© Reuters. People hit pots during a nightly protest against the military coup in Yangon
(Reuters) – Myanmar teachers became the latest group on Friday to join a civil disobedience campaign in which some teachers refused to work or cooperate with authorities in protest at the military’s takeover of power. . But it has since expanded to include students, youth groups, and some workers from both the state and the private sector. With red ribbons and protest signs, dozens of lecturers and teachers gathered in front of the campus buildings of the Yangon University of Education. “We don’t want this military coup that illegally seized power from our elected government,” said speaker Nwe Thazin Hlaing. “We are not going to work with them anymore. We want the military coup to fail,” she added, surrounded by other staff members raising three-finger salutes, now used by many protesters in Myanmar. The salute, three fingers pointing up with palm away from the body, comes from the Hunger Games movies, but in recent years has been adopted by protesters against authoritarian rule in Asia. A staff member estimated that 200 of the 246 university employees joined the protest. “Our goal is to stop the administration system. We are now on a peaceful strike,” said another speaker, Honey Lwin. There were also reports of a similar protest at Dagon University in Yangon. Opposition between professional groups such as doctors and teachers comes as there have been other less formal protests, including people banging cans and saucepans and honking car horns to signal their opposition to the coup. Several dozen anti-coup protesters also marched in the southeastern city of Dawei on Friday, followed by sympathizers on motorcycles, video footage showed. “We declare that we begin our fight for democracy today in Dawei. We urge people to unite and support us,” said one protester. The army directly ruled the Southeast Asian country, also known as Burma, for nearly 50 years after the 1962 coup and crushed pro-democracy protests several times over the years.