This edited article is from The Isaan Record, an independent news site in Thailand, and is republished on Global Voices as part of a content-sharing agreement. Global news reports about the youth-led protests in Thailand focus on what's happening in the capital Bangkok. This report from The Isaan Record documents a major rally in Khon Kaen City located northeast of Thailand.
The Democracy Monument in Khon Kaen City (northeast Thailand), a smaller-sized replica of the one in Bangkok, has only occasionally served as a venue of protest in recent years. But on August 20, the symbolic landmark drew a cheering crowd of about 1,500 people in support of the youth-led movement for democracy and social change.
Activists took turns giving speeches on stage calling on the government to dissolve parliament, paving the way for elections, and the drafting of a new constitution. Isaan women’s rights and LGBTQ+ activists took the stage campaigning for gender equality and the right to safe abortions.
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The activists also held a mock ritual using the soft drink Red Bull as holy water to drive out Prime Minister General Prayuth who led the 2014 military coup ousting an elected government and was subsequently made prime minister after elections in March 2019.
Organized by a university student group formed after the controversial dissolution of the Future Forward Party in February, the protest was one of the largest in Isaan in recent weeks. The group “Khon Kaen’s Had Enough” announced it would make the monument its regular venue for more protests to keep up the pressure on the government.