The Color Of Protest

Reuters / Stringer

Monks march through Yangon city centre as bystanders join in an anti-government demonstration September 24, 2007. Over ten thousand monks marched through the streets of Yangon on Sunday as tens of thousands of bystanders joined in, cheering them on with claps and prayers.

The cinnamon-hued robes of Burma's Buddhist monks usually evoke spiritual serenity. Yet for the repressive junta that has ruled for 45 years, the sight of shaven-headed clerics marching the streets has been anything but soothing. For more than a week, tens of thousands of monks have rallied across the country, turning what started in August as a protest against fuel-price hikes into a much more potent threat to the generals' rule. Some of the monks turned their begging bowls upside down, a gesture that traditionally denotes excommunication but now also carries a political message: they want the junta out. After holding...

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