Thai activists rally on International Women’s Day for democracy, end of martial law

Activists rallied for women’s rights and an end to military rule on International Women’s Day, pointing out that the rights of both women and men have been suspended under the junta regime.

Anti-junta activists and others staged a rally from the 14 October Memorial to the Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue in central Bangkok on Sunday afternoon, International Women’s Day, in a ‘Wearing Sarongs and Aiming for Elections’ campaign.

Natchacha Kongudom (far right), a well-known anti-junta activist from Bangkok University, slips a piece of paper into a ballot box while showing the image of her ID card at the rally to symbolically call for an election.

At the rally, participants wore Thai sarongs and traditional attire while carrying election ballot boxes and flashing large images of their ID cards to symbolize their call for elections and the end of martial law.    

Around 30 people, most of whom were women, participated in the event, which began after a seminar on women and freedom of expression held at the October 14 Memorial ended. The rally was organised by Chili Peppers, a pro-democracy activist group.

Participants carry anti-junta placards, some of which read “There is no democracy”, “Rich people are richer and the poor are poorer”, “Begin the election, one person one vote”.

The group mentioned that the rights of both women and men have been crushed under the junta regime after the 2014 coup d’état.

The group also stated the followings demands:

  • End martial law;
  • Return to the people the right to elections;
  • Prime Minister and Senators must come directly from elections;
  • Amend Article 112 of the Criminal Code, aka lèse majesté.
  • Give women rights to abortion