Police use water cannons to stop illegal water fight/protest at Democracy Monument

Police unleash water cannons at pro-democracy protesters in the autumn of 2020 in Bangkok. Credit: AP via Human Rights Watch

We knew this would happen. Police using water cannons to ‘dampen’ protesters defying the water-splashing ban. How ironic. The protesters used the Songkran festival to make a point about their ongoing battle demanding greater democracy in Thailand.

That’s exactly what happened on Wednesday, when Police deployed two water cannons on Ratchadamnoen Nok Road in response to pro-democracy groups defying the government’s ban on Songkran water splashing behaviour by having a big ol’ water fight.

They splashed buckets of water. They squirted vibrant coloured squirt guns. They laughed and splashed around Democracy Monument in a ‘Songkran-style’ peaceful (but wet) protest. Members from Talufh, Ratsadon, We Volunteer the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration pro-democracy groups all joined in on the irreverent take on Songkran.

The demonstrators-turned-revellers also poured water on the Democracy Monument to symbolically “wash the filth away”. When police set up barricades around the monument, the demonstrators carried a replicated plaque commemorating the 1932 Thai Revolution around the barricaded monument.

But it was only a matter of time before police brought out the water cannons to break up the protest. The irony of Thai police breaking up a water festival protest at democracy monument with water cannons will certainly feature on Thailand, and the world’s, social media.


Jay Shine

A longtime expat in Asia with a degree in journalism and creative writing. Highlights include writing for Condé Nast Traveller and Apple Music. In his spare time, Jay enjoys writing poetry, brewing traditional Chinese tea and lounging with his calico soi cat, Almond.