Dossier: Social Movements in Thailand

, by  Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières

Thailand’s democracy movement is still growing. It challenges the militaro-monarchist oligarchy, confronts the royal couple and renews the militant fights of the past. The enthronement of King Rama X opened a major succession crisis. More profoundly, an entire archaic order was called into question.

Young Thai people are taking the streets to demand more democracy in the country and, for the first time ever, a reform of the monarchy. Initially confined to urban youth and university campuses, these demonstrations have continued to grow, becoming the most important mobilisation since Prayut Chan-ocha came to power in 2014.

To better understand these mobilisations, we publish a special dossier prepared by Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières.

The government is threatening severe repression

Published on 25 November 2020, by ROUSSET Pierre

The government is threatening severe repression. The democracy movement is calling for increased mobilization. The first key date announced is 25 November.

Thai activists face charges of insulting king on eve of mass protest

Published on 25 November 2020, by Reuters

Summons for pro-democracy leaders are the first under lese-majesty rules for two years and come ahead of rally over monarch’s wealth.

Thailand: Parliament rejects civil society’s draft constitutional amendment

Published on 23 November 2020, by PRACHATAI

After parliamentary scrutiny of constitutional amendments was delayed for a month, only 2 out of 7 drafts passed the first reading: the proposal by the government coalition and one of those by the opposition to amend Section 256 allowing the establishment of a Constitution Drafting Assembly.

Thai teenagers tell rulers: ‘You’re dinosaurs’

Published on 23 November 2020, by RATCLIFFE Rebecca, SIRADAPUVADOL Navaon

Thousands of students continue to take to streets of Bangkok to demand reform of monarchy, government and education.

The Land of the Free? – Thailand’s kingdom of enslavement

Published on 21 November 2020, by Thongchai WINICHAKUL

Ignoring reasonable reform demands could force end of palace-military nexus.

Thailand: Call for constitutional amendments answered with tear gas, water cannon

Published on 21 November 2020, by PRACHATAI

Protesters gathering on the streets in front of the parliament building to demand constitutional amendments on 17 November were met with blockades and riot police, as well as water cannon and tear gas.

Is Thailand ready for this? The 10 demands to reform the monarchy institution

Published on 21 November 2020, by Thisrupt

This morning, 20 September 2020, the pro-democracy protestors marched across the street from Sanam Luang to the Supreme Court building to submit the ten demands to reform the monarchy institution.

Thailand: Warning signs for the democracy movement

Published on 21 November 2020, by UNGPAKORN Giles Ji

The fantastic mass movement against the Thai junta is at a junction. Organising flash mobs over and over again risks tiring out protesters and these actions are not enough to make the country ungovernable; a necessary condition for victory.

The pro-democracy monks joining Thailand’s protests

Published on 16 November 2020, by TONSAKULRUNGRUANG Khemthong

It is a time of rebellion. Thousands of Thais are marching in the streets in defiance of the establishment, which has enlisted every available apparatus to quell young protesters challenging an idea of Thainess defined by the trilogy of the nation, religion and monarchy. Thai Buddhist institutions have good reason to be enrolled in the fight. Yet its members are demonstrating together with angry lay compatriots. The activism of young monks is impressive. Contrary to the conventional view that monks are detached from worldly sufferance, these progressive monks are aware of the Sangha’s role in upholding the status quo and injustice. They want to reinterpret the role of the Sangha anew to serve the people and be the voice of public morality.

Interview: Women and Students Are Leading Thailand’s Fight for Democracy

Published on 16 November 2020, by SMITH Ashley, UNGPAKORN Giles Ji

A mass movement for democracy has swept Thailand since July. Led by a new generation of students and workers, protests have taken place throughout the country. They are fighting for a profound transformation of Thai society. Thai socialist Giles Ji Ungpakorn [1] is a former associate professor of politics at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. He was forced into exile in Britain, after being charged with lèse-majesté (insulting the monarchy) in late 2008 because of his book, A Coup For the Rich, which criticized the 2006 military coup. In this interview, Ungpakorn discusses the uprising and how activists across the world can build solidarity with the Thai struggle.

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