MSNBC/AP: Monks lead 100,000-strong Myanmar protest — Military regime shows restraint apparently due to pressure from China

YANGON, Myanmar – As many as 100,000 anti-government protesters led by a phalanx of Buddhist monks marched Monday through Yangon, the largest crowd to demonstrate in Myanmar’s biggest city since a 1988 pro-democracy uprising that was brutally crushed by the military.

Marching for more than five hours and over at least 12 miles, a last hard-core group of more than 1,000 monks and 400 sympathizers finished by walking up to an intersection where police blocked access to the street where democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is under house arrest.

Making no effort to push past, the marchers chanted a Buddhist prayer with the words “May there be peace,” and then dispersed. About 500 onlookers cheered their act of defiance, as 100 riot police with helmets and shield stared stonily ahead. . .