Peaceful anti-govt demonstration ended at midnight

Peaceful anti-govt demonstration ended at midnight

Protesters from the Student Union of Thailand and the Free Youth group ended their anti-government rally at the Democracy Monument on Saturday night. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Protesters from the Student Union of Thailand and the Free Youth group ended their anti-government rally at the Democracy Monument on Saturday night. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The Free Youth group and the Student Union of Thailand ended their anti-government rally at the Democracy Monument on Bangkok's Ratchadamnoen road at about midnight on Saturday.

Tattep “Ford” Ruangprapaikitseree, secretary-general of the Free Youth group, and Juthathip Sirikan, chairwoman of the Student Union of Thailand, read a joint statement announcing the end of the rally at about midnight.

They cited safety concerns and the lack of facilities and public utilities to accommodate the large number of people who joined the rally as a reason for calling off the demonstration.

The rally, which began at about 5pm, drew about a thousand people and featured speeches and a performance by Rap Against Dictatorship. Organisers initially planned for the rally to continue overnight and end at 8am on Sunday with demonstrators singing the national anthem.

Mr Tattep said that ending the rally earlier than previously planned did not mean the demonstrators had yielded to the government, nor they had been pressured by the authorities to do so.

He said the demonstrators had given the government two weeks to consider their three-point demand to immediately dissolve parliament, begin to rewrite the constitution and stop intimidating the people. If the government did not respond to the demand within two weeks, the group's movement would be intensified, Mr Tattep added.

After the end of the rally, Rangsiman Rome, a Move Forward Party MP and former student activist who attended the rally as an observer, offered to take the core leaders of the demonstration to their homes.

The rally ended peacefully. Nobody was detained or charged.


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