This file picture taken on June 1, 2014 shows anti-coup protesters flashing a three-finger salute during a gathering at a shopping mall which was broken up by security forces in downtown Bangkok. AFP PHOTO / FILES / Christophe ARCHAMBAULT
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The raised arm salute has become an unofficial symbol of opposition to Thailand's May 22 coup, and a creative response to several bans the ruling junta has placed on freedom of expression.Since staging its bloodless coup, the military has prohibited political gatherings of more than five people and tried to enforce a ban on criticism of the coup by closing politically-affiliated television stations and blocking hundreds of websites."Raising three fingers has become a symbol in calling for fundamental political rights," wrote Sombat, a member of the "Red Shirt" protest movement that had backed the now-ousted government and warned it would take action if there was a coup. He called on people to raise "3 fingers, 3 times a day" -- at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. -- in safe public places where no police or military is present.
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