Anti-Government Thais Give That Protest a Hand

Mechanical 'clappers' become vital accessory for cheering at rallies
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2008 8:49 AM CDT

(Newser) – Plastic hand-shaped clappers have become a must-have among Thais trying to bring down their government, AFP reports. Hands clapped raw by months of protesting need a break, and vendors outside the occupied Government House sell hundreds of clappers daily. The clappers—used to hound the prime minister out of a mall last month—have become a potent symbol of the movement.

"You can use it to say to Thai ministers, 'Get out and go to hell!'" said one protester. "It's very, very fun and you use it very loud." The fun may, however, soon take a turn for the sinister: pro-government groups have begun using foot-shaped clappers, and commentators fear the dueling clappers may spark fresh violence.