Myanmar’s junta is under pressure in a way it hasn’t been in decades.

Challenging its military might are armed civilian groups known as the People’s Defense Force — a grassroots insurgency made up of citizens including farmers, doctors, teachers, home-makers and engineers — all determined to overthrow the generals who took control of the country in a coup just over a year ago. Mass street protests and a deadly crackdown followed, and on past history, that might have been the end of it.

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