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Bangkok braces for Black Lives Matter rally

Jack Burton

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Bangkok braces for Black Lives Matter rally | The Thaiger
PHOTO: ABC News

The death of black American George Floyd at the hands of police burgeoned into a storm of protests reaching across the globe; one that will reach Bangkok this weekend. The vast majority of demonstrations over the past 8 days in the US have been peaceful, but some have turned violent and curfews have been imposed after looting in a number of US cities. “Justice for George Floyd (Peacefully Paying Our Respects),” a rally in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, is expected to be held Sunday from 1pm-3pm at a location to be confirmed.

Attendees are encouraged by the event’s organisers to wear black, wear masks, bring signs and practice social distancing. The event was announced Tuesday, and more than 800 people have so far expressed interest. Reached for comment this afternoon, organisers said the event is more likely be held “virtually”. Public assembly is currently banned in Thailand under the Emergency Decree enacted to fight the spread of Covid-19.

Thailand, which has its own history of police brutality, denied using using that decree last month as a pretext to quash an anti-government rally.

New charges have been announced against all of the sacked US police officers present at George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, Minneota. The charge against the officer who held his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck, has been elevated to second degree murder. 3 other officers, previously uncharged, now face counts of aiding and abetting murder.

SOURCES: Coconuts Bangkok | BBC

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Avatar

    King Harold

    Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    Good for Bangkok, I love Thailand. #blacklivesmatter all over the world.

    • Avatar

      ron

      Sunday, June 7, 2020 at 1:38 am

      Except they are a terrorist organization

  2. Avatar

    Madeline Thompson

    Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    This is kind of nonsense, making a big deal of this, in this country it is not really relevant. Please, Thailand, do not get on this particular bandwagon, it is very very much a N.American thing, and the US has many different factions manipulating the situation.

    • Avatar

      Prince

      Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 8:39 pm

      That’s bullshit. Racism doesnt magically disappear at the thai border. Especially with so many entitled westerners here.

  3. Avatar

    Brian

    Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Thai people, I’m sorry. Many Americans are crazy.

  4. Avatar

    John Smythe

    Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    Thai people have no understanding of racism as it’s perceived in the US. Rallying under this label is only an excuse for “me too” participation. Don’t be blind following fools! Foreigners who don’t like the Thai environment should just go home, this isn’t your country in the first place. Behave or get out. You’re a guest and don’t forget it.

  5. Avatar

    R

    Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    This was a deplorable act perpetrated by this police officers..and I hope they spend the time in prison they deserve..however it is not the norm as the media wants you to believe…George Floyd was not a role model citizen as media wants you to believe having spent 5 years in prison for armed robbery and numerous other arrest.Last weekend 49 people were shot in the city of Chicago..a usual normal weekend event week in week out but nothing said or protested and you never know their names because it is blacks shooting blacks…So do black lives only matter when it’s convenient for the political left Dems to create division of races.If you want to protest…protest for the good people who lost their businesses and good police who were severly injured or killed or is this behavior justified.Thailand has enough of their own issues that needs addressed without marching for something they don’t understand.

  6. Avatar

    Irrasmus Black

    Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 11:40 pm

    As a Black American man residing in Thailand over the last 10 months, I find this very very interesting, this act of solidarity and support for Blacks. I have lived and traveled many many countries and my experiences in Thailand have caused me to assess and consider Thailand as the most racist country in the world, so I want to thank the element of people who were emotionally impacted by the atrocity of the unneccessary brutal killing of a Black man in the USA, that they feel the need to act in solidarity.
    I live in an area in Thailand that is very popular with White foreigners and I feel their unease, discomfort, and hatred, the hatred in their eyes when I am in their presence. They avoid eye contact and always maintain a cold rigid demeanor if they have to interact with me. This is an entirely different experience from what I have had living in Europe and North America, so I am wondering what element and mentality of White foreigners visit Thailand. I am reading the comments of some White foreigners who in their primitive minds cannot see the need for a protest or for people to stand up against what transpired in Minnesota. That saddens me and shows the need for this protest and solidarity with Blacks. I want to say thanks again to the organizers of this “Black Lives Matter” event in Bangkok.

    • Avatar

      malcolm hughes

      Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at 4:15 am

      Not only are you talking utter crap it seems you are also a very racist man. You don’t like it here, well no one is keeping you a prisoner here. Pack your bags and leave.

  7. Avatar

    Kemah Family Dental

    Friday, June 5, 2020 at 4:07 am

    One thing is true, Thailand has Fake News Media just like the other countries under the influence of China’s power grab

  8. Avatar

    Duke Stern

    Friday, June 5, 2020 at 9:30 am

    as an american who is a minority, black lives matter as a movement is retarded.

  9. Avatar

    Marshall Lentini

    Friday, June 5, 2020 at 10:26 am

    It took global negromania to make one nostalgic for lockdowns.

  10. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, June 5, 2020 at 11:03 am

    Leave, J Smythe? They can’t.

  11. Avatar

    Stan Nomad

    Friday, June 5, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    ALL Lives Matter: racism is a two way street.

  12. Avatar

    Steve

    Friday, June 5, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    Since when are Thai women into black men?

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Bangkok. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Thailand

Thailand classified as a “not free” country in Freedom House report

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thailand classified as a “not free” country in Freedom House report | The Thaiger
October protest at the Asok-Sukhumvit intersection in Bangkok / Photo by Caitlin Ashworth

On a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being absolute freedom, Thailand scores at 30, a “not free” country, according to the nonprofit Freedom House. Each year, the organisation reviews the political rights and civil liberties of countries around the world. According to their recent assessment, Thailand has declined in terms of rights and liberties, dropping on the scale from “partly free” to “not free.”

The main reason for the drop on the freedom scale, the organisation says, is “due to the dissolution of a popular opposition party that performed well in the 2019 elections, and the military-dominated government’s crackdown on youth-led protests calling for democratic reforms.”

The Future Forward Party was dissolved in February 2020 after the court found that the founder, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, had made a large donation to the party that exceeded the legal limit. The party’s leaders were then banned from politics for the next decade.

Youth-led protests started in February, but the demonstrations were put on pause due to Covid-19 restrictions banning large public gatherings. Protesters gathered in July as restrictions lifted, but some leaders then faced charges for holding a public gathering, which was still banned under emergency orders.

In October, the prime minister imposed what Freedom House calls a “severe” State of Emergency order in Bangkok that banned gatherings of more than 5 people. Some protesters were arrested for violating the order nearly immediately after it was imposed.

With activists pushing for monarchy reform and an end to the military’s involvement in government, raising subjects considered taboo and unprecedented in Thai society, the Thai government has increased its use of the draconian lèse majesté law. Since November, dozens of activists have faced charges for insulting or defaming the Thai Monarchy.

Freedom House scores countries on topics like the electoral process, questioning if politicians and leaders were elected in free and fair elections, as well as freedom of expression and individual rights.

Thailand’s military seized power in 2014 in a bloodless coup. The 2017 constitution was drafted by a committee appointed by the military’s National Council for Peace and Order. In 2019, the country transitioned to what Freedom House calls a “military-dominated, semi-elected” government.

The 2019 elections were overseen by the Election Commission of Thailand, whose members were appointed by the military. All 250 senators were appointed by the military in 2019 to serve 5 year terms.

In 2020, the combination of democratic deterioration and frustrations over the role of the monarchy provoked the country’s largest anti-government demonstrations in a decade. In response to these youth-led protests, the regime resorted to familiar authoritarian tactics, including arbitrary arrests, intimidation, lèse majesté charges, and harassment of activists. Freedom of the press is constrained, due process is not guaranteed, and there is impunity for crimes committed against activists.

SOURCE: Freedom House

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Riot police officer in Bangkok tests positive for Covid-19

Caitlin Ashworth

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Riot police officer in Bangkok tests positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
Protest in Bangkok on February 28 / Photo by Thai News Pix

A riot police officer, who was deployed at the recent pro-democracy protests in Bangkok, has tested positive for Covid-19. His supervisor, chief of Wang Thonglang station Ekapop Tanprayoon, says the officer had visited Samut Sakhon, a coronavirus hotspot.

Riot police who worked closely with the infected officer, Somyot Nuamcharoen, are ordered to quarantine. The Wang Thonglang police station and any items the police officer handled are being disinfected, the chief says.

The officer had met up with friends during a visit to Samut Sakhon, just southwest of Bangkok. He travelled to the coastal province on February 18 and returned to Bangkok the next day.

On the 20th, he was deployed to a protest outside of parliament, just after returning from his trip to the “red zone” province. On Sunday, he deployed the protest outside the military barracks in Bangkok. The demonstration turned violent and numerous people were injured.

On Tuesday, his friend from Samut Sakhon tested positive for the virus. The infected officer was tested for Covid-19 that day and his result came back positive yesterday.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Transport

“Sealed route” set at Bangkok airport for international transfers

Caitlin Ashworth

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“Sealed route” set at Bangkok airport for international transfers | The Thaiger
Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok / Photo by Caitlin Ashworth

Thailand is now allowing international transits and transfers at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport by using a so-called “sealed route” arranged at the airport to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has now set guidelines for passengers who have a layover at the Bangkok airport.

Passengers will not be allowed to leave Concourse E. A “sealed route” for the passengers will be set up at Gate E10 and E9, allowing passengers to enter the airport at Gate E10, go through security screening and then either board the transit aircraft at Gate E9 or go on a designated shuttle bus directly to an aircraft.

Social distancing is required for all passengers in waiting areas and a face mask must be worn at all times. The CAAT says food and beverage services will be available at the airport’s “sealed route” waiting area, but there will be “active oversight” on the services. Areas will also be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Passengers must present required documents…

  • A fit-to-fly health certificate
  • Medical certificate declaring a negative Covid-19 result issued no more than 72 hours before departure
  • Travel health insurance that covers Covid-19 treatment expenses up to $100,000 USD

If demand increases, the airport will add Gates E5, E7 and E8 to the sealed route. If Concourse E is under maintenance, then Concourse F will be used under the same plan.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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