Pro-democracy rallies are scheduled to take place nationwide on Saturday, September 19 and Sunday, September 20. Protests are due to occur in multiple urban centers, with the most significant being a march in the capital Bangkok to Government House on both of the above dates. Authorities anticipate that around 50,000 people will attend the rally in Bangkok on September 19. Despite the anticipated large attendance, the rallies are expected to pass peacefully. Pro-democracy groups have been gathering to denounce the current government's alleged non-democratic policies and are demanding political reforms. Some have also criticized the monarchy and accused it of being undemocratic. Government supporters, conversely, believe pro-democracy supporters undermine state institutions, including the monarchy.
A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of the protest sites.
Public opposition has grown against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's over government spending, the dissolution of an opposition party, and many other factors. Activists have also called for reforms to the powers of the monarchy. Protests on an increasing scale have been held in Bangkok and other locations across Thailand in recent weeks. Counter protests have also been held, particularly in support of the monarchy.
On August 8, student groups officially launched the Free People group, which has grown out of the previous Free Youth movement responsible for much of the recent protest activity. On August 16, 10,000 people took part in a demonstration organized by the group in Bangkok, one of the largest protests to be held since the coup in 2014. At least ten people were arrested by police. Protests organized by student groups have since been occurring in Bangkok on a near-daily basis.
Those in Thailand are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate transportation disruptions, avoid all protests or demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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