Thai protesters adopt the Hunger Games salute

Bangkok's anti-coup demonstrators show that the odds are never in their favour

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Anti-coup protesters give the Mockingjay salute via Twitter / @karmanomad

Protesters in Bangkok have discovered an unorthodox means of protest: they've adopted the three-finger Mockingjay salute from the Hunger Games

There are more parallels with present-day Thailand and fictional Panem than you think. Not unlike the dystopian government of the Hunger Games, the military junta has banned protests and cracked down on political gatherings that seek to decry last month's armed takeover, which saw the Thai military seize power from an elected government.

In response, Bangkok residents have staged flash mobs in which they silently gather in public places, raise their hands in silent protest. According to Global Post, the salute was adopted just after some anti-coup protesters were arrested after holding up signs with anti-military slogans.

UPDATE: Well, that was fast. AP reports that the military junta has now banned the salute, warning that it will arrest those who ignore orders to lower their arms. "At this point we are monitoring the movement," said Colonel Weerachon Sukhondhapatipak, a spokesman for the government. "If it is an obvious form of resistance, then we have to control it so it doesn't cause any disorder in the country."

The three-fingered salute is adopted by Panem citizens in the Hunger Games trilogy to register a silent note of protest against their unjust rulers. It first appears in Hunger Games: Catching Fire, when Katniss gives the salute to honour a fallen District 11 tribute. 

In Thailand, the Mockingjay salute has gained favour as one paperless means of protest – although reports say that one woman has already been nabbed for giving the salute. Although, as some have pointed out, maybe one finger would have done the job just as well. 

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