Local police in Thailand’s northeast have denied ripping ribbons off high school students who added their voices this morning to ongoing protests against the government.
After some high schoolers at schools nationwide this morning wore white ribbons to express opposition to the military-backed government during the morning flag-raising ceremony, witnesses said teachers and police at some schools forcibly remove them, with some students threatened with punishment. Several videos have emerged showing students being harassed.
An officer answering the phone at Khon Kaen’s Kranuan Police Department denied witness accounts that officers had ripped the ribbons off of students there, saying it was “fake news.”
That came after someone said officers had come to a school to remove them.
“At a school in Khon Kaen, police officers came to search the school. They seized the white ribbons from the students too. Why are they afraid of trivial things like white ribbons?” Twitter user @LukPeach_taynew wrote.
One day after 10,000-plus protesters converged on Bangkok’s Democracy Monument for the largest such rally since prior to the 2014 coup, high school students joined the campaign at places such as Bangkok’s Satri Wat Absorn Sawan School, Khon Kaen’s Srikranuan Wittayakom School and the Bunyawat Witthayalai School in Lampang province.
While lining up to sing the national anthem at 8am, some students raised their hands in the three-fingered salute that has defined opposition to military rule since it was adopted from The Hunger Games six years ago.
In one video that went viral this morning, a teacher can be heard harassing students aggressively.
“Retard!” he is heard shouting, telling them “You never show respect to your school!”
The teacher is shown walking toward the student filming the incident and ordering them to delete the footage.
At Sunday’s rally, speakers demanded the constitution be amended, the cabinet dissolved and monarchy reformed. Anti-government rallies, centered on university campuses, have been ongoing nationwide since July 18.
Students around Thailand are adorning white ribbons and raising the three finger salute at the national anthem to show their resistance against dictatorship #โรงเรียนหน้าเขาไม่เอาเผด็จการ #upfact #ขีดเส้นตายขับไล่เผด็จการ pic.twitter.com/kZEIkAw1uu
— kichan. (@memokichan) August 17, 2020
— ||| (@freemineset) August 17, 2020
— ヅ (@LukPeach_taynew) August 17, 2020
‘Return the people’s power, we are not slaves, we are free (Thai),’ bags on protesters’ heads read at today’s ongoing rally at the Democracy Monument.#WhatsHappeningInThailand #ให้มันจบที่รุ่นเรา pic.twitter.com/yvFSL09A2E
— Coconuts Bangkok (@CoconutsBangkok) August 16, 2020
Student leaders calling for reform of the monarchy excluded from yesterday’s protest paraded their 10 demands through the crowd.#สนับสนุน10ข้อเรียกร้อง #ประชาชนปลดแอก #ขีดเส้นตายไล่เผด็จการ #WhatsHappeningInThailand pic.twitter.com/Lgv0JmUeTr
— Coconuts Bangkok (@CoconutsBangkok) August 17, 2020