For the fourth day in a row, protesters gather in the streets of Bangkok.
This despite the fact that the country’s government earlier this week introduced a ban on demonstrations. Some thousands defied both yesterday and today.
The protesters played cat and mouse with riot police by changing the meeting place shortly before the announced marking and instead trooping up several different places in the city.
Yesterday they were met with tear gas and water cannons.
Protesters demand the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, changes to the constitution and reforms of the monarchy.
Before today’s marking, the police closed 77 metro and railway stations throughout the city in an attempt to prevent protesters from entering the city center.
Police have arrested at least 65 activists in recent days, but eight of them have since been released, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.
Inspired by Hong Kong
The democracy movement in Thailand seems to have been inspired by the many young activists who have spearheaded the protests against the Chinese authorities in Hong Kong.
Dissatisfaction in Thailand has increased since February when several opposition leaders were banned from engaging in politics. The corona pandemic has also led to the country’s economy collapsing and made the major differences between the country’s many poor and the ruling elite even clearer.
Thailand’s current leader was a former defense chief, and in 2014 led a coup that led to the country being ruled by a military junta for the next five years. During this period, a new constitution was written, and last year elections were held so that a civilian government could take over, but it is still Prayut who is head of government.
Analysts believe that the new constitution was designed in such a way that it secured Prayut victory.