The young generation in Thailand continues to demonstrate against the regime, despite violence. You use the non-hierarchical structure of the movement.
You are still mobile on Twitter: On Sunday, the time and place of the next rallies in Bangkok were announced – at short notice so as not to give the regime an opportunity for further repression. The “Flash Mob” tactic is the reaction to the violent use of the police on Friday evening, when the officers with water cannons attacked around 2,000 demonstrators at an intersection.
When the state of emergency corona came into force, the police received the green light to commit violations with impunity, criticized Human Rights Watch. Other human rights organizations also complained that the coronavirus emergency, which has been intensifying since Thursday, is used by the regime as a cover to silence critical voices.
The displeasure with the state-applied violence gives the concerns of the young generation further popularity in provinces outside of Bangkok. In the capital itself, the number of protesters continued to grow despite the ban on gathering at intersections such as the “Asok” intersection or the roundabout at the “Victory Monument”.
Many held up portrait photos of arrested activists: According to media reports on Saturday evening, one of them was Panupong “Mike” Jadnok, who was one of the few leaders of the movement who was still at large.
Motorists lowered the windows and showed the three-finger salute out of solidarity: This is borrowed from the blockbuster series “The Hunger Games” and has been a sign of resistance in Thailand since the 2014 coup led by the then army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha against arbitrary rule.
The “flash mob” tactic had already proven its worth on Saturday, when the authorities closed all stations of the Bangkok “Skytrain” and important subway lines. They wanted to prevent the protesters from regrouping. But they didn’t care: once again they called for a reform of the monarchy and the resignation of Prime Minister and ex-coup Prayuth, which the latter continues to reject. In word and in writing, they made it clear that they would not be intimidated by repression: On lowered bars like at the Skytrain station “Asok”, notes were emblazoned with slogans such as “You Fucked With The Wrong Generation” (something like: “You have it messing with the wrong generation ”).
Like fuel in the fire, a speech by the king broadcast on Friday, who is currently on one of his rare flying visits to the country, may have had an effect: the unpopular Vajiralongkorn did not comment directly on the protests, but instead emphasized that Thailand needs people who love the country and loved the monarchy.
Once again, the monarch, who is considered to be unpredictable in character, proved that he did not care about the well-being of his countrymen, human rights or democracy. Thus, the 68-year-old is no different from the Prayuth regime and its reactionary allies from the army, bureaucracy and the judiciary.
Reaction from the Bundestag
Recently, the German Bundestag in Berlin referred to the protests and the status of the monarch, including the court, who mostly resided in Bavaria. In response to a question from the Greens MP Frithjof Schmidt, Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said: “We have made it clear that politics that affect the country of Thailand do not have to be made from German soil.”
It was the monarchy that Thailand’s regime used as a pretext to tighten the “corona emergency” that had been in place since March: A group of demonstrators are accused of blocking a car belonging to the royal motorcade in which Queen Suthida and her stepson Prince Dipangkorn were sitting.
Two activists are even accused of endangering the queen. You face life imprisonment. Apart from the fact that the police had not announced that a motorcade would pass through the palace, Bunkueanun “Francis” Paothong, one of the suspects, had called for calm. Other eyewitnesses confirmed that the car was neither blocked nor attacked.
Meanwhile, the arrested student Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, who read ten demands for reform of the monarchy on August 10th, pleaded to continue the struggle for democracy: “In fact, we are always with you, I pass my hopes and my spirit on to you,” it said in their appeal to their fellow campaigners, which the student group United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration published on social media. The demonstrators affirmed that their “mobile” movement is now one without a leader.