Ni Ni has been planning for a revolution for as long as she can remember… just not this one.
She had expected her fight to be about gender equality. But she says, “Now, I am fighting back about basic human rights and justice! I feel angry just thinking about this. It is unfair, I actually cannot believe that I have to fight this in 2021.” Although Ni Ni (not her real name) had grown up hearing her parents’ stories about the “bad old days,” for her that was all ancient history, not something that could ever rear its ugly head again to affect the lives of she and her friends.
It really hit home for her on February 28th. Three engineering friends joined her in the morning for a day of protests when the military opened fire. One friend grabbed her hand and pulled her away, although Ni Ni couldn’t run fast enough due to a heart condition. Eventually, along with other protesters, they found shelter in a stranger’s home. while soldiers taunted them from outside for several more hours of torment. Eighteen students were shot dead that day, and over 100 abducted and taken to prison.
The terror of facing such violence shook Ni Ni to her core. She began staying at home, learning as much as she could about revolution, gradually becoming fixated on the concept of the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), which could shut down the economy and prevent the military from effectively running a state. Ni Ni began pouring all her energy into this, collecting donations and channeling them to those civil servants refusing to work.
Ni Ni recognizes that they are now in the fight for their lives, and being led by the younger generation. As the military is arresting hundreds of teenagers—even children—and torturing and sexually assaulting those they have thrown in prison, she knows the days are dark and likely to get darker still.