A pro-democracy rally is scheduled to take place in Bangkok on Thursday, September 24, with participants demonstrating against the government of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, as well as voicing a desire for reforms to the monarchy. The protest, which is being organized by the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstrations (UFTD), will take place in the vicinity of the Thai National Assembly while members of parliament are scheduled to discuss constitutional reforms. Police reported that tens of thousands took part in associated protests on both Saturday and Sunday, September 19-20, making them some of the largest protests since a military-backed coup in 2014. Despite the large attendance, the protests have remained largely peaceful.
A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of the protest sites. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out. Continued protests are expected over the coming days.
September 19 was the anniversary of a coup in 2006 that removed then-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Many of his supporters, wearing red shirts, have taken part in the 2020 protests.
Public opposition has grown against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha 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 months. Counter protests have also been held, particularly in support of the monarchy.
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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