Student protests in Ubon Ratchathani and Chiang Mai echo Free Youth’s demands

Following the mass protest at the Democracy Monument on Saturday (18 July), two more student protests took place in Ubon Ratchathani and Chiang Mai on Sunday (19 July), also demanding the dissolution of parliament, constitutional reform, and for the authorities to stop harassing those who exercise their freedom of expression.

Protestors doing the three-finger salute at the Ubon Ratchathani City Pillar Shrine protest

At the Ubon Ratchathani City Pillar Shrine at 17.00 on Sunday, a group of students and citizens held an anti-government protest, during which they read out a statement and sang the rap song “Which is My Country,” as well as holding their hands up in the three-finger ‘Hunger Games’ salute, a well-recognised resistance symbol in Thailand.

The protestors also held up the yellow ‘missing person’ posters with the names and pictures of victims of enforced disappearance while shouting “government get out!” The yellow posters are made by the student group Spring Movement, which distributed the pdf files for the posters on their Facebook page, and were also handed out at the protest on Saturday.

A number of police officers were present on the scene. They read out the Emergency Decree and asked that the protestors follow the Decree.

Protestors at Tha Pae Gate (Source: Democratic Club CMU)

At the same time in Chiang Mai, a group of over 1000 students and citizens gather for a protest at Tha Pae Gate.

Chiang Mai University student Prasit Kharutharot read out the group’s demands and asked the protestors to join him in giving the three-finger salute before announcing the protest’s conclusion at 18.30. Prasit also announced that they will be holding more activities in the future but the date has not been set.

During the protest, police officers announced through a loudspeaker three times that the group was violating the Emergency Decree. They also ordered the protestors to keep a distance from each other to prevent the spread of Covid-19, as well as to end the gathering as the Emergency Decree is still in effect.

Both groups echoed the three demands made by the student group Free Youth Movement at Saturday’s protest and called for the dissolution of parliament, a new constitution, and for the authorities to stop harassing people who are exercising their freedom of expression.