Activists Stage 'Read-In' Protest To Circumvent Ban On Rallies

BANGKOK – Barred from organising rallies by the military, a group of anti-coup activists staged a silent "read-in" protest in central Bangkok this evening.

The activists separated into groups of four along the Siam – Chid Lom elevated "Skywalk" to circumvent the military junta's ban on public gatherings of more than five people.

"This is a non-violent civil disobedience," said one activist, who asked not to be named, explaining that they chose books with titles and topics that symbolize their defiance to the military junta's rule. In addition to George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four," activists were reading titles  like "Unarmed Insurrection," and ''The Power of Non-Violent Means."

"I believe the security force cannot prosecute us for this activity," the activist added, "If they do, it means a full-scale censorship has taken place [in Thailand]."

The military has sealed off the rally sites of anti-coup protesters in recent days, namely the Victory Monument, and threatened to harshly prosecute any dissidents that publicly air their grievance against the coup.

The activists at Skywalk dispersed peacefully after an hour. They said they had not planned when the next read-in will be held, as the organisers have to assess the situation first.