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Protesters march to German embassy, present statement against monarchy

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: Anti-Monarchy protesters burn effigies. (via Twitter KEarthling)

Today saw a large and intense pro-democracy demonstration that culminated in a march to the German embassy where protesters submitted a statement against absolute monarchy. When they arrived, 3 representatives of the protesters were allowed to enter the embassy and officially present the declaration which stated that they were calling for a protection of democracy and an opposition to a monarchy that is absolute in its power.

The last time demonstrators protested outside the German Embassy was last October 26, and the event led to 13 of the leaders being charged with lese majeste and other charges.

Protests occurred all day today in a furious response to the Constitutional Court ruling earlier in the week that speeches by activist leaders qualified as illegal incitement to overthrow the government and the monarchy. Speeches by Arnon Nampa, Panupong “Mike” Jadnok and Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul were ruled illegal, though the ruling did not come with punishment, but sets a precedent for legal action against protesters in the future. The Court instructed all protesters to cease all activities.

Today marked the first protests since the ruling on Wednesday that labelled many activities a threat to the democratic government system in Thailand helmed by the King. Tensions were high as demonstrators began the day by angrily blocking the Pathumwan intersection in Bangkok and called for an end to lese majeste laws that prosecute people for speaking out against the monarchy as well as a release for all activists that have been arrested because of the protests.

Protesters chanted a mantra that they also stated in court that they are calling for an end of the absolute monarchy by reforming it instead of abolishing it. They also burned nine effigies that represented the nine judges that make up the Constitutional Court.

The demonstration then marched to the German Embassy after abandoning the original plan to gather at Democracy Monument and march to Sanam Luang as police put up roadblocks and shipping containers at both sites.

One protester was injured by rubber bullets during the march and was transported to Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital for treatment.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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