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Online entrepreneurs cash in on “People’s Plaque”

Maya Taylor

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Online entrepreneurs cash in on “People’s Plaque” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: ProgressiveMovementPNA / Facebook
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After the removal of a commemorative plaque hours after it was installed by anti-government protesters, pro-democracy messaging has found a new home, now appearing on a range of merchandise. Products that bear the plaque’s wording, alongside a graphic of the 3-fingered salute adopted by protesters, are now being sold online by canny entrepreneurs.

Those who support the pro-democracy movement can now purchase a range of products allowing them to advertise their political stance. A report in Coconuts says buyers may want to consider a key ring for 112 baht, or a smartphone cover for 199 baht. T-shirts are available from 300 baht, as well as baseball caps in a variety of colours.

Meanwhile, in the south of the country, where surfers may find current seasonal conditions favourable, the Phang Nga Progressive Movement is selling surfboards for around 20,000 baht. The marketing blurb for the 8 foot boards encourages surfers to “feel freedom on the waves, practice surfing over dictatorship”.

On Sunday, protest leaders installed the People’s Plaque in Sanam Luang, next to the Grand Palace. Its wording translates as, “At this place the people have expressed their will, that this country belongs to the people and is not the property of the monarch as they have deceived us.”

Just hours after its installation, the plaque was pulled out of the ground, with protesters facing charges for having installed it at a registered historical site without permission. While the messaging is now getting out through other channels, it’s not clear if pro-democracy groups will benefit in any way from the sale of merchandise.

SOURCE: Coconuts

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Protests

Thousands of protesters descend on the German Embassy in Bangkok awaiting to submit their petition

The Thaiger

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Thousands of protesters descend on the German Embassy in Bangkok awaiting to submit their petition | The Thaiger
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7.15pm and the protesters arrived out the front of the German Embassy. Thousands have blocked the way in Sathorn Road but protesters say they’re waiting for more to arrive. Estimates of the crowd say there are up to 10,000 anti government protesters already. Protesters say they’re waiting for an invitation by the German Ambassador for representatives to enter the embassy to submit their petition.

Protesters have been met by hundreds of riot police protecting the entrance to the embassy, in fact three lines of police. The ensemble of police is matched by a huge Thai and overseas media contingency.

Protesters are seeking an opinion from the German Government about the residential status of the Thai Head of State in the state of Bavaria, claiming that the monarch has been conducting political business whilst in residence.

Protest leaders asked the demonstrators to show restraint and avoid any violence as the rally moved from the Sam Yan intersection, near the Chulalongkorn University, towards the German Embassy along Rama IV Road.

At this stage no officials have emerged from the gates of the embassy to accept the petition. A number of protest leaders are waiting at the gate with their petition after clearing the way for the representatives to approach the front gate in waiting for someone to come out.

As of 7.15pm, no one had emerged from the embassy buildings although a report has come from Thai Enquirer that the Embassy has agreed to accept 3 protest leaders inside to submit their petition.

Thousands of protesters descend on the German Embassy in Bangkok awaiting to submit their petition | News by The Thaiger

Thousands of protesters descend on the German Embassy in Bangkok awaiting to submit their petition | News by The Thaiger

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Bangkok

Thai protesters head to German Embassy to file controversial petition

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai protesters head to German Embassy to file controversial petition | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Naewna (there were actually 100s at the protest, including around 60 police guarding the front of the German Embassy)

There was a spontaneous rally outside the German Embassy in Sathorn Road by government supporters and yellow-shirted royalists early this afternoon, a prelude to this afternoon’s march by anti-government protesters walking from the Sam Yan intersection to the embassy, a route of about 1.5 kilometres.

Protesters say they will submit a petition considered to be unprecedented and controversial in Thailand, calling on Germany to investigate His Majesty the King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who spends a significant amount of his time in Bavaria, to determine if he has violated German sovereignty by exercising power on German soil.

“Our monarchy has been used as a political tool for several years. The dictators and fascists have used the monarchy to tackle those who stand against them. This is the reason why Thailand is not moving forward as it should be.”

Meanwhile, another protest has popped up in Wongwian Yai, Thonburi, on the west banks of the Chao Praya, Bangkok.

Thai protesters head to German Embassy to file controversial petition | News by The Thaiger

A few hundred pro-government supporters rallied outside the German Embassy in Sathorn for just over an hour sharing their enthusiasm for the Thai monarch with the spokesperson yelling “Show me who would be Thailand’s first president”, Who would that be”, suggesting that the protesters were talking of changing Thailand from a constitutional monarchy to a republic, something that has never been a part of the current protesters’ demands.

Royal supporters dressed in yellow, a colour representing the Thai Monarchy, waved the Thai flag and held up photos of the Royal family. The royal supporters are an older demographic than the pro-democracy activists who include many students, showing a clear generational divide in the current conflict.

It is the first time a foreign government has been directly targeted by the anti-government protesters. Protesters say the intention is to push for the restoration of a “truly” constitutional monarchy in Thailand, under law. In past protests, some signs said “Republic of Thailand” rather than “Kingdom of Thailand,” as some protesters pushed for full democracy rather than a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy.

Protesters have been calling on government reform and a rewrite of the 2017 Charter. They’ve also been pushing on Prayut Chan-o-cha to resign. During the protests, parliament was in an “emergency” special session, expected to wrap up on Tuesday evening, in response to the political rallies.

Thailand’s lèse majesté laws in Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code prohibits insults and criticism regarding the Thai Monarchy. A section in the Computer Crime Act also prohibits the insults. Despite this the Monarchy is now being openly discussed on social media and amongst Thais, previously a taboo topic in Thailand.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand| Reuters

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Protests

Anti-government protesters plan march to German Embassy today

Maya Taylor

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Anti-government protesters plan march to German Embassy today | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

A political rally is being planned at the German Embassy on Bangkok’s Sathon Road this evening as anti-government activists continue to call for the PM’s resignation and pout pressure on the government for reforms to the country’s political system and constitution.

Thai PBS World reports that protesters are expected to gather at the Sam Yan intersection on Rama IV Road at 5pm and then march to the Germany Embassy. The rally was announced at Saturday night’s protest at the Ratchaprasong intersection in central Bangkok.

A ‘spoiler’ rally is also being planned by government supporters and ‘royalists’ at Lumpini Park today, right in the middle of the march route.

Determined activists continue to repeat their demands, which include the resignation of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, a re-write of the 2017 Charter (constitution), and reform of the revered Thai Monarchy. Protesters have issued a statement calling on German authorities to clarify the King’s presence in their country. HM the King spends much of his time living in a hotel in the German state of Bavaria.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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