Thai students mobilise to resist junta rule (Yahoo News):
Bangkok (AFP) - Huddled around a table at a university canteen, six Thai students draft a newsletter celebrating democracy -- a meeting that would have barely attracted a glance two months ago, but could now land them in jail.

They are part of a small but growing troop of undergraduates uniting in Bangkok to resist the curtailment of civil liberties under military rule.

"We should write about what isn't being reported," says Achara, a 24-year-old languages student spurred into action by the junta's censorship of domestic media. (...)

Two days before it seized power on May 22, the army banned political assemblies of more than five people. It has responded increasingly aggressively to any form of protest.

In June, police arrested a lone student reading "Nineteen Eighty-Four" and eating a sandwich, while others have been detained for displaying a three-finger salute from the "Hunger Games" films -- symbols of defiance against the junta.

Social media has become another target, with police trawling for dissenting voices, and authorities have even offered citizens a financial reward if they submit evidence linking someone to anti-coup activity.

This crackdown on freedom of expression has forced students to become more innovative in their campaigns.

To avoid detection, they rely on encrypted mobile apps, secret Facebook groups and even fake identities to plan protests -- changing meeting times and locations at the last minute. (...)

These campaigners know the risks of protesting -- scores of students were massacred by authorities during a political demonstration at Bangkok's Thammasat University in 1976 in what remains a dark and largely unacknowledged chapter in Thai history.

Yet they remain emboldened by the tradition of students fighting for democracy in the kingdom, which has seen 19 failed or successful coups since 1932.

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