Anti-government activists confirm details of October 14 protest

PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Members of the Free People pro-democracy group have gathered in Bangkok to confirm the details of a protest planned for October 14. Human rights lawyer Arnon Nampa, one of the key leaders in the current anti-government protest movement, confirmed to those gathered at the Sanam Luang public square in Bangkok that the rally will kick off at 2pm next Wednesday.

Activists will assemble at the Democracy Monument in the capital and will begin their action by removing plants placed there by officials in an attempt to block protesters. The gesture is largely symbolic, to represent a reclamation of public land and it’s understood the plants will be returned to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

Arnon says activists plan to camp out overnight to force the government into responding to their demands. Turnout should exceed that of the September 19 protest in the capital, according to organisers, and is expected to include labour unions and university students. The last rally at the Democracy Monument attracted 10,000+.

Wednesday’s rally is being organised to commemorate the 47th anniversary of a popular uprising that ended the military rule of Thanom Kittikachorn and changed the political system in Thailand. The uprising precipitated a series of events that eventually led to the Thammasat University Massacre on October 6, 1976.

Anti-government protests have been taking place across Thailand since mid-July, with pro-democracy activists calling for the resignation of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, the dissolution of parliament, and a re-write of the country’s constitution.

Protesters are now also calling for strikes and urging school and university students to stop attending classes. Arnon says Wednesday’s protest may go on for several days, perhaps “infinity”. He was joined on stage by other prominent activists, including Panupong Chadnok, aka “Mike Rayong”, Tattep Ruangprapaikitseree, and Student Union of Thailand spokesperson, Panusaya Sithijirawattankul, aka “Rung”.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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