Mass protests erupted in Myanmar in 2007, sparked at first by widespread anger over a steep jump in fuel prices. But public ire quickly turned against the military government that had ruled the Southeast Asian nation with an iron fist for five decades. The protest movement was dubbed the ‘Saffron Revolution’ – named after the saffron-colored robes widely associated with Buddhist monks, who were at the forefront of the demonstrations.
Protests spread across Myanmar, eventually drawing tens of thousands into the streets in Myanmar’s commercial center, Yangon. The violent military crackdown that followed left at least 13 dead and hundreds injured and arrested.
The Saffron Revolution was an important stepping stone in Myanmar’s march toward democratic rule. In 2015, democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won general elections, becoming Myanmar’s first non-military government in 54 years.