Myanmar’s Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) is at the vanguard of the anti-junta resistance, and is still hugely popular both inside Myanmar and overseas. At its core, the CDM is a massive public sector strike, in which tens of thousands of civil servants refused to continue working with the government of Myanmar after the 1 February 2021 military coup. The CDM brought Myanmar to a standstill, and had an immediate destabilizing effect on the military junta. However, to date, very little research has been conducted into the actual stated goals of the CDM, the set of challenges that its participants face, and what can be done in the future to address those challenges and help the CDM meet its goals. This paper is an attempt to begin clarifying these three matters.
Our primary data consists of over 40 interviews with a diverse range of stakeholders in the movement, including: CDM participants (CDMers), various CDM supporters (e.g., fundraisers and community organizers), active civil servants (non-CDMers), and a representative of the National Unity Government’s (NUG) CDM success committee. We also analysed a wide range of secondary data, including newspaper articles, public statements, and press releases from both the NUG and the military junta. This executive summary will present the four key findings from our research, and the five next steps that we believe are most important for ensuring the success of the spring revolution.