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Thousands of Thai protesters take to street, calling for government to resign

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BANGKOK: Thousands of mainly young and black-clad Thai protesters converged on Saturday (Jul 18) at Bangkok's Democracy Monument as the city's largest and rowdiest protest in years stretched deep into the night.

Thailand, a kingdom whose rambunctious politics is defined by coups and often deadly street protests, is facing an unprecedented economic shock due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Saturday's protest could be the largest since Thailand's 2014 coup AFP/Aidan JONES

With the economy in freefall, anger is boiling against a government stacked with elderly former generals and supporters of the royalist establishment.

The crowd of students sang vitriolic rap songs and waved placards denouncing the administration of former army chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha - and calling for the abolition of the Thailand's strict royal defamation law.

"The government doesn't care about us, so either we come out or we lose anyway," said an 18-year-old student called Sang, giving one name only.

"The laws protect the rich and leave the people with nothing."

with-thailand-s-economy-in-freefall-ange

With Thailand's economy in freefall, anger is boiling against a government stacked with elderly former generals and supporters of the royalist establishment AFP/Aidan JONES

Placards saying "end 112" were held up in a rare mass public opposition to a Thailand's royal defamation law - the number a reference to the section of the criminal code it falls under - which protects the monarchy and its unassailable, super-rich King Maha Vajiralongkorn from criticism.

"We have to come out, we have nothing else left," added Sang's friend 'Mee', also wearing the black uniform of the protesters, which several said was borrowed from the protests that rocked Hong Kong last year.

As night fell, young protesters shined lights from camera phones as speakers railed against the crush on free expression led by a conservative government they say is holding Thailand back.

Earlier hundreds of police tried to block off access to the Democracy Monument, the concrete concourse of which was suddenly filled in with pot plants on Saturday afternoon.

The demonstration dispersed at about midnight, but organisers said they would return to the streets in two weeks if their demands were not met.

Scuffles broke out as protesters tipped over metal barriers and forced their way through police lines to hold a noisy rally at the memorial, which was built to mark the 1932 revolution that established a constitutional monarchy.

Analysts say the kingdom risks slipping back towards absolutism under the reign of Rama X and the hardline royalist generals around him.

Saturday's protest could be the largest since the country's 2014 coup, led by former army chief Prayut.

The years since have seen the economy cramp up, freedoms shrink under new laws and Prayut reinvent himself as an elected premier under a constitution the army drafted.

The pandemic has reinflated the movement.

Hundreds of thousands of students are expected to be jobless when they graduate in September, joining millions of middle class and poor in unemployment in a country with a threadbare welfare system.

Thailand's previous tit-for-tat rounds of political street politics were led by pro- and anti-establishment veterans of the bear-pit of Thai politics, with large financial backing and political machines.

But leaders of the nascent student and youth movement say their activism is organised organically across social media, where anger fuels top trending daily Twitter hashtags against the government.

Thailand's economy is forecast to lose up to 10 per cent this year due to the pandemic which has floored tourism and exports, battering the middle and working classes.

A state of emergency brought in to control the virus remains in place across the country, even though Thailand has not recorded a locally transmitted case of the sickness in nearly two months.

Source: AFP/nh

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/thailand-protesters-take-street-calling-government-resign-12943954

 

also

 

https://globalnews.ca/news/7192586/bangkok-democracy-protests-thailand/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/18/thousands-of-anti-government-protesters-rally-in-thailands-capital

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Hi,

Shit, I live in this city and had no clue this was happening yesterday. I fully agree with them though, the lese majeste law is a disgrace and does not belong on the 21st century. And this government came in power through corruption and deceit.

Sanuk!
 

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I don't think any of us thought that Lurch would last.    🍺  🍻  🍺

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Ah, the glorious "revolution of 1932", which in fact was a military coup.  102 coup plotters hardly constitutes a revolution, but it sounds so much better to call it that instead of admitting the truth. Also, the coup plotters created a national assembly to govern, half elected and half appointed by themselves. (Not exactly a shining example of democracy). Within a few years, the military faction had taken over and the leader of the much smaller political faction had been forced to flee the country.

So much for democracy in Thailand.

My prediction: This not going to end well for the protestors.

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15 hours ago, Flashermac said:

Ah, the glorious "revolution of 1932", which in fact was a military coup.  102 coup plotters hardly constitutes a revolution, but it sounds so much better to call it that instead of admitting the truth. Also, the coup plotters created a national assembly to govern, half elected and half appointed by themselves. (Not exactly a shining example of democracy). Within a few years, the military faction had taken over and the leader of the much smaller political faction had been forced to flee the country.

So much for democracy in Thailand.

My prediction: This not going to end well for the protestors.

I'd like to be able to comment more vis a vis the specificity off the Thai situation, but as my 1st hand knowledge is lacking, I'll offer my view,  that,  there's a lot of this going on,  in countries around the world, it's not gonna end well for some governments also.

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Is it simply a coincidence that everything happened after the Wuhan virus got out of China? Riots all across the US ... in cities run by the Democrats, who are actually talking about defunding the police and military? An African Anerican who was on drugs and had a criminal record was murdered by a policeman, but is being turned into a hero around the world? All of this conveniently happening in an election year ... when the polls had consistently predicted Trump would be reelected?  And the Democrats nominate a nincompoop who would be someone's tool to become president?

At the same time Red China (bring back the old term) is becoming more aggressive day by day, and Xi's buddy Kim Jong-un is suddenly turning on Trump?

This sounds like a plot out of a Hollywood film, not real life. I'm glad I'm safely out of things in Bangkok, well safe for a while anyway.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Flashermac said:

Is it simply a coincidence that everything happened after the Wuhan virus got out of China?

Yes

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I'm now reading that your Thai electric bill will be increased by 1000 baht (approx) this month!

I know mine was 1000 baht more then normal!

The protests are all over Thailand. I know they are having them in Chaing Nai but of course, the Thai TV news is silent...welcome to the new normal!!!

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1 hour ago, Flashermac said:

Is it simply a coincidence that everything happened after the Wuhan virus got out of China? Riots all across the US ... in cities run by the Democrats, who are actually talking about defunding the police and military? An African Anerican who was on drugs and had a criminal record was murdered by a policeman, but is being turned into a hero around the world? All of this conveniently happening in an election year ... when the polls had consistently predicted Trump would be reelected?  And the Democrats nominate a nincompoop who would be someone's tool to become president?

At the same time Red China (bring back the old term) is becoming more aggressive day by day, and Xi's buddy Kim Jong-un is suddenly turning on Trump?

This sounds like a plot out of a Hollywood film, not real life. I'm glad I'm safely out of things in Bangkok, well safe for a while anyway.

 

 

Read about the events that happened in the killing of JFK and RFK...they are using the same playbook to go after President Trump!!!

I posted an excellent book I read on the murders of JFK and RFK...check, what books have you read...

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