Pro-democracy protesters insist on their three core demands for political and institutional changes and promise to run another large-scale rally next month if the government does not heed their voices.
According to a statement re-announced in the rally yesterday, August 16, the demands are the end of individual intimidation of critics of the government, a start to the drafting of a new constitution and the dissolution of the House of Representatives. You can read our related article about yesterday’s historic protests by clicking here.
Yesterday’s demonstration at the Democracy Monument, Bangkok, was considered the biggest anti-government protest since a military coup in 2014 and had challenged a public dissent against the governance of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O’Cha.
The number of rally goers was estimated differently depending on the perception of those counting crowds. While the rally organizers said it was between 20,000-30,000 people that attended, the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) said the number was about 12,000. The Pattaya News does not officially estimate crowd sizes and will allow readers to view the pictures and videos and make their own determination.
About six hundred officers from four different companies of Bangkok Police were arranged to be present at the rally to maintain peace and order. The rally occurred from 3:00 PM to midnight and reportedly remained peaceful with no interference from officials or any third party. A small group of counter protesters opposed to some of the views of the main group of protesters were also gathered, but remained peaceful and calm.
At midnight, the protesters including their protest leaders, marched to the Samranrat police station in order to inquire whether the police held a warrant against them but the police declined to arrest anyone at that moment.
At the end of the rally, Anon Nampa, one of the leaders that was earlier freed on bail after being arrested for alleged sedition charges along with charges accusing him of violating the emergency decree to control the Covid-19 coronavirus, concluded that the movement would now wait until September to see how the government responds to their demands.
Another mass rally will happen in September if there is no movement inside parliament, said the prominent activist.
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Photo: Niranam Plod Aek/Associated Press