Group reads Orwell novel in public to protest Thailand's military rule
BANGKOK — In junta-ruled Thailand, the simple act of reading in public has become an act of resistance.
On Saturday evening in Bangkok, a week and a half after the army seized power in a coup, about a dozen people gathered in the middle of a busy elevated walkway connecting several of the capital's most luxurious shopping malls.
As pedestrians trundled past, the protesters sat down, pulled out book titles such as George Orwell's “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” a dystopian novel about life in a totalitarian surveillance state, and began to read.
In a country where the army has vowed to crack down on anti-coup protesters demanding elections and a return to civilian rule, in a place where one can be detained for simply holding something that says “Peace Please” in the wrong part of town, the small protest was a major act of defiance — a quiet demonstration against the army's May 22 seizure of power and the repression that has accompanied it.
“People are angry about this coup, but they can't express it,” said a human rights activist who asked to be identified only by her nickname, Mook, for fear of being detained.
“So we were looking for an alternative way to resist, a way that is not confrontational,” she said. “And one of those ways is reading.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 30 Filipino police commandos killed in clash with rebels
- Putin casts off rich cronies as sanctions hit Russian elite
- Terror explodes anew in Ukraine as rebels’ rockets hit city of Mariupol
- Focus shifts as Ebola outbreak slows
- Obama to cut short India trip to pay call on Saudi Arabia
- Yemenis protest takeover by Houthi rebels
- France wants to charge 4 with involvement in Paris attacks
- King Tut’s mask can be repaired, expert says
- Leaders decry apparent murder
- Houthi rebels besiege Yemen capital of Sanaa
- Rebels capture Yemen’s palace, drive key U.S. ally to brink of collapse