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Protests grow in Bangkok against the monarchy

Photo: Public Relations Office Thailand

Anti-monarchy protests have continued in Bangkok as demonstrators demand democracy and less power for King Maha Vajiralongkorn (or Rama X) in the biggest demonstration in the country in years.

Thousands marched against the monarchy today in the Thai capital calling for a curb in the King’s powers and the replacement of the Thai prime minister and former junta leader, Prayuth Chan-ocha. They want a new constitution and elections, as well.

Unarmed police blocked the demonstrators who handed the police a demand letter for the King. The Head of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, Phakphong Phongphetra, said the letter was going to be given to the police headquarters so they could decide what to do with it.

A leader of the protest, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, told the crowd: “Our greatest victory in the two days is showing that ordinary people like us can send a letter to royals.”

The Royal Field in July 2019. Photo: Brittani Barger/Royal Central

The day began with demonstrators placing a plaque in the Royal Field (Sanam Luang) by the Grand Palace in Bangkok. The plaque says that Thailand belongs to the people, not the monarchy. It also features the three-finger salute that has been used by the pro-democracy demonstrators in the country over recent months.

“At this place, the people have expressed their will: that this country belongs to the people and is not the property of the monarch as they have deceived us,” the plaque read.

People lined up to take photos by the plaque after the protest had concluded.

It resembles the plaque that was removed when King Rama X took the throne in 2017. That plaque was placed outside the Grand Palace in 1932 to commemorate the end of the absolute monarchy. Rama X has continued to solidify power since taking the throne upon the death of his father, King Rama IV.

Maha Vajiralongkorn has assumed more power since he took the throne four years ago when a new constitution gave the King more emergency powers. He has also personally taken control of military units and certain assets.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites.