As the year drew to a close, a slew of public assemblies continued, even selling shrimps was treated as public assembly

Updates on the public assemblies during 20-31 December 2020
@gun_sangtong

# Updates on the public assemblies during 20-31 December 2020: As the year drew to a close, a slew of public assemblies continued, even selling shrimps was treated as public assembly

At least eight public assemblies took place during the last two weeks of 2020, from 20-31 December. Similar to the two previous weeks, their goal was to show moral support to those charged with lese majeste, an offence against the Penal Code’s Section 112 and to conduct a symbolic action to oppose the use of Section 112. There were public assembles to demand rights on other issues as well. In addition, relentless harassment was made against the demonstrators including pressing charges against them and cracking down on public assemblies of WeVo or We Volunteer.

@gun_sangtong

# Gatherings to show support to those charged with Section 112 case

The police continue to slap the demonstrators with charges concerning the Penal Code’s Section 112. It has prompted people to gather in various police stations to show their support to those facing the prosecution. During 20-31 December 2020, there were at least three of such public assemblies.

@gun_sangtong

In addition, there was aa symbolic action as the demonstrators were clad in crop tops while strolling in Siam Paragon Shopping Mall. They were there to demand the stoppage of Section 112 prosecution against youth and to argue that wearing a crop top is a freedom of expression and not a crime.

The individuals slapped with charges concerning Section 112 during that time include;

On 21 December 2020 at Bang Khen Police Station in Bangkok, eight demonstrators including Anon Nampha, Parit Chiwarak, Shinawatra Chankrachang, Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, Pimsiri Petchnamrob, Nutthathida Meewangpla, Promsorn Weerathamcharee and Inthira Charoenpura were there to hear charges concerning Section 112 as a result of the public assembly #Mob29Nov or the public assembly “Disarming The Thai Elite” at the entrance of the 11th Infantry Regiment on 29 November. All of them were charged for giving rally speeches on stage, except Inthira who did not even speak there.

@gun_sangtong

On 21 December 2020 when the demonstrators were there to hear charges at the Bang Khen Police Station, police from the Muang Khon Kaen Police Station have pressed more Section 112 charges against Parit Chiwarak Panupong Chadnok and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul as a result of their speeches at the public assemblies in the two precincts including the #TopplingThemWithMob in Khon Kaen and #AyutthayaCan’tBearItNoMore in Ayutthaya.

@gun_sangtong

On 22 December 2020 at the Phahonyothin Police Station, six demonstrators including Parit Chiwarak, Anon Nampha, Shinawatra Chankrachang, Promsorn Weerathamcharee, Panupong Chadnok and Wannawalee Thamsattaya were there to hear charges from participating in the public assembly #25NovGoSCB on 25 November 2020 at the headquarters of the Siam Commercial Bank and giving speeches concerning the “crown property” which has since been transferred during the tenure of the Prayuth government.

@gun_sangtong

On 22 December 2020 at the Chanasongkram Police Station, the admin of Ku Kult facebook page was there to hear charges concerning the defaming, insulting or threatening the King, the Queen and the Heir Apparent, an offence against the Penal Code’s Section 112. He was alleged to put a sticker bearing the term Kukult on the portrait of His Majesty King Rama X at Sanam Luang during the public assembly there on 19 September 2020.

@Phar

On 23 December 2020 at the Tha Phra Police Station, Chukiat Saengwong, an activist from Samut Prakan, who often wears Justin-like cosplay costumes, has gone to hear charges concerning Section 112 from participating in the Khana Ratsadorn’s protest at the MRT Tha Phra Station on November as he spoke on stage about the reform of the monarchy.

Shrimp sellers arrested for public assembly at Sanam Luang

In addition to the public assemblies prompted by the prosecution on Section 112, the last two weeks of the year also saw at least public assemblies triggered by current issues, particularly the economic impact from the second surge of the Covid-19 which has led to two public assemblies. On 29 December 2020, Dr. Boon and the Group “Reclaiming our money back, not a beggar” gathered in an attempt to meet Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to demand the Social Security Office make amendments to the law to allow insured persons to have access to their pension fund before their retirement.

@MayPetcharat

In addition, on 23 December 2020, another public assembly #NoWomenIntendToGetPregnantAndHaveItAborted led by the “Trailblazers” Group which submitted a letter to demand an amendment to the Penal Code on two clauses concerning abortion, including

  1. to repeal Section 301 which criminalizes abortion, and

  2. to amend Section 305 to allow doctors to terminate pregnancy at 24 weeks and even after 24 weeks if necessary. This will enable women to have access to safe abortion.

    The demonstration took place in front of the Parliament on Kiak Kai Rd. with speeches made about the proposed amendment of abortion law and symbolic actions including the Thai version of “A rapist in your path” dance (Lady Sita Walking Through Fire) and criticisms on how abortion law kills women. It was attended by at least 30 participants.

The demonstration took place in front of the Parliament on Kiak Kai Rd. with speeches made about the proposed amendment of abortion law and symbolic actions including the Thai version of “A rapist in your path” dance (Lady Sita Walking Through Fire) and criticisms on how abortion law kills women. It was attended by at least 30 participants.

On the last day of the year, 31 December 2020, WeVo or We Volunteer members organized #ShrimpRoastingMob to help sell shrimps after farmers affected by the new surge of Covid-19 that put down prices of shrimps, particularly at the Samut Sakhon shrimp market in the middle of December. Speeches critical to the government were made there as well.

@nan

Nevertheless, the police pressured them to call off the event and it has led to the forcible dispersal of the gathering twice once at the Sanam Luang and another at the 14 October Memorial. 16 individuals were rounded up including two 17-year-minors.

All demonstrators were driven to the Border Patrol Police Region 1 in Pathumthani similar to what happened during the declaration of the Severe State of Emergency in Bangkok in October 2020. Then, the Border Patrol Police Region 1 was officially designated as holding center for the demonstrators, but even the Severe State of Emergency has been lifted. The police press three charges against the demonstrators including violating the Emergency Decree, the Communicable Disease Act, and the Controlling Public Advertisement by Sound Amplifier Act. In addition, there have been reports of at least three injuries among the demonstrators as a result of the crackdown on the demonstration.

@JJ