There are many times in life where fandom and real-life intersect in interesting ways. Sometimes it’s a witty guy showing up in a Darth Vader mask to anonymously accept his lottery winnings. But it can be a more serious event when fans tap into their favorite fandom to stand for something greater. According to The Guardian, a Harry Potter theme took over a protest in Bangkok on August 3; the event’s theme was “Harry Potter vs. You-Know-He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.”
Around 200 vocal citizens came together in costume as Harry Potter, Voldemort, and other characters from the franchise. The activists say the Harry Potter theme is a reference to injustice under their country’s military-backed government. An organizer told reporter Saksith Saiyasombut that making democracy happen in Thailand shouldn’t be wizardry. It’s definitely a creative approach to getting a message out in the world.
As the anti-govt students protests continue, the activists have decided to mix it up a bit: today’s theme is “Harry Potter vs You-Know-Who— Saksith Saiyasombut (@SaksithCNA) August 3, 2020
“Bringing Democracy to #Thailand shouldn’t be wizardry,” one organizer tells me. pic.twitter.com/ZZQQzsB9oj
Speaker Arnon Nampa bravely spoke up about Thailand’s need to amend its laws, constitution, and other practices in regards to its current monarchy. His words push the limits of free speech but he still gave listeners his thoughts about how changes could happen.
“Talking about this is not an act to topple the monarchy, but to allow the monarchy to exist in Thai society in the right way and legitimately under a democratic and a constitutional monarchy,” Nampa said. It’s a very brave stand considering that defaming the royal family can land a person in prison for 15 years.
Warner Bros. Pictures
Student groups read their reformation demands and people came together with masks on to put their wands up in solidarity. There are no reports of police violence nor arrests at the event. There will surely be more events as they continue to demand changes in their country.
This protest with a Harry Potter twist shows how powerful creative art can be. It inspires those who read it, guides them towards forming bonds with each other, and can inspire some seriously brave actions too.
Featured Image: Warner Bros. Pictures