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The Unrest in Myanmar

By Steve Grove

Head of News And Politics, YouTube

As the biggest protests in 20 years rage against the government in Myanmar, YouTube has become a window into the violence occurring there. Large crowds, punctuated by hundreds of monks wearing saffron robes, are protesting the army's relocation of citizens and use of forced labor. Press reports claim 10 civilian casualties so far, though reports on the ground suggest that number could be much higher.

Some of those reports are coming from citizens who are uploading videos of these protests in the face of an intense governmental crackdown on the media. This video is one of nine clips uploaded by a user who joined YouTube just four days ago and has gained so much attention that it made the front page of the Wall Street Journal today.

Others have used YouTube to advocate for Myanmar's civilians as well. Witness, a human rights group that uses video as an advocacy tool, has this documentary about the conflict in Myanmar. And a few weeks ago, actor Jim Carrey posted this video call to action on behalf of Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's democratically-elected leader who has been held in prison by the military since the late 1980s.

The Myanmar government has closed Internet cafes in Rangoon and disconnected most of the country's cell phone lines, but videos like these are already up, raising awareness of the situation unfolding now.


Steve G. aka Citizentube