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Huge anti-government protest at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument

Tanutam Thawan

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Anti-government protesters congregated at the Democracy Monument in the heart of Bangkok late yesterday afternoon to demand the dissolution of the current Thai Parliament, demanding a new Constitution and the removal of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and his government

The protest was organised by the Union of Students of Thailand and “Free YOUTH”, and was held in contravention of the emergency decree, restricting congregations of people to limit the spread of Covid-19. They accused the current government of restricting the free expression of the Thai people. They also threatened the government, if it doesn’t respond to the demands within 2 weeks, that they will turn on more protests.

The protesters rallied peacefully, after firstly forcing their way through lines of armed police to reach the Democracy Monument. It was the largest protest of its kind for at least 2 months. The sheer size of the turn out will surely draw a response from the government as it wrestles with economic recovery and had four of its leading economic advisors and ministry members resign last week.

Meanwhile, netizens were ‘rallying’ online using the hashtag #เยาวชนปลดแอก or Youth Liberation. More than 1 million tweets supported the removal of the PM and cabinet. The 3-finger salute, made popular in the ‘Hunger Games” movies, was on display throughout the event, also used frequently by Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the leader of the now-defunct Future Forward political party.

Huge anti-government protest at Bangkok's Democracy Monument | News by Thaiger

Huge anti-government protest at Bangkok's Democracy Monument | News by Thaiger

Many of them, wearing black shirts, began streaming towards the Democracy Monument at about 4.30pm. They were carrying posters reading “Get Out Prayut” and “The Longer the Government Stays On, the More the Damage.”

According to Thai PBS, one of the protest leaders, and Thammasat University student activist, Prit Chivarak, accused the Government of “incompetence in administering the country and voiced his objection to the extension of the state of emergency”.

Chuthatip Sirikhan, president of the Union of Students of Thailand, challenged the protesters to turn the torch lights of their smart phones on and to aim them at the monument, as a symbolic gesture indicating that Thai democracy has been in darkness.

She said that the protesters would maintain the vigil at the monument “to prevent democracy from vanishing from the country.”

Police arrived at the scene and warned the protesters that they could face 2 years in prison as well as a fine of 40,000 baht for not observing social distancing. His warnings were ignored. Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau attended the rally to command officers providing security there. He said that the rally had been staged without permission.

More than 1,000 people attended the protest. The video speaks for itself…

VIDEO: YouTube/StringerBase

 

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    john midolo

    Sunday, July 19, 2020 at 9:45 am

    over 1 million tweets to remove pm and his government what do the other 69 million think,the gov has done a wonderful job of controlling the spread of the virus and these fools protest it beats me what they use for brains

    • Avatar

      Terry Williams

      Sunday, July 19, 2020 at 9:59 am

      There are a lot of other issues than just the virus here mate, please read the news.

  2. Avatar

    Robert

    Sunday, July 19, 2020 at 10:32 am

    First time that 1000 people is a huge crowd what about nearly 1 million people who marched against the amnesty bill maybe that is a huge crowd? Most protestors have very little understaning of what is an undemocratic government maybe theyshould look at Cambodia and the recent histories of Myanmar and Singapore and Malaysia where it was illegal under the sedition act to march with more than 5 people not long ago. Maybe they are to busy with Facebook and Twitter?

  3. Avatar

    Robert Sisaket

    Sunday, July 19, 2020 at 10:49 am

    I think 1 million people that protested the Amnesty bill over a period of days is huge maybe not 1000 or a million tweets?

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Sunday, July 19, 2020 at 10:57 am

    “The government has done a wonderful job in controlling the spread of the virus” Mr Midolo?
    Yes only 58 deaths, how about doing a wonderful job of controlling deaths on the road. 450 a month!
    Should they ban road use. Should they impose curfews? should they prevent people from working and put them in line in the street to wait for charity food?
    Well why not if they are “saving” the citizens.
    The government have probably caused more deaths from suicide than the deaths from the virus.
    The death rate is something like, .o1 percent of those infected. and many do not become infected.
    This rally die not have permission, says a police chief. That says it all. They are a bunch of dictators determined to hang onto power by any means.

  5. Avatar

    Wonderful Guy

    Sunday, July 19, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    As Billy C once said, and it’s always ultimately true… “It’s the economy, stupid!”.

  6. Avatar

    Gosport

    Sunday, July 19, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    Wish protesters and police covid 19 free after it.

  7. Avatar

    Nui de Bkk

    Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at 11:01 am

    They don’t really understand democracy. They are led by some loser politicians who wants to grab power into their hands. They use these young fellows to act against not only government but anti older generations, worst thing is these politicians try to divide the unity of the nation. If you look into Thailand we don’t really have issue of freedom or any bad situation here our only problem is the greedy politicians. Soldier, Monarchy are not problems at all we live happy lives rich or poor. In bad times we share we care. Politicians just wanted to destroy these institutions so that they have absolute power, one thing you have to understand once they have power they will drain all the country money into their pockets and the 2 institutions can stop them, this is something Thailand needs don’t use your standard here it is not the same Thai people have unique character and we are good the way we are. May be the other problem is some westerners try to make us look funny if we dont adopt democracy the way they do I just want to ask for RESPECT. If you live here and understand our culture you will know this was a happy country until democracy issue came in. Hrrrrrrr

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