Thousands of Internet bloggers from at least 45 nations joined a cyberspace protest against Myanmar’s military regime on Thursday by posting “Free Burma” banners on their pages, according to the drive’s Web site.

The military dictatorship in Myanmar, also known as Burma, staged a brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protests last week, with activists claiming at least 200 civilians and Buddhist monks were killed and thousands detained.

The regime also disrupted Internet access in Myanmar, in a bid to keep citizens from sending photographs, videos and reports to the outside world.

According the http://www.freeburma.com Web site, the Internet protest idea started in Germany, and spread around the world to countries including the United States, Russia, China, Indonesia, Brazil, Ukraine and French Polynesia. It is being run in eight languages.

“We want to set a sign for freedom and show our sympathy for these people who are fighting their cruel regime without weapons,” the organizers wrote.

As of Thursday morning, more than 7,000 bloggers had joined the protest, a list on the home page said. Participants can download and post a variety of banners, some showing Myanmar monks protesting, and the text “Free Burma.”

“Action needs to be taken by the international community to force the military regime … to step back, release all political prisoners and let people have a say in running of their country,” wrote a blogger in India, calling himself Empty Head.

“Grassroots efforts make a difference,” wrote a U.S. blogger called Mascia. “Please speak up. Their voices have been silenced.”