Pro-democracy rally to take place in Thailand

Another pro-democracy rally is set to take place today at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument as protesters seek to commemorate the revolution

thailand rally

Photo: AFP

Another pro-democracy rally is set to take place today at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument as protesters seek to commemorate the revolution that terminated Thanom Kittikachorn’s military dictatorship on this day in 1973.

One concern ahead of today’s protest is the nature of the interaction between demonstrators and King Maha Vajiralongkorn, whose motorcade is scheduled to pass the Democracy Monument as it proceeds to a ceremony at the Emerald Buddha Temple. Until now, protester demands have largely been centred around constitutional changes and a return to democracy, yet a small number have called for monarchical reform.

Any interference with the king’s procession will represent a significant departure from previous demonstration tactics and cause significant turmoil within the country, as Thailand outlaws royal criticism. Should this scenario transpire, it is likely that the momentum of the movement will slow down and public support will wane since many Thais are unwilling or hesitant to engage in criticising the monarchy. Yet since protest leaders have stated that they will not interfere with the king’s motorcade ahead of the rally, demonstrations will likely remain peaceful.

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