Dedicated protest zones designated by Bangkok’s new governor

Bangkok, Jun 24 (EFE).- Bangkok’s new governor has designated seven zones across the capital for the holding of protests, a measure that comes as large anti-government rallies have taken place since 2020.

Car parks, parks and sports venues, away from the historical and financial centers of Bangkok, are some of the authorized spaces where the political protests can now be held, as long as authorities are informed in advance and do not break the law, according to the document made public on Friday.

Chadchart Sittipunt, a progressive politician popular among the youth protest movement and who swept the local elections held at the end of May, had announced during his campaign his intention to zone areas of Bangkok for demonstrations.

With this measure, the governor intends to avoid incidents that block the center of the capital, as has frequently happened in recent years.

The pro-democratic protests involving thousands of people in the metropolis are part of a movement led by university students and activists demanding democratic reform of the government, and even the untouchable monarchy.

They began early 2020 to demand the resignation of the 2014 coup-leader and now prime minister, the drafting of a new constitution (the current one was written by the former military junta), and a reduction of the power of the military and the influence of the Royal Household.

The authorities fired tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets on several occasions at the peaceful marches, before the momentum of the movement was interrupted by arrests of young protest leaders and Covid-19 outbreaks.

Smaller protests also took place in opposition to the government’s handling of the pandemic.

With the easing of Covid restrictions, pro-democracy groups have now begun to reorganize and plan new large demonstrations.

During 2013-2014 and in 2010, anti-government concentrations camped for months in the main streets and intersections of downtown Bangkok, which attracted violence and caused gridlocked traffic in the city of around 11 million people. EFE


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