The Lasers of Discontent

For the past decade, as inexpensive laser pointers have become more available, protesters around the world have added them to their tool kits. They are used to distract or obstruct riot police and their cameras and drones, as a colorful way to celebrate and show solidarity in groups, or as a method of communication. Recently, in Hong Kong, police officers have arrested people for the possession of laser pointers, classifying the devices as offensive weapons that could injure someone’s eyes—which has prompted even more protests. Gathered here, images from unrest in Chile, Hong Kong, and Iraq over the past few months, where demonstrators are using lasers as tools of defiance.

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