Latest Avatar-inspired political protest? Save the apes!

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

All James Cameron wanted to do was blow us away with a bigger blockbuster. But based on the way activists have embraced the Na'vi and their defense of Pandora, it looks like he ended up creating something even bigger than he expected—a potent symbol of protest.

First it was Palestinian activists, who earlier this month marched as Na'vi characters to draw attention to their campaign against a controversial Israeli West Bank barrier. Now another group of protesters have dressed like something out of Avatar, this time to protect endangered orangutans.

Yesterday, a dozen activists from the Centre for Orangutan Protection donned makeup in Jakarta to stage a protest urging the Indonesian government to stop illegal deforestation and save orangutans.

According to Hardi Baktiantoro, COP's orangutan campaigner, "At least 1,200 orangutans left in cages of the rehabilitation centers are one proof of the Forestry Ministry's incapability to run the control. Most of the orangutans are evacuated from deforestation projects' fields, particularly in Central Borneo, where deforestation is done to make way for palm oil plantations."

We sense that these two will be but the first of many Avatar-inspired political protests we'll be seeing. What do you think? Will the Na'vi as symbol end up being bigger than Avatar?

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