On Monday, at a student protest rally at Chiang Mai University, a freelance photographer took what may be the defining picture of the student-led anti-government protests in Thailand so far, according to the Thai Enquirer.
The photographer, who asked to be called GoodMondayShoot (his Instagram can be found here), found his way back stage during the rally and took a photo of a speaker at the end of her speech. In the picture, her hand is held high in the three finger salute, a sign of defiance against the military government, and the students before her were reciprocating the gesture.
According to GMS and other people that attended the rally, the young woman who made the speech had drawn the loudest cheer of the night. She had called on the people to stand up for what they believed in and to unite together in their demands for accountability and democracy from the government. In doing so, she had questioned the status quo, the lack of opportunity and intellectual space for students.
“In the moment, I felt proud of this new generation. I felt proud at how they were using the power of their youth to move the country forward and I felt in awe of the speaker and how powerful she had spoken,” GMS, who identified himself as an office worker in Chiang Mai and a Chiang Mai University alumnus, said.
“The reason I was there last night was because I wanted to record history so that future generations could see the movement and understand what we’re going through right now,” GMS told Thai Enquirer.
GMS who said that he was once a pro-government supporter has been changed by the protests.
“I think if the protests are a natural right of a people who want democracy. If we stand still, this country will suffer and not move forward.”