Large Protests Hit Isaan, Major Rally Announced for Sep. 19

Students hold up the three-finger salute at a pro-democracy protest in Korat city on Aug. 20, 2020.

NAKHON RATCHASIMA — The northeast cities witnessed two large scale student protests attended mostly by high school students on Thursday – one of them involving black magic. 

The protests, which drew about 1,000 people each, were held in Korat city as well as at the Khon Kaen Democracy Monument. 

Most of the Khon Kaen attendees were students wearing white ribbons and calling for an end to PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s rule – except for Attapol Buapat, a protest leader who wore Brahma robes and performed a cursing ritual. While chanting a spell on  Prayuth, Attapol used “holy water” made from Red Bull.

The “Khon Kaen’s Had Enough” group held a “Chase them Out” protest attended by about 1,000 people. Sri Chant Road was closed for the protest.  Siwakorn Namnuad, an activist leader, said that Thursday was the first large-scale protest in the city center.

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“If our demands are not met, we will increase the scale of our operations. Students are ready to call for change; we are waiting for working age people to join us,” Siwakorn said. 

Siwakorn said the Khon Kaen group supports pro-democracy’s three demands to call for a new election, and they are considering whether to endorse the 10 demands for monarchy reform.

Protesters also made “human waves” at the protest, often done on Khao Niao Road during the Songkran festival. 

At the “Korat Will Not Stand for This” protest Thursday at Thao Suranari Monument, students from various schools came up onstage to speak against the government, while wearing school uniforms with the white ribbons. Some students also rapped onstage, the same day that an anti-government rapper was arrested and later released. 

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Metal barriers were put up to allow only one exit and entrance for temperature screening, and only those with masks were allowed in. 

Activists also announced a “major rally” will take place at Thammasat University’s Tha Prachan campus on Sep. 19, though no details are available as of press time. 

A students perform a skit onstage at a pro-democracy protest in Korat city on Aug. 20, 2020.
Students hold up anti-government signs at a pro-democracy protest in Korat city on Aug. 20, 2020.
A student pro-democracy protest in Korat city on Aug. 20, 2020.
A student pro-democracy protest in Korat city on Aug. 20, 2020.
A student pro-democracy protest in Khon Kaen city on Aug. 20, 2020.
A student pro-democracy protest in Khon Kaen city on Aug. 20, 2020.