The latest reports from Myanmar say that soldiers are blockading Buddhist shrines and authorities are restricting phone and Internet access, as the military leadership appears at least temporarily to have quelled the democracy movement that has shaken the country.

The relative calm comes after sustained demonstrations led by Buddhist monks and aimed at ending nearly half a century of military control were violently repressed by the ruling junta. The violence has killed nine people and injured 31, according to an account read on official Burmese television. Exile groups say they have information suggesting that the death toll is considerably higher.

The crackdown has come despite virtual worldwide condemnation. On the diplomatic front, a special UN envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, was expected to confer with Burma’s military leaders on Sunday to urge restraint and national reconciliation.

Amnesty International has been a leader in focusing attention on the rampant human rights abuses in Myanmar. This Monday, October 1, Amnesty International members around the world are holding a series of demonstrations outside Burmese embassies and high profile public locations calling for the Myanmar authorities to respect the right to peaceful protest.

In New York City people are assembling at 12:00pm at the Permanent Mission of the Union of Myanmar (Burma) to the United Nations at 10 East 77th Street (near 5th avenue, east side of Central Park). Check the AI website for info on rallies nationwide and other ways you can help.