Crowd March To German Embassy, Protesting Against Absolute Monarchy

On Sunday, a crowd gathered at the German Embassy to protest against the monarchy.

After marching from Bangkok’s Pathumwan intersection, three representatives allowed into the embassy submitted a statement opposing what they called the “absolute” monarchy. “The move is against absolute monarchy and to protect democracy,” it said.

Local media reported that a demonstrator was rushed to the Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital after being injured by rubber bullets.

Sunday’s rally was the second one outside the German Embassy. On October 26 last year, 13 protest leaders were indicted under the lese majeste law and other charges after organizing a similar demonstration.

Also, demonstrators gathered at Bangkok’s Pathumwan intersection earlier on Sunday to criticize the recent Constitutional Court ruling and demand the highest institution’s reform.

No particular protest group or movement claimed responsability for the rally, which was the first major protest since the Constitutional Court issued the ruling on Wednesday.

According to the court’s ruling, activists Arnon Nampa, Panupong “Mike” Jadnok and Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul tried to bring down the constitutional monarchy.
The court said protesters’ actions agaisnt the monarchy were threatening the democratic system, as the King is the head of state, and ordered them to cease their moves.

However, demonstrators claimed that authorities had imposed the ruling and the order to bring back absolute monarchy.

On Sunday’s rally, people also called on the government to change the lese majeste law and to release activists arrested by Thai police.

“We don’t want absolute monarchy,” protesters shouted at the rally site. They also insisted that they have been asking officials to reform the highest institution, saying: “Reform not abolition.”

During the event, demonstrators also burned nine effigies, representing the court’s nine judges.

The march was originally planned to be held at the Democracy Monument, heading to Sanam Luang. But police blocked access to the monument, forcing organizers to change the protest site to Pathumwan.

On Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krean-ngam urged protesters to obey the court’s ruling. Nevertheless, the Move Forward Party argued that it could lead to more social rifts.