As dawn breaks over a crowded market in Yangon, a student strolls in, browsing casually through the stalls of vegetables, fruit, spices and fish. Picking up an onion to inspect the quality of the produce, he doesn’t stand out in the crowds of people.
“One person has to go first and check, is it clear or not?” said Ko Naing, who became part of the underground newsletter movement in early April. “They just try to pretend they are buying something, and then they leave the info paper, the Voice of Spring.”
Pushed hurriedly into the hands of vendors and shoppers while students look over their shoulders, underground publications are surfacing amidst dwindling press freedom after Myanmar’s February 1 military coup. As open persecution of journalists rises in the country, these underground news outlets, usually only a few pages long for discretion or broadcast anonymously over the airwaves, are bringing information and motivation to the revolution amidst a new wave of press violence and censorship.