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
- U.S., China to meet, just days after interception of Navy patrol plane
- Obama ‘dithers’ on Syria, Defense officials say
- Police, government blamed in U.K. child sex exploitation
- Peace plan backed, Ukraine says
- Iceland volcano shaken below, but doesn’t stir above
- Afghan candidate threatens boycott of election audit
- U.S. says Egypt, UAE conduct airstrikes to back renegade general in Libya
- No clear victor in Hamas-Israel conflict
- Israel, Hamas accept Gaza war cease-fire
- Ebola viral disease prompts U.S. travel warning to West Africa
- U.S. awaits outcome of Afghanistan election; Pentagon says forces could stay longer, if needed