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.
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