Student protest leaders want to expand movement beyond students; calls for governments to listen to their criticism

The leaders of the student led #FreeYouth movement held a press conference on Friday calling for the government to listen to their demands and respect their right to assemble while also calling for the expansion of their movement.

Student protests have erupted across the country for the past two months, with students calling for the Prayut administration to amend or redraft the military-backed constitution and to hold new elections.

Student Protest Leaders

The leaders of the protest on Thursday said that they want to expand their movement and will change their name from #FreeYouth to #FreePeople.

“The reason we are expanding to become the free people movement is because to achieve our demands, we require more support,” said protest leader Tattep Ruangprapaikitseree.

“That is why we are inviting all members of Thai society to join us in our campaign,” Tattep told Thai Enquirer before the press conference. “We want everyone to feel like they can join our movement and that it is not strictly for young people and students.”

The student leaders, on Friday, also called on the government to not only listen to the protesters demand but to stop intimidating protesters with security officials and respect their right to assemble.

The government has, in the past, used a security law to arrest student leaders for violation of a government order on large gatherings. The government said that the students were risking the spread of Covid-19 by holding large scale protests even though there have been no cases in Thailand outside of state quarantine in over two months.

The government, last month, extended the security law until the end of August, a move that rights group criticize as unnecessary and done to prevent large scale pressure on the administration.

The leaders of the new #FreePeople movement have called for a protest on August 16 at 3PM if their demands are not met.

Security Presence at Press Conference

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