Thai protesters climbed the Democracy Monument in Bangkok on Saturday, which they covered with a purple cloth to demand the release of four activists and the repeal of the lese majesté law which protects the king from defamation .
Several hundred people calling for democracy gathered in the crossroads where this monument erected in the late 1930s stands, in the historic district of the capital, under the surveillance of a large riot police system.
“The purpose of today’s rally is to call for the abolition of (article) 112“, explained one of the protesters, Panupong”Mike“Jadnok, referring to the lese majesty law.
The protesters also demanded the release of four leaders of the democracy movement who were charged with, inter alia, violating the King’s Defamation Act, an offense punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
After having arranged flower pots around the monument to represent the figure “112“, the militants dressed the monument by covering it with a large purple cloth.
“If the police don’t release our friends within seven days, we’ll have a big protest here at the foot of this monument.“said one of the rally’s organizers, Attapon Buapat.
As night fell, the demonstrators made their way to the Royal Palace but were stopped by barbed wire and roadblocks surrounding the area and numerous police officers in riot gear.
After negotiations, police escorted four leaders of the protest movement to the city’s Pillar Shrine, located near the Grand Palace, where they celebrated a Buddhist blessing ceremony with slogans “Down with feudalism, long live the people“.
“We asked the spirits who protect the temple to stand with the people“Attapon Buapat told protesters.
“If our requests are not answered, it will heat up“, he warned.
Most of the demonstrators left the scene after Mr. Attapon’s intervention, but around ten protesters who remained there threw bottles and small bombs at the police.ping pong“The size of a table tennis ball. All were dispersed around 9:00 p.m.
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