‘Bad Students’ protest against educational and political failure

Bad Students organized a #ByeByeDinosaur event under Siam BTS station to criticize educational failures and the inefficiency of the government. They also compared the Education Minister to a dinosaur after he voted to reject all 7 draft constitutional amendments. 

The Bad Students protest under the BTS platform. (Source: Citizen Journalist)

On 21 November 2020, Thai PBS reported on the demonstration “#ByeByeDinosaur” organized by Bad Students and the pro-democracy network. The students compared themselves to meteorites that would crush the dinosaurs, ignorant MPs trying to resist change. 

The demonstration started 1 hour later than scheduled and moved from Ratchaprasong to under Siam BTS to avoid the rain.

At 13.55 pm, more people continued to join the protest while protest guards fenced the area up to Chaloem Phao intersection and protest leaders confirmed they would not march anywhere.

At 15.05 pm, the protest leaders started their speeches and at the same time, they passed the ‘meteorites’ (painted beach balls) to the protesters to deliver the message that meteorites would crush the government to make a social change. They also sang satirical songs against the government.

A third-year college student put on a school uniform, taped her mouth and held up a banner with the message that she had been sexually harassed in school and that school is not a safe place. She said that the incident occurred when she was in 11th grade and there was no help and no change although she notified the school about the incident.

She also said that she joined the protest because she wanted to raise the problem of sexual harassment in schools, which has never been taken seriously. 

Amnesty International volunteers distributed colour-coded wristbands to those under 15 and 18 years of age so they would be prioritized for protection in the event of violence or if police started to make arrests. 

Two 8th-grade students revealed that they had joined more than 10 pro-democracy protests and this was the first time they received a pink wristband for immediate protection. “It makes us feel safer that we would be taken care of by adults because the situation is getting more violent.”

Nataphol called a dinosaur after he voted against all 7 draft constitutional amendment. 

According to Post Today, speakers criticized the failure of the government and the Education Ministry , especially Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan, a party-list MP of the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), who rejected all 7 draft constitutional amendments in the first reading, using as a justification the down-turn in the economy which would be negatively affected by the huge budget needed to amend the constitution. Nataphol and senators were compared to dinosaurs faced with extinction. 

The protesters also wrote messages on sticky notes to expose educational problems and make suggestions to the Minister, emphasizing the call to abolish school uniforms. There was also an appeal for funds for Bad Student to organize further activities. 

Source: 
https://prachatai.com/journal/2020/11/90512

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