Posts Tagged ‘protest’

Protesters in Thailand have staged one of the country’s biggest demonstrations since the 2014 military coup as they campaign against a luxury housing development on forested land.

More than 1,000 people gathered in the northern city of Chiang Mai.

They rallied against a housing project being built for judges and officials in the foothills of a sacred mountain.

The march went ahead in defiance of a ban on public gatherings imposed by the junta, which seized power in 2014.

“Around 1,250 people took part in the protest,” Police Colonel Paisan, deputy commander of Chiang Mai Police, told Reuters news agency.

Continue reading: BBC

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Security officers have interrupted a small protest by Chulalongkorn University student activists who called junta chairman Prayuth Chan-o-cha a ‘dictator.’

On 9 April, four students held up a sign reading ‘Chula people love Prayuth dictator’ outside of the Siam Square One shopping mall as the junta chairman exited a talk on technology and innovation that he gave at the university.

Prayut’s guards ripped the sign and started to steer the students away from the area until Prayuth noticed and told his security officials to stop, reported Khaosod English.

“Leave them alone. Don’t hurt them. If they don’t understand me, let them be,” Gen. Prayuth told his guards who had torn the word ‘dictator’ off of the paper sign.

“How clever of you! When the country is ruined, don’t forget to come out like this, too,” he then called out to the students.

Wasinee Pabuprapap, a student in the Arts Faculty said the group had planned to stage the demonstration as he entered the auditorium but the large security presence had prevented them from approaching him. So instead they held up the sign as he was walked past the shopping mall on the way to his motorcade.

Continue reading: Prachatai

Prosecutors on Monday indicted nine Redshirt leaders on charges of insurrection for leading an anti-government protest nearly a decade ago.

The indictment accused the group of inciting unrest and an open rebellion against the government of Abhisit Vejjajiva in a April 2009 protest, which saw parts of Bangkok occupied for several days. One Redshirt leader named in the indictment said he’s surprised the authorities are pursuing the case after years of silence.

“Of course I am surprised,” Weng Tojirakarn said in an interview. “They questioned me time to time [after the protests], but the matter went completely quiet. Since May and June 2009, they never summoned me again. There was nothing since.”

Weng accused the junta of engineering the indictment as a means to take revenge against his movement.

“Why does it happen in the NCPO era?” Weng said, referring to the junta’s formal name, National Council for Peace and Order. “This means the NCPO has such a devotion in bullying us. Did they carry their vengeance for us from our past lives?”

Continue reading: Khaosod English

More than 300 Thai pro-democracy demonstrators marched to the gates of the army headquarters in Bangkok on Saturday (Mar 24) to call on soldiers to withdraw their support for the government.

It was one of the biggest in a new wave of protests against corruption and the government’s failure to keep to a promised election timetable.

The marchers demanded soldiers end their backing for the government, which took power following a May 2014 coup. But the protesters also said they did not want another military takeover.

“We want a peaceful transition,” Rangsiman Rome, one of the protest leaders, told Reuters. “It’s time for the army and all of Thai society to stop supporting the junta and side with the people.”

Soldiers at the army headquarters declined to respond.

Continue reading: Channel NewsAsia

Protesters pushed past police Saturday evening on a march to army headquarters in Bangkok to demand the military dissolve the ruling junta and hold elections.

In what appeared the largest turnout since protests erupted anew in January, a crowd of several hundred set out from Thammasat University just after 5pm and after about two hours of maneuvering around police managed to march on army headquarters.

“If you continue to get in the way of democracy, then the military will lose more and more of its dignity,” protest leader Rangsiman Rome said over a megaphone at 8:15pm from outside the building.

He added that anyone who sides with the junta is a “traitor to Thailand.”

Continue reading: Khaosod English

A pro-democracy activist was detained briefly at a military court Friday, one day before he plans to lead a protest demanding that the military abolish the ruling junta.

Rangsiman Rome was taken into custody Friday over two-year-old charges he violated the junta’s ban on political assembly while in the northeastern province. He was held five hours before being freed at 3pm on a 10,000 baht bond from the 23rd Military Circle Headquarters.

“I’m not anxious about this case,” Rangsiman said Friday afternoon before pivoting to discuss Saturday’s march. “Tomorrow I will still lead the walk from Thammasat University, Tha Prachan campus, to the army base for a march to raise awareness as planned, even if the court order says I can’t do it.”

Rangsiman has been barred from leaving the country or “inciting incidents.” He will be summoned for questioning on May 7.

Continue reading: Khaosod English

This Street Artist Is Trying to Loosen the Junta’s Iron Grip on Thailand With Humor.

It was a scandal too good to ignore. Prawit Wongsuwan, the deputy prime minister and close ally of Thai junta leader Prayuth Chan-o-cha, was photographed with a flashy Richard Mille wrist watch worth nearly $100,000 USD peeking out from beneath his white military uniform sleeve.

That photograph, and others like it showcasing a watch collection worth in excess of $1 million USD, snowballed into a scandal that, for many Thais, encapsulated their frustration with a military government that seized control in a 2014 coup and then refused to let go of power. And it was just too perfect a metaphor for political street artist Headache Stencil to pass up.

The artist, who asked us to keep his real name a secret, sketched up an image of Prawit’s face inside an alarm clock. The clock’s hands subtly formed an X across his face. But Headache Stencil wasn’t finished. He added a Rolex logo to the general’s forehead and then stenciled the image on a busy pedestrian overpass right in the middle of Bangkok. He wanted the piece to show the junta that the watch scandal was a wake up call for the people. He wanted the military government, and Prawit who had stubbornly ignored calls for his resignation, to know that time was running out.

“[The junta] will be lucky to last another two-to-three months,” the artist told me. “Pro-democracy protestors are getting bolder since the watch scandal. There was nothing special about that piece. It only became popular because a lot of people agreed with the message.”

Continue reading: VICE