Local Burmese Community Protests Violent Military Coup in Burma/Myanmar

photos by Alex Garland

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Editor’s note: On Friday, March 26, about 50 protesters, including members of Seattle’s Burmese community, held a rally near the Space Needle in support of protesters opposing the return of military rule in *Burma/Myanmar. 

On February 1, in response to a landslide victory by Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party, the Myanmar military staged a coup d’etat and arrested Suu Kyi and other leaders of her party. Dozens of protesters in Burma/Myanmar opposing military rule have been killed over the past two months, and this past weekend, at least 114 civilians (including several children) were killed during a violent crackdown across Burma/Myanmar.

The Seattle rally, organized by Save Burma/Myanmar Seattle, WA, featured songs and speeches (including some in Burmese), and many supporters at the rally flashed the three-finger salute from The Hunger Games that has been adopted by protesters opposed to military rule in the Southeast Asian nation. Members of the Burma/Myanmar Student Association at UW also participated in the Seattle event. 

A recent article at Northwest Asian Weekly noted that the Seattle/King County Burmese community is the largest in Washington, and that there are an estimated 4,000 people of Burmese descent in the state.

A protester demonstrates solidarity with protesters in Burma/Myanmar by flashing a three-fingered a salute inspired by The Hunger Games.
Members of Seattle’s Burmese community came together near the Space Needle on March 26 to show opposition to the military coup in Myanmar/Burma.
Members of Seattle’s Burmese community came together near the Space Needle on March 26 to show opposition to the military coup in Burma/Myanmar.
Protesters demonstrated against the violent military coup in Myanmar/Burma, which began on Feb. 1 and has taken the lives of hundreds of civilians.
Protesters demonstrated against the violent military coup in Burma/Myanmar, which began on Feb. 1 and has taken the lives of hundreds of civilians.
Signs demonstrating opposition to coup leader General Min Aung Hlaing and calling for president Aung San Suu Kyi to be released.
Signs demonstrating opposition to coup leader General Min Aung Hlaing and calling for president Aung San Suu Kyi to be released.
The Friday protest came on the eve of one of the deadliest days of violent crackdowns in Myanmar/Burma, in which 114 civilians died, including children.
The Friday protest came on the eve of one of the deadliest days of violent crackdowns in Burma/Myanmar, in which 114 civilians died, including children.
Around 50 people came out to protest the violent crackdown happening in Burma/Myanmar, in an event sponsored by Save Burma/Myanmar Seattle.
Around 50 people came out to protest the violent crackdown happening in Burma/Myanmar, in an event sponsored by Save Burma/Myanmar Seattle.
Two protesters call for the end to a military coup in Myanmar/Burma. The Seattle rally on Friday included members of the Burma/Myanmar Student Association at UW among the participants.
Two protesters call for the end to a military coup in Burma/Myanmar. The Seattle rally on Friday included members of the Burma/Myanmar Student Association at UW among the participants.
A protester displays a three-fingered salute that protesters in Myanmar/Burma have adopted as a sign of solidarity.
A protester displays a three-fingered salute that protesters in Burma/Myanmar have adopted as a sign of solidarity.

*The Southeast Asian country of Burma was renamed Myanmar in 1989. Some people still prefer to use the name Burma to refer to the country, some choose to use Myanmar, and some use both. The Emerald has chosen to follow the lead of the local Burmese community organizers behind the March 26 event and used Burma/Myanmar in this article.


Editors’ Note: The title of this post originally referred to the “violent military coup in Myanmar.” We updated the title to match the country name as it appears in the body of the article, “Burma/Myanmar.”


Alex Garland is a freelance photographer, reporter, and writer, with recent work featured with the Guardian and a frequent contributor to the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog and the South Seattle Emerald. Alex started his journalism career in Seattle during the 2011 Occupy protests and has covered almost every major protest and activist movement in the city since. Published internationally, Alex enjoys working around the world, but calls Seattle home and cares deeply about the subjects he photographs and is grateful for the people and experiences he’s met along the way. Providing accurate information for the people of Seattle to determine their own opinions is vital and Alex appreciates the trust his viewers and readers place in him to find the light. Follow his work at http://www.alexgarlandphotography.com and http://www.thedignityvirus.com.

Featured image: Members of Seattle’s Burmese community gathered on Friday, March 26 to protest the violent military crackdown in Burma/Myanmar.

All photos by Alex Garland.

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