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School students stage pro-democracy rallies

Students raise their mobile phones during a protest at Srinakharinwirot University in Bangkok on Wednesday. (AFP photo)

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High-school students have joined university students in staging pro-democracy protests, led by all-girls Satriwithaya School in Bangkok on Wednesday.

A group of students from the school, wearing casual clothes, assembled in the afternoon at Democracy Monument across the street from their school, showing pro-democracy posters.

According to unconfirmed reports, the school management did not allow them to stage a rally inside the compound, citing the need to remain neutral and forcing the students to move to Democracy Monument.

“We came today not on behalf of the school but as members of a new generation who don’t want the monument to be just a place where vehicles make U-turns,” one of them told Matichon Online.

She was referring to Democracy Monument at the centre of the roundabout in front of her school. Built in 1940, the place is a symbol of the transition to constitutional monarchy and has been used as protest venues.

“We insist we do not hate the nation. What we hate is a dictatorship,” she added.

Another demonstrator admitted she felt fear. “It’s not that we’re not afraid. But we have to come out. If we fail to do it today, we don’t know when a more appropriate time will be. After all, the 'fire of democracy' has been lit.”

According to their schedule, they will move to join the rally by Silpakorn University Tha Phra on Wednesday evening.

Some students from Triam Udom Suksa School also planned to assemble at 8.30am on Thursday.

Bodindecha (Sing Singhaseni) School in Bangkok’s Wang Thong Lang district joined the trend by asking people to share its hashtag #ลูกบดินทรไม่อินเผด็จการ, but did not set a date for a rally.

As well, the Progressive Club of Suang Kularn all-boys school invited people to share its hashtag #สกไม่ง้อลุง.

Meanwhile, university students continued to hold rallies in their campuses on Wednesday evening. They were:

Thammasat University Rangsit campus (#ที่ยุบอนาคตใหม่พี่มหาลัยกูทั้งนั้น) in Pathumthani

King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang #kmitl #หนังสือก็ต้องอ่านรัฐบาลก็ต้องไล่

Srinakharinwirot University Prasarnmit #มศวขอมีจุดยืน  #รากฐานจะหารด้วย

Khon Kaen University #เกิดจากสฤษดิ์แต่ไม่ขอเป็นสลิ่ม #KKUขอโทษที่ช้าโดนสลิ่มลบโพสต์

Burapa University #ทีมลูกระนาดอยากจะฟาดบ้างแม่

Thai Chamber of Commerce University #UTCCเรือใบไม่ใช่เรือดำน้ำ

Silpapkorn Tha phra in Bangkok and Silpakorn Sanam Chandra Palace (Thab Kaew) in Nakhon Pathom #ศิลปากรขอมีซีน

Prince of Songkla University Pattani Campus #ฝุ่น6ล้านหรือจะสู้ท่าน9เสียง

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Vocabulary:

appropriate : suitable or right for a particular situation or purpose - ที่เหมาะสม

assemble : to bring together and form a group - นำมาร่วมกัน

constitutional monarchy : a monarchy in which the ruler’s powers are defined and limited by a constitution - ระบบการปกครองที่มีพระมหากษัตริย์เป็นประมุข

democracy (noun): a system of government in which all the people of a country can vote to elect their representatives - การปกครองแบบประชาธิปไตย

dictatorship : a government having complete power and which does not rule democratically - เผด็จการ

neutral : not supporting either side in a disagreement, competition or war - เป็นกลาง, ไม่ฝักใฝ่ฝ่ายใดฝ่ายหนึ่ง

rally : a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something - การชุมนุม

stage : to organise an event or activity - จัด

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