Since 8 o’clock in the morning, curious locals, NLD supporters and devotees of Aung San Suu Kyi have been gathering on Myochit Street in Insein. The road is blocked with wooden barricades and barbed wire.

Two or three hundred yards down the road, Burma’s most famous daughter is on trial on trumped-up charges of harboring a foreigner at her Inya Lake home.

At 9:50, a white saloon car from the American embassy pulls up and the barricade is widened to let it pass toward the prison.

In front of Insein Market, trucks full of Swin Ahh Shin members frown at the crowd. The notorious junta-backed thugs appear drunk, their bloodshot eyes staring menacingly at passers-by.

– Extracted from Aung Thet Wine, “A reporter’s diary”, The Irrawaddy, 20 May 2009.

Earlier in the week New Mandala showcased some pictures from outside Insein Prison that depicted the many people gathered there. This Irrawaddy report has lots of helpful details, and gives a strong sense of the mood on the ground. It is well worth a look.