Drivers block roads in mass protest against military coup in Myanmar

Thousands of drivers blocked roads in Myanmar this morning in the biggest protest yet since the military coup. Footage from the former capital Yangon shows locals joining the "Civil Disobedience Movement" in an attempt to cripple infrastructure and force army chiefs to back down. They stopped their cars, lifted the bonnets and said they had broken down. Thousands more marched through the city, calling for army chiefs to back down and release ousted leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi. It is believed to be the biggest day of protests since they began in the days after the coup. One of the protesters said: "People have realised that the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) is the only way to defeat the military government." Protests have erupted in the former British trading outpost following the brutal military coup on February 1, which saw the well-liked Nobel Peace Prize Laurette Aung Sang Suu Kyi detained alongside other civilian politicians. On Tuesday, villagers in Mawlamyine, formerly Moulmein, held up a passing train. Villagers in Moulmein, 300km southeast of Rangoon, now called Yangon, said the blockage was part of the 'Civil Disobedience Movement' which has spread amid calls for Aung San Suu Kyi to be released. Protesters are now urging government employees to strike and bring the country to a halt to prevent the army from consolidating power. Hard-line military chiefs seized power with force on February 1 and have reacted with brutal crackdowns, blasting locals with water cannon, firing gunshots, closing communications and enforcing curfews. Army chiefs last week reacted to the mass protests by closing Internet and phone connections across the capital. They then blasted protesters with water cannon and fired warning gunshots. International pressure on Myanmar has grown, with US Democrat politicians warning of sanctions on the country. 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.