‘Mob Fest’ wraps up the Democracy Monument and turns backs on Thai King and Queen

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11/14/2020

In a peaceful but controversial gesture, protesters yesterday turned their backs on the royal motorcade as it carried the Thai King and Queen to the opening of a new railway line. As their backs were facing the passing cars, the mostly young Thai protesters raised their hands with the 3 finger salute and sang the Thai national anthem. The symbolic gesture would have been clearly noted by the occupants of the yellow Rolls Royce. Later, the protesters also wrapped the Democracy Monument with a banner which was covered in messages outlining their key demands. The water cannons were also on standby, and had their tanks filled up in front of the government House – filled up in clear view, probably more of a threat than in intention to really use them again. Protesters complained that the blue-dyed water used at the Pathumwan Intersection in central Bangkok on October 16 had been also laced with a chemical irritant. The Bangkok Police Chief denied the claims at the time, but police later admitted to in front of a parliamentary committee that the water had contained tear gas. The sub-groups of the larger Free Youth Movement – the Bad Students, Mob Fest and Free Women, and a smattering of other protest groups including LGBT and sex-worker organisations – had provided authorities with a full program of their planned events in advance to yesterday’s gatherings.

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