Pro-democracy activists rally in Bangkok, call for lese-majeste law to be abolished
An anti-establishment protest in Bangkok passed off without incident yesterday, as activists called for Thailand’s lese-majeste law to be revoked. The law, also known as section 112 of the Criminal Code, prohibits defaming, criticising, or otherwise insulting the monarchy. Pro-democracy protesters gathered at the Ratchaprasong intersection in the capital yesterday afternoon, with the protest organised by a group called the People’s Party, according to a Pattaya News report.
The rally began around 4pm by the crosswalk between Central World and the Big C Supercentre, with protest banners hung from the crosswalk. Activists erected a temporary stage and manned pop-up booths providing information on the lese-majeste law and collecting petition signatures calling for it to be abolished.
The Pattaya News reports that at one stage, police approached some protest organisers and asked them to remove a number of banners they described as, “inappropriate”. Activists agreed to remove those and replaced them with different banners. The assembly remained peaceful and passed off without any violent confrontations.
Later in the evening, more people joined the rally, occupying Rachadamri Road, with live music and speeches taking place. However, the protest remained peaceful, with activists giving speeches calling for the 2017 Constitution to be re-written and the lese-majeste law to be abolished.
Pro-democracy and anti-government activists have been protesting regularly since July 2020, with rallies only interrupted briefly by Covid-19 restrictions. In addition to wanting section 112 revoked, activists are calling for the resignation of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, the dissolution of parliament, and for fresh elections to be held.