar election, Yan said. Yan’s cousin was one of many individuals who was detained by the military. 

IU sophomore and protester Dawt Hlei Iang pointed to a poster that showed images of some of the people who lost their lives during the coup.

Iang, as well as sophomores Em Em and Rem Zathang, said they have relatives in Myanmar who are in the middle of the violence and uncertainty caused by the coup.

Many of Myanmar’s civilians currently do not have access to social media or the internet, which has made it difficult for students at IU to contact their relatives in Myanmar right now, Iang said.

Dawt Tin, another protest organizer and IU sophomore said the youngest protester who died was 14. He engaged in a peaceful protest and was shot in the back of the head, Tin said. 

“They have taken back the power from the people, and that’s inhumane,” Yan said.   

Like what you're reading?

Get more award-winning content delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our Daily Rundown.

Signup today!
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

Powered by Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2022 Indiana Daily Student