BANGKOK — The latest student-led protests against what they perceived as undemocratic government took place at a high school in Bangkok on Friday.
Dozens of students held placards and observed a minute of silence for democracy under pouring rain Friday afternoon at Triamudom Suksa School. Mobilized by social media, students managed to carry out the protest despite attempts by the school management to stop them.
In what the organizers described as tactics discouraging students from joining the protest, gates were shut to non-students, and the school also announced that they would spray insecticides right after the class was over.
The protest lasted for half an hour without any incident under watchful eyes of several police officers present at the scene.
Another group of university students and their supporters also gathered in front of Government House Friday morning, where they burned portraits of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan.
The protesters, who called themselves “New Life Network,” demanded the government to step down and dissolve the Parliament. They also accused the government of failing to control the coronavirus spread and fulfilling promises they made before the 2019 election.
The rally in front of the Government House followed the hunger strike by activist Poomiwat Rangasivit, who has been staying in a tent near the government’s seat of power since Monday. Poomiwat said he wants to see more policies helping people affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
At least six more protests are scheduled to take place on Friday. Venues include the Kasetsart University in Bangkok, as well as in Udon Thani, Krabi, Phatthalung, Korat, and Lamphun provinces.
Student-led protests appeared to gain traction across the country since Saturday, when anti-government activists launched their first mass demonstration since the government’s declaration of the State of Emergency back in March.