BANGKOK, Thailand — They materialize suddenly, by the dozens, raising a three-finger salute toward the sky. Then they vanish as quickly as they appear, melting into crowds to evade scores of armed troops and police.
They are Bangkok’s anti-coup flash mobs. Under Thailand’s new military junta, which seized power from an elected government in late May, protesting the armed takeover is a crime.
Those daring enough to defy the coup have been reduced to cat-and-mouse games — swift public demonstrations designed to evaporate before police or soldiers can haul off offenders.
The flash mobs’ three-finger salute is inspired by The Hunger Games, the popular science-fiction series depicting a futuristic totalitarian regime. In The Hunger Games series, dissent toward a cruel dictatorship is signaled by raising three fingers; in Bangkok, the salute draws an unflattering comparison to the real-life junta that just seized power.
Bangkok’s anti-coup flash mobs have adopted the ‘Hunger Games’ salute
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