In the Hollywood saga “Hunger Games”, the three-finger salute becomes a symbol of resistance to oppression. Now he is also finding his way onto the streets of the real world. In Myanmar – but not only there – he can be seen more and more often at protest rallies. Scenes like in a film: As a sign of protest, people on the streets in Myanmar have kept three fingers in the air since the military coup a week ago. The three-finger greeting is taken from the book and film series “The Hunger Games” and is considered a gesture of resistance by an oppressed society. For some time now, the symbol has been used again and again, especially by young people – including during the protests against the military in Myanmar.
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Despite the shutdown of the Internet and a large police presence, tens of thousands of people took to the streets against the coup and for the release of the de facto head of government Aung San Suu Kyi. It was the biggest protests since the army seized power in the Southeast Asian country. It is estimated that up to 100,000 demonstrators took to the streets in the economic metropolis of Yangon on Sunday. Many of them showed the three-finger salute for which US actress Jennifer Lawrence became famous in the role of the resistance fighter in the fantasy land of Panem. They were supported by the noise of the car horns. People held up posters saying “We don’t want a military dictatorship” and “Justice for Myanmar”. Many of them wore red clothes and waved red flags. Red is the color of the National League for Democracy (NLD) of the arrested freedom icon Suu Kyi.
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Police vehicles and water cannons drove up at the location of the demonstration near the University in Rangoon. “We’ll keep going until we get democracy. Down with the military dictatorship,” said 37-year-old protester Myo Win. The demonstrators gathered at Rangoon City Hall that afternoon after riot police blocked their way to the city center in many places. By the way: In Thailand, too, the three-fingered hand sign became a symbol of protest against the military who controlled the state. There have even been arrests for the rebellious gesture. The third part of the film series was taken off the program in numerous cinemas in Thailand because the military feared that the revolt would be skipped from the film.
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