'Down with feudalism': Activists lay plaque in defiance of Thai king

They promised a daybreak marvel, and in Bangkok, anti-government protesters ushered it in to the refrain of a pneumatic drill.

Under the skirt of a tent, we watched them chip away at a sq. of concrete in entrance of the rustic’s Grand Palace.

Into it they laid a plaque which declared that Thailand belongs to the folk.

Anti-government protesters hold a rally in Bangkok
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Anti-government protesters rallying in Bangkok

It is the newest problem to the monarchy via a chain of pro-democracy demonstrations that have been going down virtually day-to-day since July.

Lots of Sunday’s crowd were there all night time, after attending an enormous demonstration on Saturday which the organisers declare attracted 200,000 supporters.

“Down with feudalism, lengthy reside the folk,” the protesters chanted, ahead of lining up to shop for their very own miniature steel variations of the plaque, which offered out in mins.

The plaque resembles one commemorating the tip of absolute monarchy in 1932.

In 2017, after King Maha Vajiralongkorn took the throne, it mysteriously disappeared from outdoor one of the vital royal palaces.

Anti-government protesters wearing respirator masks and goggles take part in a protest
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Anti-government protesters dressed in respirator mask and goggles as they protest

It used to be changed via one bearing a pro-monarchist slogan.

Till just lately, open complaint of the monarchy used to be unparalleled in Thailand, which has strict defamation regulations in regards to the royal circle of relatives.

Any individual discovered accountable of breaching them may withstand 15 years in prison.

A line of police stand guard in front of the Grand Palace
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Law enforcement officials stand guard in entrance of Thailand’s Grand Palace

However one of the crucial motion’s leaders were breaking this taboo.

In addition to reform of the monarchy, they would like new elections, a brand new charter and the high minister to step down.

Lately, they went additional, main the group to offer a petition in their calls for, addressed to the king.

People take photos with a commemorative plaque placed by pro-democracy protest leaders
Symbol:
Folks take footage with the commemorative plaque

Because the convoy snaked its means against the Grand Palace, it used to be stopped via a line of unarmed police.

Folks were warned to steer clear of clashes and as officials and protesters confronted off on the limitations, scholar activist Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul made her means throughout the plenty to provide their letter to Bangkok’s police leader.

They hope it’s going to be handed directly to the king who’s these days out of the country.



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Siobhan Robbins’ file from the Bangkok protests

“We now have now proved that even an atypical citizen can keep in touch with the king, with the monarch, at once,” scholar chief Parit ‘Penguin’ Chiwarak instructed me.

If their calls for move unanswered, they’ve mentioned they will escalate their motion.

The Royal Palace used to be now not right away to be had for remark.







The hazards of protesting in Thailand


Executive spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri instructed me, forward of the weekend’s gatherings: “We inspire folks to return ahead if they’ve any problems in this day and age to speak about. However we can attempt to steer clear of any roughly disagreement and we can attempt to facilitate in relation to dialogue in a positive means.”

Demonstrators say they are going to accumulate once more on Thursday.

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