Over 10,000 people rallied at Democracy Monument in Bangkok on Sunday against the Prayut Chan-ocha government and conservative institutions for their perceived meddling in local politics.
The student-led protesters braved scorching heat and humidity to demand constitutional reforms and fresh elections, alleging that the current government was put in place by a military coup and was illegitimate.
Sunday’s rally was the largest protest in a series of demonstrations over the past two months. Thai Enquirer journalists estimated that over 10,000 people showed up to the rally.
The protest leaders touched on many taboo topics in Thai society including the role of the monarchy and the role of the military in politics.
They also said the state must stop the harassment and intimidation of protesters and students by the state. A rights watchdog said this week that at least there have been 79 instances of government intimidation since February. (Read more here)
Three protest leaders have been arrested since the beginning of August and charged with illegal assembly and sedition. One protest leader was also accused of violating Thailand’s draconian lese majeste laws which prohibits insulting the monarchy.
Two of the three protest leaders showed up to Sunday’s protest, violating the conditions of their parole. Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak told Thai Enquirer that he would be attending the protest because he viewed his arrest as illegitimate and he was within his rights to demonstrate against the government.
The protesters say the government must implement reforms by the end of the month or they would escalate and continue their rallies.