June 26, 2022

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HOW THE ‘HUNGER GAMES’ SALUTE BECAME A SYMBOL OF SOLIDARITY ACROSS RECENT PROTESTS

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QUINN MCGANNON WRITES — Current years have seen an explosion of protests throughout Asia, most stemming from a frustration with oppressive governments and lack of freedoms. An rising variety of younger folks in Asia are taking part of their international locations’ affairs, they usually’re not being refined about it. Whereas protests typically evoke a robust sense of division, these present a rising unity throughout nation strains.

In 2012, the primary “Starvation Video games” movie was launched. Primarily based on a guide of that title by Suzanne Collins, it informed the story of a younger girl preventing for her life in a merciless recreation of survival, organized by an oppressive and omnipotent authorities regime. The movie was extremely anticipated and set field workplace information. However what nobody anticipated was how the film would serve to represent protest actions to return.

For instance: Hong Kong has seen its justifiable share of protests lately, however 2014’s Umbrella Motion was the primary wherein protesters used a three-finger salute—the one displayed by the principle character in “Starvation Video games,” after a fellow-participant within the recreation of survival dies in her arms.

The Hong Kong Protest in 2014

Later in 2014, when a army coup ended with Basic Prayut seizing energy, Thai residents took to the streets of Bangkok armed with indicators and the three-finger salute. The junta introduced, with little success, that the image was banned. College students watching the second installment of the “Starvation Video games” film in theatres have been really escorted out by undercover police— for flashing the signal whereas watching. When protests in opposition to the federal government erupted once more in 2020, the salute was nonetheless an ever-present image of resistance and hope.

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2020-2021 Thai protests

Impressed by their Thai neighbors, this similar image discovered its technique to protests in Myanmar. In February 2021, a army coup led to the overthrow of Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who led the nation’s first democratically elected authorities after many years of army rule. Outraged, residents flocked to the streets to protest, culminating in pot-banging motion labor strikes and a red-ribbon marketing campaign. Leaders of the coup have tried social media blackouts, media blackouts and have ordered the arrest of all who flash the three-finger salute.

2021 Myanmar Protest

Clearly, this salute has transcended nationwide borders and has turn into a common signal to manyfighting authorities forces that search to undermine civil rights. Or, as put forth by Min Than, 23, a college scholar at a San Francisco-based solidarity protest in Myanmar: “We see you and we care. We won’t allow you to endure alone.”

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