Nataphol Teepsuwan at a PDRC protest in 2014, left. Right, student pro-democracy activists in August 2020.

BANGKOK — High school activists will march on the education ministry on Wednesday to protest its perceived reluctance to defend students’ rights to protest. 

The Bad Student activist group said the rally will be held at 4pm right in front of the Ministry of Education. The target of their rage is minister Nataphol Teepsuwan, who failed to condemn acts of violence and harassment against student protesters in recent days. 

Speaking in response to the planned rally, Nataphol said he did not want to see chaos, and pledged to listen to the protesters. 

“I don’t have a problem with them coming,” he said. “On August 19 I have a meeting but I will try to come back to the ministry.”



He added, “Still, I have to ask, why are they chasing me out? Is it because I don’t have any administrative skills? Is it because I don’t fix the education ministry’s problems?” 

Since Monday, many students across the nation have engaged in symbolic protests during the morning flag-raising ceremony at their schools. They raised the three-finger salute and wore white ribbons as a gesture against the government.

Some teachers and administrators employed heavy-handed responses to the stunts, such as calling the police to confiscate the white ribbons, tying white ribbons around students’ necks, and even slapping a student in the head.