BANGKOK — Leaders of a pro-democracy protest over the weekend asked the public to show solidarity with the movement prior to the next rally set for Thursday.
Activist leader Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak called on people to flash the three-finger salute when the National Anthem is played, refuse to stand up for the Royal Anthem in cinemas, wear white ribbons in public, and to close their bank accounts at the Siam Commercial Bank.
“Close your SCB accounts and burn your account book,” Parit said. “If a … motorcade passes, honk your horns.”
It’s unclear what effect the boycott will have on Thailand’s oldest bank. Tharith Panpiemras, a director at the Bank of Thailand in charge of evaluating risk, said he’s not concerned about the campaign’s possible impact on the banking institution as a whole.
“Money needs a place to go to,” Tharith told the media. “Money withdrawn from one account is deposited into another. Therefore, the financial system of Thai banks is not worrying.”
The largest shareholder of Thailand’s oldest bank is none other than the ruling monarch.
Parit also called for a general strike on Oct. 14, urging people not to go to work or attend school. The next protest is scheduled for Sept. 24 in front of Parliament to protest any charter amendment that neglects to reform provisions on the monarchy’s powers.
Fellow protest leader Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul on Sunday handed in a petition to reform the monarchy to Lt-General Phukphong Phongpetra from the Metropolitan Police Bureau, who acted as a representative for the palace.
“Down with feudalism, long live democracy,” Parit said. “Turn your back on the palace, and go home safely.”
A number of moviegoers recently declined to stand up for the Royal Anthem in theaters, causing some backlash from hardline royalists.
Some details were omitted from this article due to legal concerns.