Thailand latest: Demonstrators return with posters of arrested leaders

Thailand’s protesters are expected to come out in force across Bangkok again on Sunday afternoon. They have proved in recent days that bad weather, a police crackdown and public transit suspensions are not enough to keep them at home. With tensions running high and activists showing no signs of giving in, the authorities’ next move is a major question mark.

For all our coverage, visit our Turbulent Thailand page. Here’s how things have unfolded so far:

Sunday, Oct. 18 (Bangkok time)

4:55 p.m. Some demonstrators are holding up pictures of protest leaders who have been detained by the authorities. Though Victory Monument is the main site, social media posts show another growing gathering at the Asoke intersection.

4:25 p.m. Today’s main protest site is Bangkok’s Victory Monument. Images posted on social media show a crowd starting to build. Hoping to deter the young people who are driving the movement, the authorities have threatened that protesters who take and post selfies at the marches could face legal action.

2:41 p.m. Once again, the authorities are shutting down key transport hubs in an attempt to keep crowd sizes in check. The government says services will resume “when the situation becomes normal.”

1:47 p.m. Mary Lawlor, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights defenders, expresses “alarm” over the situation in Thailand.

11:09 a.m. Activist group FreeYouth issues an online call for fresh protests across Bangkok starting at 3 p.m. today. After a sweeping shutdown of public transportation on Saturday failed to deter thousands of people from packing the streets, how will the authorities respond this time?

1:10 a.m. An online petition calling on Germany to declare Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn a persona non grata has reached nearly 140,000 signatures out of a goal of 150,000, according to Change.org.

The petition — posted in Thai, English and German — is addressed to Chancellor Angela Merkel, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and senior German lawmakers. It says the king and his entourage have “travelled between Thailand and Germany at their own leisure, disregarding any regulations in place both [countries] only for the sake of their own convenience.”

Asked recently by a member of parliament how Berlin would respond to the king engaging in domestic politics from German soil, Maas said: “We would always clearly counteract efforts by guests in our country to conduct affairs of state from our country.”

Thailand has blocked access to Change.org in response to the petition, the BBC has reported.


Pro-democracy protesters at one of several rallies in Bangkok on Oct. 17: Organizers have called on people to rest up and return.

  © Reuters

0:53 a.m. Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong once again draws a parallel between the Thai protests and last year’s demonstrations in the Chinese city.

Saturday, Oct. 17

8:00 p.m. Although participants have been saying…


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