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Hundreds of Thailand LGBTQ activists have joined anti-government protesters on the streets of Bangkok to make their voices heard. The LGBTQ protesters are pushing for constitutional reform amidst the ongoing anti-government marches that are currently making national and international news.
The protesters have ignored the COVID19 ban and are currently partaking in some of the most massive anti-government rallies we have seen since 2014. The main aim of the protests is centred around pushing the government out of power in the biggest threat to the current military regime.
Thailand LGBTQ Protesters Call for Democracy
Thailand LGBTQ activists flew the rainbow flag umbrella on Saturday to call for the resignation of Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha. The protesters made their concerns clear while dancing and mocking the current government with stand-up comedy sketches that took swipes at the Prime Minister and his government. Gay Pride Flags were waved next to the Bangkok Democracy Monument in the city as they called for the government to step down.
The LGBTQ protesters have similar anti-government ideals but are also campaigning for equal rights. These protesters believe that if Thailand can move towards democracy, their LGBTQ equal rights would naturally follow. They are calling for both equality and democracy.
One of the protesters was saying, “The LGBTQ group does not yet have equal rights in society, so we’re calling for both democracy and equality.”
LGBTQ Protest Across Thailand
Although the Thai PM and his government have been under threat for many years from anti-corruption groups, the current protests are going one step further.
Aside from the Bangkok protests, we see other movements and protests right across Thailand. On Sunday, 400 activists from the Phuket Liberation Group rallied in a bid to bring democracy to Thailand and oust the government. The protest lasted over 2 hours and was peaceful.
The protests go to show the exact sentiment of the people and a trend where students are asking questions and demanding a more democratic way of doing things. The COVID19 lockdown restrictions and the extremely high Thai baht have negatively affected the Thai economy in recent months in terms of foreign investment in Thailand and tourism. And although precaution should always be paramount in regards to COVID, there have been no deaths in Thailand for the past two months, so the restrictions seem harsh and problematic. Nine million people are now unemployed in Thailand, although those statistics are yet to be confirmed.
Thailand LGBTQ and Free Youth Movement
The Thailand LGBTQ protesters over the weekend and the past few days in Bangkok are part of the Free Youth movement. The movement has three main demands:
- Dissolution of Parliament
- End to harassment of government critics
- Amendments to the military-written constitution
One of the protesters in Bangkok named Yaya was saying, “Even if they don’t step down from power today, we want to let them know that we won’t go anywhere, we will be here. if they get rid of us, our ideology will never die, we will pass this on to the next generation.”
Feelings and tensions are currently reaching fever pitch in Bangkok. And across other parts of Thailand. The Thailand LGBTQ community wants to ensure that their needs and rights are of paramount importance in the event of constitutional reform. It seems like change is in the air. Are we about to see the nation move towards democracy, or will the Thai government try to defeat its detractors? If the latter happens, the international media will have a field day. Let’s hope common sense prevails and Thailand can move forward in the most positive and non-violent manner.