Myanmar Punks Collaborate on Protest Song Against Military Junta
Punks from Myanmar and across the world, including a TNS band member providing vocals, have joined forces to release a hardcore punk song supporting the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar. Make sure you check out the video and stream the track on bandcamp!
“The Night Will Not Be Silenced” features The Rebel Riot, Kultureshock, The Outcast and The Slingshot as the collective Cacerolazo – the Spanish word for casserole and the name given to a form of protest that started in Chile in 1971 when people banged pots and pans to protest food shortages.
The song pays homage to the cacophony of noise that envelopes the country every night at 8pm when protesters bang pots and pans in resistance to the junta. In Myanmar culture this is believed to drive away evil spirits.
The country’s military seized control of the state, imprisoned its democratically-elected leaders and imposed a year-long state of emergency on 1 February 2021, claiming “election fraud” from November’s polls but without any evidence. The pots and pans protest, also known by the Spanish word cacerolazo, began the day after, making it the first mass public display of dissent towards the junta.
In recent weeks, security forces have responded to protests with deadly violence, firing on unarmed civilians with live ammunition. More than 320 people have been killed, according to activist group the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, with the youngest victim aged just seven.
“For over 50 days I have listened to the first rumbles and rattles of noise echo around downtown Yangon even before the clock hits 8pm. The voracity with which people crash their wooden spoons against their dented and deformed pots and pans is a daily reminder of the solidarity of the people against this regime,” said a member of the band who has chosen to remain anonymous.
“We wanted to share in this unity by bringing people together from across the Yangon punk community to write and record our own raucous din.”
The outro of “The Night Will Not Be Silenced” is a cover of Kabar Ma Kyay Bu (“until the end of the world”), a hugely popular revolutionary anthem made famous in Myanmar during the 1988 pro-democracy uprising. The song, which is set to the tune of Kansas’ 1977 track “Dust in the Wind”, has once again become the soundtrack to the resistance, blasted from car stereos, chanted among the huge crowds in the early days of the protests, and the acapella encore to the cacerolazo each night.
“Kabar Ma Kyay Bu is about how we never forget and how we never forgive. It is a sad but angry song that we sing to remember those who fought for and died in the name of democracy and freedom. We are covering this to remember all these fallen heroes now and in the decades before,” said another member of the band.
He added that: “Music cannot change the world but it can change people’s minds. It is a potent way to spread messages out about human rights, justice and democracy. We speak from our hearts to touch other people’s hearts, and this is why protest music is so important.”
Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/NNOwIvsNfD4
The track is available to download for “pay what you want” from Bandcamp: https://cacelorazo.bandcamp.com/
All donations will be directed to the civil disobedience movement. The band are encouraging people to give directly through isupportmyanmar.com.
Joe Clayton, UK-based producer and member of post-metal band Pijn, mixed and mastered the track: https://www.nostudio.co.uk/