The rally was called by a group, who call themselves “bad students”, making fun of their status as rebels against traditional school rules and authorities.
Reflecting his light touch towards protest actions, he used props, including people in dinosaur suits, and supervised beach balls standing for asteroids.
Just as an asteroid hitting Earth is believed to have caused the extinction of dinosaurs, he pointed out that the old-fashioned members of Thailand’s founding-change would clash with the country’s pro-democracy movement.
Although the original goals of the Bad Students include the elimination of deprecated rules such as the dress code and the incorporation of archaic reforms, they also now support the demands of Thailand’s broader pro-democracy movement, which calls for major political change. .
Saturday’s rally in one of Bangkok’s busiest shopping areas attracted a crowd of at least 1,000 people, many of whom were not secondary students.
Namfon Jaruk, a 21-year-old student of the college, said it was appropriate for the protesters to discuss issues beyond education.
“We are not just students. We are also citizens of this country,” she said. “Students have the right to talk politics and whatever needs to be discussed.”
The rally came at a weekend with two chaotic protests organized by followers of the pro-democracy movement.
On Tuesday, protesters outside Parliament urged MPs to pass a bill to consider a sweeping change in the constitution, including sections regarding the rights and privileges of lawmakers. Lawmakers agreed to consider the changes, but not to classes including the monarchy.
The movement has three major demands that Prime Minister Pruthu Chan-Oha stepped down, amending the constitution to make it more democratic and reforms to make the monarchy more accountable.
The movement believes that monarchy holds too much power for constitutional monarchy. But his challenge is opposed by the Royalists, who consider the royal institution an untouchable basis of national identity.
Efforts by the protesters to force their way into the Parliament grounds on Tuesday were pushed back by police with tear gas and water cannons, a mixture of chemical impediments. At least 55 people were hurt, of whom six were reported to have gunshot wounds. Police refused to run live rounds or rubber bullets.
Several thousands of protesters gathered outside the national headquarters of the police in central Bangkok on Wednesday to protest the force used against the protesters.
Wednesday’s rally was nonviolent, although protesters removed the “Royal Thai Police” insignia outside its headquarters and uprooted graffiti and raised slogans that could be considered derogatory to King Maha Vajralongkorn.
Prime Minister Prathuth reacted by announcing that the protesters had gone too far and could now expect to be prosecuted for their illegal actions. While the protesting leaders have faced dozens of charges over the past few months, they have generally been released on bail, and none have yet come to trial.
On Friday, Pruthuth clarified that the government would also employ the use of Thailand’s Lez Majeste law, which carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years for defaming the king or his immediate family.