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Vows of peaceful, three-finger salute for royal procession

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Pro-democracy protesters have long used the three-finger salute as a gesture of protest against dictatorship. AFP

Vows of peaceful, three-finger salute for royal procession

Bangkok pro-democracy protesters will not block a royal procession through the area during the October 14 rally, one of the pro-democracy groups organising the demonstration has assured.

Free Youth, a pro-democracy group, posted on its Facebook page that they would not block the royal motorcade during the rally on Wednesday, but would instead make way with a three-finger salute in order to enunciate their demand for reform of the monarchy.

Pro-democracy protesters have long used the three-finger salute as a gesture of protest against dictatorship.

The protesters plan to hold a mega-rally at Democracy Movement at Ratchadamnoen Avenue in Bangkok on Wednesday.

Free Youth argued that they had already announced in advance about the rally, in response to critics who said the protesters should not hold a rally on a day when the King’s motorcade was scheduled to travel on that route.

He said they were willing to share the road with others and warned local media against misinterpreting their intention and inciting hatred against protesters.

They suggested that police reroute the royal motorcade in order to avoid any unexpected incident which might be carried out by a third party with ulterior motives while they have pledged a peaceful political gathering.

Arnon Nampa, a prominent human rights lawyer and one of the protest leaders, said that pro-democracy protesters would take the opportunity to make the case for a reform of the monarchy directly to the King when the royal motorcade passes the rally site that day.

Protesters would stand up and show a three-finger salute, he said on Saturday night during a brief speech at a pro-democracy rally in Nakhon Ratchasima province.

Protesters will also march to Government House to demand the resignation of the Prayut Chan-o-cha administration.

The protesters may stay for many days at Government House before moving to Parliament when it opens in order to pressure senators and members of Parliament to start the Constitution rewriting process.

A huge number of protesters are expected on Wednesday to mark the first uprising against dictatorship in 1973, and to intensify this year’s protests against the government.

Youth-led protesters are demanding a rewriting of the Constitution, resignation of the Prayut government and dissolution of Parliament, as well as reforms to the monarchy.

Meanwhile, Abhisit Vejjajiva, a former leader of the Democrat Party, said the government should listen to the demands of the pro-democracy movement. Young people have voiced their own demands, and the government cannot suppress their voices, he warned.

Youth-led protesters have intensified their protest against the establishment after Parliament delayed a rewriting of the Constitution. Many small-scale protests have been held in many provinces in the run-up to the planned mega-rally on Wednesday.



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