February 24, 2018

Rebellious Heart: Signs of Rebellion against Thai military coup

3 finger hand sign a symbol of anti-military coup

Rebellious Heart: Signs of rebellion against Thai military coup

100 Baht bank notes

After the Thailand military coup at the beginning of 2014 with Bangkok as the epicenter, citizens of Thailand have been split between pro-coup and anti-coup. Cutting short the long history of Thailand’s political turmoil, currently there is no sign that the military will be holding a democratic election to form the official government of Thailand. That being said, there have been a subtle yet aggressive form of protest spreading quietly.

Lately there have been reports of Thai 100 Baht notes with a stamp on the left hand corner of the bill “ We don’t want the military coup” along with the 3 finger hand sign used as a symbol for revolution in the movie The Hunger Games Catching Fire.

In the movie Hunger Games Catching Fire (the second movie of the trilogy), the 3 finger hand sign stood for having the “odds in your favor” and a sign to encourage citizens of each district to “join the resistance” (in the case applied in the movie anyways) Officially, the current military forces acting as government recently announced that the “vandalized” 100 baht banknotes should be returned or exchanged at any bank in Thailand for a newer 100 baht banknotes. Thai citizens that have been unfortunate enough to receive these bills are unable to use them as they are. 7-11 Thailand, the local convenience store is one example that refuses to accept stamped 100 Thai baht banknotes, even though legally stores including 7-11 stores have no right to refuse the official paper currency

However, the latest information on Thailand about this matter was announced by the military since July 2014 that according to the 2521 Currency Act, banknotes that are defective or have any relation to political group/party is considered illegal acts and will be immediately charged and put on trial. These supposedly rebellious bank notes have been circulating since July and despite the efforts of law enforcing officials that urge Thai people to report these bank notes, local Thais are fearful to report the “vandalized” banknotes to officials. Like everything else, Thais will sweep all things terrifying and culturally denied under the country’s imaginary rug.