Student protesters in Thailand, have adopted the three-fingered salute popularized in the Hunger Games series, to show their discontent for the current military-backed Prime-minister.
It is reported that on November 20, five students from the University of Khon Kaen, wearing shirts that stated the slogan ‘No Coupe’ were arrested while attending a public speech presented by Thailand’s current Prime-minister, General Chan-ocha. The cause for arrest was due to the rebellious protesters raising their arm and extending the index, middle, and ring finger of their hand, in a manner similar to descriptions and scenes from the Hunger Games books and movies. The students were then detained at a police station before being transported to a military base for further interrogation. As of yet no charges have been placed on the protesters. It is reported that General Chan-ocha was not bothered by the students defiant actions and was quoted to ask the audience, “If anyone else wanted to protest?”.
In Bangkok, on November 20, a similar, but separate incident involving protesters and the Hunger Games franchise, also occurred. A group of University students purchased 200 tickets of admittance for the debut of the most recent Hunger Games movie, Mocking Jay Part 1. The group of protesters were then planning on handing out the tickets for no charge to anyone who desired to watch the film. Once officials caught word of this defiant act, they ordered the screening to be canceled, but that did not deter the protesters, who then continued to picket the movie theater and were then arrested for using the three-finger salute from the series.
The student rebels in Thailand are noted to have found many similarities between the plot line of the best-selling series and their own lives. The dystopian future that is the backdrop of the series is said to parallel the current totalitarian state of their nation. In May of this year, General Chan-ocha was hand-picked and seated as the new Prime minister after a military coupe had overthrown the democratically elected civilian government.
The social unrest and disarray in Thailand has been ongoing for the last several months, but has not solely been directed towards fans of the Hunger Games series. It is reported that a University student who was eating a sandwich while reading Gorge Orwell’s classic science fiction novel 1984 was also arrested.